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Anxiety is not the same as an anxiety disorder. According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA), anxiety is temporary phases of fear and an anxiety disorder is a group of mental illnesses which are chronic and can interfere with daily functions. Anxiety disorders affect 1 in 8 children. There are several types of anxiety disorders, each have their own symptoms. Below is a list of specific anxiety disorders that children may suffer from.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (CAD)
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Social Anxiety Disorder (social phobia)
- Separation Anxiety Disorder
- Selective Mutism
- Specific Phobias
Click here for more information on these specific disorders.
Medication is an effective way to treat anxiety, but there are alternate natural treatments that may also relieve anxiety symptoms.
- Lavender – The relaxing and calming effects of lavender aromatherapy has been found to reduce mild anxiety according to the Natural Medicine Journal.
- Exercise – According to the ADAA, exercise can reduce symptoms of mild anxiety.
- Positive Thinking – Positive thinking can prevent or control anxiety according to WebMd. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts.
- Healthy Diet – A healthy diet won’t cure anxiety, but it can help according to Mayo Clinic. Some foods that may help reduce anxiety symptoms are:
- Eating protein for breakfast. This keeps your child fuller longer and maintains the body’s blood sugar level.
- Eating Foods that increase serotonin levels in the brain, such as oatmeal and complex carbohydrates like whole grain. Serotonin has a calming effect and can lift your child’s mood.
- Balanced meals with a lot of fruits and vegetables. Berries contain antioxidants that can boost your child’s mood by easing the feeling of anxiety. Leafy greens like spinach and kale contain magnesium with can help calm your child. Citrus fruits like oranges contain vitamin C which may also have a calming effect.
- Music – According to Healthychildren.org, music can be comforting and calming which can help decrease anxiety.
- Writing – Encourage your child to keep a journal. This can help with anxiety by helping your child gain control of his or her emotions, according to the University of Rochester.
- Art – Anxiety.org reports that art therapy can be an effective treatment for anxiety when used with CBT.
- Pets – Pets, especially dogs, can lower stress and reduce anxiety according to the ADAA.
Learn how you can help you child overcome anxiety with the award-winning Anxiety-Free Child Program offered by anxietyfreechild.com. This program was developed with expert doctors of psychology and other professionals to give you the information and resources you need to help your child be free of their anxiety and restore their happiness and confidence.
Have you tried any of these methods to help your child cope with anxiety? How effective were they? I’d love to hear your methods on how you help your child cope with anxiety. Leave a comment.