Anxiety! We all feel it. Our kids are feeling it more and more. As a life long anxiety sufferer/thriver I’ve come to understand that mild anxiety can have so much to teach: life skills, self-management, nutritional awareness, motivation to exercise and the need & practice to ask for help. Anxiety is here to stay and it behooves us to address it head on.
1. First, we can change our mindset about anxiety. Anxiety, like anger, is a normal human emotion and cannot/should not be eradicated – lest you throw out the baby with the bathwater. Consider that kissing cousins of anxiety are: excitement, anticipation, planning, avoiding truly dangerous situations, listening to our inner wisdom. These feelings/skills are anxiety feelings that haven’t gone sour yet. Imagine, we don’t need personality transplants to tame the beast. Once our mindset around anxiety is cleaned up and we aren’t victimized by it, or afraid of it, but we open up our arms to it we then can find some energy, space and creativity to move anxiety up and out of ourselves (so it doesn’t curdle and go sour into fear, avoidance, panic).
2. Anxiety can be GREATLY reduced by the following: limiting screens, diminishing sugar, deleting comparisons, regular outdoor activity, a meditation practice, a work-out regime, regular playtime with our anxious kids that is physical and joyful, a daily 10 minute dose of writing down what is making us anxious (it’s amazing when you do this and you review it regularly how many things consistently DO NOT happen and thus release us from having to worry about it so much), journaling, more green vegetables, less processed food, eating at regular/predictable times. WHAT on this list sounds like it’s bad for you? What on this list will make you feel worse?
I understand, the list makes us anxious because we all know we spend too much time on screens, eat too much sugar, are over caffeinated, need more outdoor time, a workout routine. It’s those darn simple solutions that aren’t easy. I understand so the third tip I offer is a list of my current favorite resources!
3. Anxiety Resource for more information
· If your little one has anxiety: The Opposite of Worry, Lawrence Cohen
· If your tween/teen has anxiety: Crazy|Stressed, Dr. Michael Bradley
· If you are anxious: The Worry Cure, Robert Leahy
· If your family is overwhelmed: Simplicity Parenting, Kim John Payne