Anxiety is a feeling of intense fear or worries about situations faced in day to day life. It is a misconception that children do not get anxiety as adults do. The percentage may be lower but children are as prone to anxiety as adults. Anxiety in children is often neglected on this account because of which they do not get the required treatment to deal with it. Anxiety can come out differently among individuals. A child screaming and shouting in anger can be having anxiety and a child sitting in the corner, not wanting to mingle can also be having anxiety.
Anxiety does not have any particular reason, it can occur due to a thing as basic as standing up and speaking in front of others. Parents can find out if their child is having anxiety by noticing the child’s physical, emotional and behavioral responses to situations. Physical signs of anxiety can be not sleeping properly, being either hyperactive or staying distracted, headaches, sweating without cause and so on. Emotional signs include crying, panicking, nightmares, anger, and behavioral signs include having tantrums, not wanting to go to the school, not having friends or wanting to socialize.
Once you have found that the child is having anxiety disorder remember that we are not trying to entirely avoid anything that makes the kid anxious but we are trying to help him or her deal with it. Being too positive will not be of any help. If you can do anything to help the child is by being realistic. Exercising is also a great way to get over anxiety. Yoga also called pranayama particularly is the most helpful according to many pieces of research.
The term ‘yoga’ has originated from a Sanskrit word ‘yoke’. It is a series of exercises. There a lot of yoga poses one can choose from according to the problem. It is said that yoga unites the three elements – physical, intellectual and spiritual. The effect can be felt from the very first session of yoga. It helps the body to feel light, the mind to feel clear and the spirit to feel calm.
There are several misconceptions about yoga. Some people perceive yoga as religious. It is not so, when doing yoga we connect to the universe and the positive vibes around us. We do not seek the favor or blessings of any God. Yoga has indeed originated from the philosophy of the Hindus but it is not related to religion. Anyone who wishes to do yoga can do it regardless of caste, sex, race, background or any such social stigma. Some people believe that yoga is only meant for people of a particular age group. It is not at all this. Yoga is very basic and is meant for the sole purpose of being healthy mentally and physically. Anyone who can understand how to pose can do yoga.
Yoga for children is especially good. Whether having anxiety or not. As yoga is not a competition it eliminates performance pressure from the mind of the child or anyone. This helps to focus on the process with a free mind. It teaches the kid that bodies can be physically the same but different bodies require different things and function differently. It teaches them to respect the bodies and minds of others in a world that is highly judgmental. It helps them explore their bodies and find out about their needs. Aren’t we all looking for a way to explore our bodies and mind? Yoga is the best way. It helps children to be familiar with the flaws of their bodies and yet love it. If this feeling is engraved at a young age, it reduces the possibility of future stress which hits during teenage years where the world keeps pushing everyone to be models of perfection.
Like the term, ‘namaste’ means that I am equal to you and you are equal to me. No caste, creed, race, religion stands between us. I acknowledge the light in you. Similarly, yoga over many years has taught people to be tolerant of others and accepting one’s true self. This feeling brings peace in the mind of children and lays the foundation for better communities.
The growing digital dependence among children can also be a cause of anxiety in children. Using digital gadgets for a long time causes anxiety and the issue of focusing, primarily academics. Yoga eliminates this. The most basic yoga exercise is to exhale and inhale which means concentrating on breathing. This immediately helps to improve the focus. Researches show that kids who do yoga have much better and longer focus than the kids who do not do any type of exercise. Breathing is also a great way to calm down when feeling sudden attacks of anxious. With yoga, kids learn this and thus the effects of anxiety lower.
It is always said that healthy habits go a long way. Yoga is one of those healthy habits. Kids who learn to stay active at an early age have a higher percentage of healthy adulthood than kids who do not. The more the yoga, the less anxiety.
The major cause of anxiety in children is having an unhealthy state. As stated earlier, yoga helps children to love their bodies. Respect others. Have a better focus. Stay healthy. All these things together improve mental health tremendously. It builds self-confidence in them. They are more aware of their abilities and flaws. They become more capable of dealing with any kind of failure or stressful situation. While textbooks teach that 6-7 hours of sleep is necessary or it is essential to relax, yoga is a practical example of it. Children learn that relaxation does not mean sitting idle with a phone in hand but yoga is also a type of relaxation with all the health effects, unlike phones.
Most children do not take yoga as something they need to do to be healthy or deal with their anxiety; they take it as yet another fun activity. That is why children enjoy yoga and in the process benefit from it.
Some of the best and easy yoga poses to help children deal with anxiety are – Mountain Pose, Tree Pose, Downward Facing Dog, Standing Forward Bend and Inhaling and Exhaling.