Anxiety is not an evil that affects adults exclusively, we know it well. Many children suffer from it at different times in their lives and for very different reasons: starting school, changes of address, exams, extracurricular activities, illness or simply the hectic pace of their day to day.
To help reduce anxiety in children there are different exercises that parents can do at home without having to be experts. We highlight the following for their simplicity and ease of application.
- Breathe together. Slow and deep breathing helps reduce anxiety, so we suggest that you sit or lie down next to the child and teach him to breathe slowly and deeply. By doing this exercise it will help you to imagine the waves of the sea. Tell the child, with a relaxed, soft and calm voice how in each inspiration a wave approaches and you feel how the air slowly enters your nose, goes down your throat, fills your lungs and reaches your belly. On the exhale, as you slowly expel the air, the wave withdraws and your abdomen empties, gradually releasing tension, nerves, and discomfort. You can ask the child to place a stuffed animal on his belly to see how it rises and falls with each breath. This will help you to become aware of your body and the sensations that you are going to perceive throughout this exercise.
- Breathe with the fingers of the hands. This simple exercise will help us a lot, since with it the children will be able to relax anywhere and at any time. It is about teaching the child to breathe in and out as he slowly runs the fingers of one of his hands with the index finger of the other. It will start with the thumb and with the upward movement the little one will inhale gently and deeply, expelling the air as it descends and touches the interdigital space. At this point, start another slow deep breath until you reach the little finger where you must go backwards, breathing slowly. In this way we will get you to take 10 slow and deep breaths. After them the child will be in a more relaxed and pleasant emotional state. It is excellent to practice it at any time but it is before any test or exam.
- Tense and relax the muscles. This is another classic exercise, very easy and fun to apply with children. It is about tensing and relaxing some muscles of your body as if it were a roaring lion, a turtle hiding in its shell or as if they were squeezing lemons between their hands.
Doing all of these exercises with your eyes closed is recommended, but many children find it difficult at first. Important: do not force them to close if they feel uncomfortable. We must let them get used to it until they are ready.
You can read more articles similar to Exercises to decrease anxiety in children, in the category of Mental Disorders on site.