I see a lot of children and young people whose lives’ have been consumed with anxiety. Often, it can start with one thing then spreads from one thing to another. Before someone knows it, even seemingly simple tasks, are becoming incredibly difficult. Here are some principles that I use when helping children and young people whose lives’ are being ruined by the Anxiety Monster.
ANXIETY IS NOT A SIGN OF WEAKNESS
Children and young people can start to beat their anxieties by understanding just what is happening to them. Anxiety is an extension of our fight-flight response. Many of the symptoms that children, young people and adults experience (a racing heart, churning stomach, not being able to think clearly) are not signs of weakness but rather a sign that their brains are working hard to keep them safe. One of the first stages in overcoming anxiety is working out just what it is that the brains are detecting as “dangerous.” That’s where a good counsellor can come in.
ANXIETY IS LIKE THE WORST VIRUS EVER
I see anxiety like some kind of virus because it quickly spreads from one thing to another. Many children and young people feel embarrassed that they are becoming anxious about a wide range of things. However, this is more common than you may think. It can be very tempting to try to eliminate every individual worry that a child or young person faces. However, my approach is firstly about trying to look for what the main fears are about. We deal with that and then work on any ‘left over” worries.
EVERYONE CAN LEARN TO BEAT IT
Once a child or young person has been able to face their “root anxiety” there are lots of tools that they can learn to help reduce any subsequent symptoms. Anyone of any age can learn simple ways to become more self aware. They can learn how to stop anxiety before it grows into a monster. These tools help children and young people to understand and handle future anxieties themselves. I always think that the greatest success for me as a counsellor is for my clients to not need to attend any more.
If you would like me to help your son or daughter battle their anxieties, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
There is also lots of help and advice available on the web. Here’s just a few of them :