10 Surprising Ways to Help an Anxious Child Calm Down

Ever been at a loss as to how to help your child when he/she is anxious?

For example:

  • A child arrives at a birthday party excited but becomes too worried to walk through the door

  • A child runs out of the doctor’s office as the nurse approaches with a needle/shot

  • A child refuses to get out of the car when he/she doesn’t know anyone at a new camp or activity

  • A child feels nauseous about performing on stage, trying out for an activity, or taking a test

  • A child is terrified that they will be injured by a storm or tornado.

It may seem like nothing you say or do helps. 

When kids are anxious, they often experience a fight, flight, or freeze (acute stress) response, which is a physiological reaction in response to something they perceive as scary. The body's sympathetic nervous system is activated, triggering the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline, which increases heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. After the threat is gone, it takes 20-60 minutes for the body to return to normal levels.

. continue reading Erin Leyba (LCSW, Ph.D)' advice here