Bringing peace and comfort to anxious kids and teens
Fear and worries can impact all ages and it is not uncommon to see this in incredibly young children, which in turn can increase in teenage years.
Children can be influenced by those around them and respond to situations in a similar way to what they see around them on a regular basis. If we can educate and support kids on how their mind bodies work then this should act in many cases as a preventative measure for future issues with anxiety and stress getting out of control.
If we can teach kids to understand what stress and anxiety are, and that feeling these ways can be perfectly normal and is just a signal for self-care, teaching them healthy methods to calm the mind and body, allowing them to feel confident and safe and increase their own resilience, this is one of the most helpful lesson children can learn.
Teenage years are known to be stressful. Not only do we have all the physical and hormonal changes; we have peer pressures and then life decision and exams. It really is no surprise that according to the National Institutes of Health, nearly one in three adolescents ages 13 to 18 will experience an anxiety disorder.
If we can educate pre-teen years this can greatly reduce the risk of future problems. Many children visit hypnotherapists for help with fears, phobias, nightmares, anxiety and so much more. Their young mind can be excellent at understanding and making positive changes very quickly.
How hypnotherapy works
Here is an example of how I work. I first talk about how the mind works and how really it is like a super-power, depending on how you use it, it can make you feel fearful or make you feel super strong. I always share methods to increase confidence and self-worth, every child and young person deserves to know and believe that they are valuable and precious.
I have found that working what I call content free works very well. They come along and don’t really need to talk much at all, certainly no explaining about how they feel, sessions are fun and interactive and can be full of laughter and surprises. The body and mind are totally connected, what the mind thinks the body feels, what the body feels the mind thinks, working this way if we change what the body feels it has a direct impact on what the mind thinks and changing what the body feels and calming an anxious body, calms that anxious mind.
An example of an exercise that works very well for all ages is a bilateral stimulation – as I use a bean bag I just call this the “bean bag” and all ages love this and they can use it wherever they wish.
Simply imagine a line down the middle of your body and keep your arms apart shoulder width and slowly pass the bean bag back and forward from hand to hand, nice and slowly. What you are doing here is two things, we are engaging the left and right brain and doing something different and interrupting that unhelpful habit or thought program.
Another little exercise that can be used anywhere at all is to find a nice little smooth pebble, hold it in your hand, think about how you want to feel, this may be peace, calm, or confidence, whatever it is. Really focus on what you would look like and feel when you feel like this – make it super strong – not squeeze that pebble tight. Feel that wonderful feeling.
Now let the feeling fade away and open your hand. Repeat this three to four times, each time making that feeling as strong as possible as you grip that pebble tightly. You see all you have to do now is carry that pebble in your pocket and whenever you need that good feeling, squeeze that pebble tightly and no one will ever know that you are giving yourself a boost.
There are many methods and techniques that can help young people feel strong and confident, that they can see their value and worth and no that they are unique beautiful human beings who bring magic to the world. They all deserve this.
If you have a child or teen who needs a helping hand, fun, engaging methods have positive results, methods that open and engage their inquisitive mind. Working with a child and parent together can be great fun as well as very effective, teaching methods that get taken back to the whole family.
I hope you find this helpful and if you would like more information, I am always happy to share more details on fun methods for the whole family.
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