Tag Archives: Fear

7 Tips to Help Your Child Deal With Anxiety


 

If you are the parent of an anxious, shy child, you know the constant worry about how the world is reacting to them. It can be a scary place, and many children have good reason to worry. However, many children worry much more than is reasonable for the situation.

Anxiety isn’t always a bad thing. A person should be worried if they’re in a dangerous situation, for example. Anxiety is protective, but too much or inappropriate anxiety isn’t healthy.

Use these strategies to help your child overcome their anxiety:

  1. Be supportive and patient. It can be frustrating when your child is constantly worried about things that seem meaningless or silly. However, the anxiety they feel is just as real to them, as your anxieties are to you. You don’t get to choose the emotions or fears of other people.
    • Let your child know you’re sensitive to their feelings and are always there to support them.
  2. Avoid giving too much warning about a stressful event. If you know your child stresses out about going to the dentist, it’s best not to announce a dentist appointment three weeks in advance. The morning of the appointment is just fine. For some children, it might be even better to say, “Put on your shoes, we have to go to the dentist.”
    • Too much notice can provide too much time to worry. Figure out how much time your child needs to keep their anxiety at a minimum. Some children appreciate a little time to process what’s going to happen. Every situation and household is different.
  1. Talk it out. Ask your child what they’re worried about and why. Talk about why this fear is or isn’t valid. In other words, look for evidence to prove or disprove the reason for the fear.
    • If the fear is valid, develop a plan together to handle the issue.
    • If the fear isn’t valid, help your child to trust the evidence they found that negates the reason for the anxiety.
  2. Help your child to keep their attention on the present. We can only worry when we project our attention into the future and imagine negative outcomes. This is largely a habit.
    • Teach your child to focus on the present moment and their surroundings. Show your child that it’s more effective to focus on what is, rather than what might be.
  3. Take a look at your home life. Is your home life stressful for your child? Do you and the other parent get along well, or is there a lot of tension and arguing? Are there financial pressures in the household, the child is aware of?
    • Children might give the impression that they’re not listening, but they are surprisingly adept at figuring out what’s going on.
  4. Avoid avoidance. You might think you’re being nice if you help your child to avoid everything that causes them to feel anxious, but you’re actually contributing to the issue.
    • Each time your child is allowed to avoid the situation due to anxiety, there’s a part of her brain that says, “Hmmmm. If I make her feel anxious, we can get out of doing these things.”
    • The brain quickly learns what works. Next time, the anxiety will be even stronger. The brain will continue turning up the volume, until it’s satisfied.
    • Avoiding a stressor brings relief, which is very rewarding. The urge to avoid only becomes stronger as it’s reinforced.
    • Be supportive but avoid letting them off the hook.
  5. Get professional help. It’s very challenging for a parent to effectively help a child with moderate to severe anxiety issues. It’s likely that professional help will be useful. Find a therapist or psychologist that specializes in children of your child’s age.

Many children suffer from worry. They’re under a lot of social scrutiny at school, and kids can be cruel. They have little control over their lives. Most aspects of their lives are controlled by parents or teachers.

If your child is anxious, it can be heartbreaking to see them worry all of the time. It can also be frustrating when their worries seem pointless to you. Be supportive, patient, and get professional help if your efforts prove to be insufficient. 

Got a partner who suffers from anxiety? You’ll want to look out for the next post.

To Your Success,
Juan

Dealing With Anxiety In Turbulent Times


 

Dear Readers,
How are you keeping during these turbulent times?! Parents with children being homeschooled, it’s even more difficult to balance work and home life. My followers diagnosed with PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, etc, have you found it even more difficult to combat the triggers of your mental illness? Many of you are divorced, separated, with no children at home, how do you spend your time? There are so many questions!

Yes, these are very uncertain times. Uncertainty rules the day, and the unknown is more distressing than anything else. Two months ago, our lives changed, dramatically. I live in NYC, the epicenter of COVID-19 in the United States. I was stunned by the level of death and destruction around me. After experiencing multiple symptoms for almost a month, I was finally able to get tested. Negative! I am fortunate, I know, and I hope the result is true. I was told to “power through my symptoms” some of which still persist today.

Three of my clients were directly impacted by COVID; one lost a mother, another a cousin, and the other was hospitalized for several days. I currently work at home, so for the past month, I have been putting out several fires, which is mostly the reason for my absence here. NYC is made up of strong, tough people.  The 9/11 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Sandy, multiple airplane crashes, etc has not weakened the resolve to keep fighting.  I expect us all to come through on the other side. Hundreds continue to die every day, but, the situation has stabilized; field hospitals being taken down, the NAVY Comfort has left, hospitalization rates have decreased, and we are finally “flattening the curve”. 

Six out of seven continents have been affected by COVID-19. Besides the normal day to day hustle, and immense stress of daily living, we now have a pandemic to contend with. Today’s post will hopefully provide support on the panic affecting so many. Anxiety is not necessarily a new phenomenon, however, with all that is happening, it will only exacerbate the issue. We are so connected through the internet, social media, and other outlets, not only are we exposed to the issues in our immediate communities but across the entire globe. Furthermore, with so many working from home, or in some cases, those working on the frontlines, we are expected to juggle growing responsibilities simultaneously and remain productive. Anxiety varies in intensity and frequency, please use the following suggestions, and resources to improve your overall quality of life.

Live In The Moment
The only point in time in which you will EVER exist is right now. Ironically, most of us dedicate the bulk of our mental energy to the past or future. Anxiety often tricks us into replaying past mistakes in our heads over and over and worry about things that have not happened yet. A big part of dealing with anxiety is to live in the moment. This means focusing all of your physical and mental energy on what is going on right now. Not only does this simplify life, but it also allows you to get the most out of your limited time. Trying to deal with your entire past and future on a constant basis makes it virtually impossible to appreciate what is right in front of you. Over the years, Mindfulness and Meditation have helped to turn things around for me and completely changed my life. First I had to know who I am. Pick up a copy of this book Discover My Life’s Purpose. Doing so helped me to remain focused on the present moment. I was no longer worried about where I stood in comparison to others. My path was my own, and it did not matter if others agreed. they don’t have to! Learn how to. You too can learn how to  Enhance Your Life With Mindfulness.

Control What You Can Control
The truth is, many of the issues causing anxiety in your life are beyond your control. This includes global and community issues, as well as problems in your personal life. What you need to realize is that the weight of the world is NOT on your shoulders, even though it can certainly so at times. Anxiety tells you to worry about solving problems that are out of your hands. In reality, focusing on the issues that you actually have the ability to resolve is a much healthier response. Awareness is the key to conquering fear created by the ego, which leads to anxiety. Once you’re aware of how your ego is creating fear and anxiety, then you can observe it, and learn to shape it. You have the power to stop the fear in your mind. It’s important to remember that all the negative scenarios in your head don’t have to happen in real life. They can stay as imaginary issues. They may never materialize or cause you heartache. You can control how you respond to challenges.
Yes, we are tired of Netflix and Chill, homeschooling, puzzles, and games, but there is so much more you can do, being stuck indoors. Learn how to create a family website, make a family movie, coding, create a film festival, go on a virtual field trip, etc. Take a look at this invaluable list I put together, with direct resource links in Ultimate Guide To Indoor Fun

It’s Okay To Not Feel Okay
Another side effect of anxiety is a feeling of isolation and loneliness. People experiencing anxiety on a routine basis, often believe they are the only ones dealing with the issue. Everyone else is much happier, and no one will accept us if they knew the extent of our anxiety. It is so important to realize, this is far from the truth. Everyone around you is experiencing some degree of anxiety and fear of the future. You are far from alone. Don’t feel like you have to go through life acting as if everything is okay when it isn’t. Recognize the feelings, accept them, embrace, and challenge them. Maya Angelou said ” We are more alike, than we are different”

Get Help If You Need It
Finally, if your anxiety is something you are having trouble dealing with on your own, then don’t! There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking professional help. Ironically, our society welcomes getting help for even minor ailments but shuns the same approach for serious mental issues. Consider this, if you had Pneumonia or another physical illness, you would seek the appropriate doctor for care. Why would you not do the same, if you are suffering from mental health issues, such as anxiety? There is help out there, get it if you need it! I have been blown away by the more than 100k medical and mental health professionals, who came to the aid of New Yorkers!

We can and will get through this. We are better together.

Until Next Week,
Best,
Juan