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Anxiety & Behaviours

Anxiety is affecting upwards of 20 % of children. Sometimes anxiety can go unnoticed, as some children are quiet and well behaved, while others may act out and have behavioural problems. Anxiety can get in the way of learning and quality of life.

Here are a list of some signs of anxiety in children:

  • Constantly in fight or flight

  • Hypervigilance

  • Poor focus

  • Stomach aches

  • Refusal to go to school

  • Meltdowns

  • Difficulty with transitions

  • Avoidance

  • Worrying

  • Agitation

  • Behavioural issues

Learning the root cause of the behaviour is important to help your child with their behaviour.

Think about this....

High levels of stress triggers the amygdala, which is your fight/flight/freeze part of your brain. That amygdala is going to work in opposition to and suppress another part of your brain called your hippocampus. Your hippocampus is responsible for learning and memory. So, can you imagine children who are constantly in fight/flights trying to learn?

Fight/flight/freeze is your body in survival mode. If you are in survival mode too much of the time, you feel as though you can only trust yourself, becoming hypervigilant. Anxious people often try to cope by controlling and manipulating people and situations. They feel that they are responsible for keeping themselves alive. They have to know every little sound, where they are going, who's coming over, resulting in resistance to change in routines at time.

"When you have a sense of being anchor to the earth, you have as sense of stability."

~Alexandra

3 Techniques

#1. 4, 7, 8 Breathing

This exercise is utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere. Although you can do the exercise in any position, it is most beneficial to sit with your back straight while learning the exercise.

 

  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.

  • Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.

  • Hold your breath for a count of seven.

  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.

  • This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

 

This exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. Unlike tranquilizing drugs, which are often effective when you first take them but then lose their power over time. This exercise is subtle when you first try it, but gains in power with repetition and practice.

 

Once you develop this technique by practising it everyday, it will be a very useful tool that you will always have with you. Use it whenever anything upsetting happens – before you react. Use it whenever you are aware of internal tension. Use it to help you fall asleep. This exercise cannot be recommended too highly. Everyone can benefit from it.

#2. Bony joint stimulation

Our body stores cortisol in the porous parts of the joints and the vibrations release it for your body to process and eliminate. At bedtime place it on each joint of the spine beginning from the top to bottom. It’s a calming tool and good to do multiple times throughout the day.

 

  • Purchase a massager (Walmart and Bed, Bath and Beyond usually carries this or it can be purchased through Amazon).

  • Apply it to the bony joints on the body, for a few seconds on each joint. Your body stores cortisol in the porous parts of the joints and the vibrations release it for your body to process and eliminate.

  • If done at bedtime, place it on each joint of the spine beginning from the top of the spine to the bottom of the spine, as this can be relaxing and make it easier to sleep.

  • Since this is a calming tool, it is okay to do it on yourself for multiple times throughout the day.

 

See video below for instructions.

# 3 Whole body Patterns

Patterns are exact, whole body movements that infants do automatically in order to gain neurological function. These patterns trigger reflexes in the central nervous system which lead to new brain growth. These patterns also calm the nervous system.

 

The brain growth triggers another set of reflexes, which triggers new patterns and also more additional brain growth. This cycle of reflex/movement/pattern brain growth is how humans gain functional neurology and lay the basis for all emotional, behavioural, academic, and motor skills. Just as we observe infants gaining new capabilities when performing new patterns, people’s skills and capacities change as we trigger the cycle of reflex/movement/pattern brain growth. All of this has been observed, documented and recorded in infants.

 

Remember, patterns need to be done correctly and the only way is to pattern your child. Do not correct verbally, as this will just cause frustration in you and your child.

 

Rule:

  • Quality over quantity,

  • Patterns must be done correctly or then become a range of motion

  • Head always leads

  • Paint down

  • Hover around

  • Smooth rhythmic movement

  • Don’t hold them too tightly

 

See video below for instructions

I hope you found this helpful, if you like to more about any other struggles your child might having, please feel free to reach out to me at info@alexandralily.com. I would love to hear form you.

Love,

Alexandra