Childhood is often depicted as a time full of freedom and joy. However, many children today struggle with extreme stress that interferes with their wellbeing. Increased academic pressure, family squabbles and disagreements with friends are just a few possible sources of stress that your child may in a normal day. While you might not be able to stop negative things from happening to your child when they are away from home, you can help them cultivate an attitude that allows them to sail through any challenge. Be sure to teach your child these stress-reducing techniques that they can turn into lifelong habits for relaxing when they need a break.
Practice Interactive Yoga
Yoga is an ancient practice that is well known for strengthening the body while providing relaxing benefits for the mind and spirit. Interactive yoga maximizes these benefits by incorporating several different aspects of the practice to help children improve their physical and emotional health at the same time. From repeating positive mantras to learning how to move through asanas, or yoga poses, your child gains greater focus that helps them overcome stress.
Encourage Meditation Decrease Stress
Meditation is another practice that dates back many centuries. You can encourage your teen to practice meditation as part of their yoga training, or they can choose to spend a few minutes meditating at the beginning and end of each day. Mindfulness meditation is another form that your child can learn, and the process of learning how to focus solely on the sensations that they feel during each moment is an effective way to manage anxiety symptoms.
Lean On the Support of Family and Friends
Children sometimes try to hide the stress that they are going through, and it is common for a child to lack the experience to know that their emotions are normal. Let your child know that they can come to you with any problem, and help them identify a list of trusted adults that they can turn to if they are unable to talk to you such as their coach or professional counselor. Knowing that they are surrounded by support lifts the burden of stress off of a child’s shoulders.
When stress hits, it is easy to focus too much on everything that is going wrong. Yet, there are truly is always a silver lining to every cloud. Help your child identify things in their life that they are thankful for each day. Learning how to express gratitude instantly shifts your child’s perspective to positive things, and it can help them to avoid falling into a defeatist mindset.
Spend Time with an Animal
Animals are non-judgmental, forgiving and instantly return affection. All of these things make them perfect companions for getting through rough times. Kids also benefit from learning how to take care of an animal, and knowing that their favorite pet relies on them for food and grooming gives kids a purpose for overcoming negative emotions. Whether your kid loves walking their dogs or prefers riding horses, make sure that they have opportunities to engage with their favorite animal anytime they need emotional relief.
Vent Emotions Through Creative Writing
Pent up emotions eventually get expressed as emotional outbursts such as anger or crying if kids do not learn how to release them properly. Unfortunately, acting out often leads to even more stress for kids since teachers and other adults may choose to punish children for this behavior rather than realizing that it is caused by stress. Help your child find an acceptable outlet for their challenging emotions by showing them the power of the pen. Whether your child journals about their daily stress or turns it into a work of fiction, getting their thoughts on paper allows them to vent their emotions appropriately.
Reach Out to Professional Counselors
There are times when stress becomes too much, and your child should know that it is okay to reach out for professional help. Talk to your child about warning signs of excessive stress such as having trouble sleeping or experiencing troubling thoughts. Then, let them know about their options for seeking help such as attending an individual therapy program. If your child expresses interest in professional counseling, then follow up right away by making them their first appointment.
Get Involved in a Favorite Activity
Getting into a zone is a great way to get your child’s mind off of the things that are bothering them, and recreational activities provide instant boosts to a child’s mood. Allow your child to explore different forms of recreation such as hiking, swimming or group sports to find their favorite ones. Then, create time in their schedule when they can spend time soaking up the sun outdoors while having a little stress-relieving fun.
As a parent, it is important to remember that kids often encounter serious stress just like adults. However, they are still learning the skills that they need to manage stress before it leads to serious issues such as depression and addiction. For this reason, it is important to make sure that your child has a variety of techniques that are available for them to learn what works best for them when it comes to reducing stress.
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