When anxiety hits it can be so sudden and everything goes blank. Individuals respond in different ways, some struggle to move, some struggle to verbally communicate, some get so overloaded they explode or implode. Mix this with the development going on at this age and our young person can become confused, embarrassed on top of being anxious. Below are the top 10 anxiety reducing tips for tweens to enable individuals to move forward.
- Stop Talking
When our system is under pressure excess stimulation fills an already filled space more extending the recovery time. Allow the individual verbal space and possibly a quiet area to go and be.
Touch can be very comforting, even if it is holding the hand or shoulder. The touch is a connection to your calm energy.
When we are highly anxious our system can forget to breath and this leads to shallow breathing. The system needs deeper breathing to provide new oxygen to
allow thought to be moving. Old fashioned remedy of ‘paper bag’ may sound silly nowadays, however it is successful at controlling the breathing and providing focus, the same can be achieved by blowing into a loose fist.
- Be Present
Get the individual to draw or write or talk about what is happening ‘right now’. Keeping the young person in the present
stops the mind from wondering to an uncomfortable and often irrational thought.
Get your young person to question their mind. ‘ I cannot go to the party because nobody likes me!’ Question: ‘Is that really true?, I know I played with ‘J’ yesterday and they are going to the party’
Help your young person to trick their mind out of the negative thought through questioning.
Get up/out of the current location and find an activity, be this craft sport, agility, dog walking anything that removes them from the current location. Movement stimulates the brain hemispheres to integrate and start talking to each other allowing balance to re-enter the system.
Laughter lifts the endorphin hormone levels. It leaves the system on a natural high and this allows new thought patterns to enter the system.
- Speak to the Feelings
Get the young person to name the feelings and speak to them as though they were just energy, nothing else. Ask them to pick each feeling and ask it where it wants to go? What is stopping it?” If child is stuck ask them to guess. Ask the child to follow the energy to where it wants to go and then release it.
- STOP the Thoughts.
Tricking our mind is a key ingredient to changing thought patterns. Our thoughts are oftern automatic and we sometimes have to been fine and controlling to engage the mind to listen. Try closing the eyes. Visualize a STOP sign big an bold. When that appears say STOP outloud with full belief. When you fully believe the word you said. Turn to focus on your breathing fully, breath in for the count of three and breath out for the count of three. Do this 5 times and then go and get a drink and change activity.
- Be Patient
Anxiety can reoccur at any time. Each episode is completely separate from the last and if treated this way will never become a bigger concern. Make sure once the system is reset, get on with your joyful activity and focus on that. If another concern comes in, choose a tip to try, something different may help this time as this is a completely different episode.