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Breathe, exercise, be body-aware: anti-anxiety tips for children

The Irish Times – John Sharry

“Although anxiety might start out as a negative thought or worry, it is always experienced in the body as a feeling. People who are over-anxious have agitated bodies – their hearts are beating faster, their breathing is quicker and they might experience symptoms such as sweaty palms or pains in their stomachs. As well as tackling the thinking that causes anxiety (which we cover in Article 5), an important way to overcome anxiety is to learn to manage the feelings of anxiety and, in particular, learning to relax the body. Generally, a key feature of problematic anxiety is that the child is out of touch with their body. They are often living too much in their heads (which are full of anxiety-laden thoughts, ruminations and worries). Frequently, the goal is to help them “get out of their heads” and live more in their bodies; you want them to stop over-thinking and to start living. Sometimes, anxiety is caused by the mind misunderstanding the body’s basic signals as in the case of a panic attack.”(more)

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