When children experience fear, worry or an uneasy feeling, the world becomes too difficult and their daily life is affected as a result. Anxiety in children can range from having difficulties adjusting to new situations to having full-blown panic attacks or post traumatic stress. It is important to catch anxiety early and treat it before it can manifest into more debilitating situations like missing school, difficulties with socialisation, low self-esteem, having adjustment disorders later in life or continued anxiety through adulthood.
Childhood anxiety can be originated from biological, environmental, genetic or physiological factors. Children are constantly growing and experiencing the world around them, including on picking up cues from their surroundings. It is possible for a child to take on the characteristics of anxiety from their environment, which may originate from an unstable home life, separation or divorce, community crime, sudden changes in their situation, lack of proper guidance, exposure to violence, neglectful supervision, bullying at school or even a bad experience with a doctor or dentist. Children also may have been born with the biological tendency towards anxiety or display these behaviours due to physiological imbalances.
There are different aspects of anxiety in children. It can be general anxiety, fearfulness, excessive worry and dread, nervousness, different types of phobias, panic attacks, post traumatic stress, showing obsessive compulsive tendencies and excessive stress. These can be accompanied by sweating, nausea, vomiting, stomach issues, diarrhoea, fatigue, difficulty breathing, headaches, high blood pressure, stammered speech, impaired decision-making and difficulty concentrating.
There are natural remedies to help treat children with anxiety instead of prescription medications. Passion flower helps with anxiety, nervousness, tension, sleeping difficulties and hyperactivity. It brings a sense of calm and well-being, as well as lowering blood pressure. Lavender is well-known for its calming and soothing properties. It helps with the nervous system and brings an overall sense of well-being. Lemon balm also works with the nervous system, the digestive system and lowers blood pressure. It has been used for sleeping disorders and depression as well. Cloves work with the nervous system lowering tension and anxiety, while alleviating depression. Cardamom helps raise one's spirits and relaxes the mind. Parsley gets the circulation moving in the nervous system which helps combat feelings of lethargy or listlessness. Rosemary is supposed to boost one's spirits. Relaxation, breathing and meditation techniques also can help calm the body and the mind, which in turn will help lower anxiety in children and adults. There are several age-appropriate books and CDs. Implementing more physical activity can help with anxiety. Exercised-induced endorphins help raise spirits and the extra oxygen in the blood helps people feel lighter, less depressed and more energised. Therapy is also highly recommended to get to the root of the situation and work through any barriers that would be preventing a child from leading a happier, healthier life.