Everyone feels anxious sometimes. It’s very normal. In fact, anxiety has a useful purpose in our lives; it keeps us safe. When we’re anxious, our bodies set off a reaction called the flight-or-flight response, and this causes changes in our bodies… faster heartbeat, trembling hands, shallow breathing, focused thinking. These changes help us act quickly when we need to, to protect ourselves -like staying away from a wild animal!
Bedtime is a trigger for many kids. Unlike the rest of the day, bedtime is a time in which children are expected to be alone. In addition, bedtime is often when children slow down and tune into themselves and reflect on their day; as a result, this may be when they express concerns and worries or exhibit separation anxiety. Fears about going to bed, worries that seem only to appear at bedtime, attempts to sleep with parents, and pleas for a parent to stay until they fall asleep are common.
“Mommy, I have a tummy ache.” It’s a sentence every parent will hear from their child sooner or later. Usually, with simple home care and rest, the tummy ache will quickly pass. But in some cases, stomachaches and other symptoms–such as frequent headaches, recurring nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, sweats and flushing–keep returning. Physical causes, from bacteria to viruses to food allergies or even lactose intolerance, are often the trigger. However, if the pediatrician has performed a thorough exam and found a child in good health, it’s possible that underlying anxiety is setting off the complaints.
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Read More about Mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness is one way that children and teens can learn to cope with stress and enhance their overall mental health.
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Getting the help of a trained, licensed professional may be the best thing for your child. The APA’s Psychologist Finder can help you locate a therapist in your area.
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