Anxiety Relief for Kids
By Dr. Roxanne Daleo
Many parents and teachers have been asking me about the best methods for anxiety relief. There are many effective ways to manage our emotions but I tell you, the most valuable way is to “open your child’s mind to the power within” which is always available for stress relief but must be cultivated. And it is the adult who is responsible for teaching inner balance.
It is not enough to tell our child to go to his room to “calm down,” especially when he says “it’s boring, Mom!” Boredom is a lack of attention and it’s up to us, the adult, to show, don’t tell
by modeling calming ourselves first.
Here are the ABC’s of educating your child’s inner-self: their greatest source of healing.
A -stands for attention. The act of readying the mind is step one. And this condition of readiness can only be achieved with practice by directing the mind to pay attention. How do you teach your child how to listen, see and notice in order learn and understand?
Start by going outdoors. Take paper, colored pencils, water colors or crayons. Ask three questions: “What do you see? Draw it! What do you hear? Bird songs, crickets, rustling leaves, mountain streams, what else? Write a word or phrase to describe it.
What do you feel? Express it! Use your body and facial expressions.” Look for the tiny objects in the natural world- could you find a sooth stone, an acorn or pine cone, a feather, a flower? You model the process for your child and your child will follow your lead.
B -stands for breath. Bring your attention to this moment and to this one…breathe a long, deep breath. Hold that smooth stone in your hand. Let the stone be a reminder of smoothing out the jitters inside you, right now. Notice the beauty all around us. Feel the energy all around you and within you. There is a place within you that is peaceful and cannot be disturbed. Now, reach out and touch the trunk of this mighty oak tree. Breathe the life force energy from the tree to you. Now send energy to the tree with all your heart, say “I love you, thank you for reminding me how to stand still.” Become aware of this energy that goes two ways- like a radio receiver. Breath in- take in the energy of this strong oak tree; imagine the tree giving you energy and now when you breathe out, you can imagine sending out energy to the tree. It’s a rhythm of breathing in and out, a rhythm of receiving and giving.
C– stands for calm. Calm yourself consciously, deliberately. Say to yourself, “I am
the peace of the quiet, forest air” “I am the strength of the mighty oak tree.” “ I am the limitless
possibility of the open blue sky.” Use every word you speak to picture the way you want to be.
You are a powerful, energy being, never forget that! Stand tall and proud. There is a divine spark within you that connects you to the sacred. It is your inner-most self, the greatest source of healing. You have what you need to find your peace and be calm.
BONUS MINI MEDITATION – THE MIGHTY OAK TREE
1. Stand tall as the mighty oak tree. Imagine your roots go down into the earth and your branches are reaching upward to the sun and sky.
2. You can do this meditation by closing your eyes, taking a deep breath and sending that breath to your feet. Now lift your toes then place them firmly down. Feel the earth beneath your feet. Smell the sweet, soft ground.
3. Now, stretch your arms, reaching up to the sky. Breathe. You can imagine drawing energy from your feet just as the tree draws energy from its roots and sends this energy all the way up its trunk to the tree top. Now, lower your arms and stand tall as a mighty oak tree.
4. Breath in and out slowly, feel the energy flow. You are powerful. Take another breath and go deeper and deeper, totally relaxed. Day by day and in every way you are growing better and better, calmer and calmer.