advertisement
Home » Blogs » Stress Better » 11 Ways to Calm a Child’s Repetitive Anxious Thoughts

11 Ways to Calm a Child’s Repetitive Anxious Thoughts

“What if I have no friends to sit with at lunch?”

“What if I have no friends to sit with at lunch?”

“What if I have no friends to sit with at lunch?”

“What if I have no friends to sit with at lunch?”

One anxious thought can repeat in the mind like a vicious broken record. Are you familiar with this phenomenon?

If you’re a parent of an anxious child, you might even hear this thought repeated out loud. What can you do to help? When nothing in your verbal toolbox seems to break the cycle of repetitive anxious thoughts, try the power of physical touch. A hug can actually activate the parasympathetic nervous system and soothe a child’s chattering mind.

But what if you are not around to give your child a hug when he or she needs it? Believe it or not, self-soothing touch can have powerful calming effects. Here are 11 techniques to teach your child:

1. Cradle your face with your hands

Anxious Child? Self-soothing touch

2. Gently pat or stroke one arm with the opposite hand

Self Soothing touch to help an anxious child

3. Rub one of your ear lobes

Self Soothing touch to help an anxious child

4. Cross your arms and squeeze (give yourself a hug)

Self Soothing touch to help an anxious child

5. Place one hand on your chest over your heart

Self Soothing touch to help an anxious child

6. Place one hand in a fist over your heart, place the other hand over your fist

Self Soothing touch to help an anxious child

7. Place one hand on your tummy

norma10

8. Hold your own hand

Anxious Child? Try Self Soothing Touch

9. Rub the space between your thumb and index finger

Anxious child and self-soothing touch

10. Place one hand on your heart and the other hand on your tummy

norma11

11. Place one hand on your cheek

Self soothing touch to quell anxiety

Have an anxious child? Get free animations to teach your kids stress management skills at www.gozen.com


References:

Neff, K. (2011). Self-compassion: Stop beating yourself up and leave insecurity behind. New York: William Morrow.
11 Ways to Calm a Child’s Repetitive Anxious Thoughts

Renee Jain, MAPP

Renee Jain is an award-winning tech entrepreneur turned speaker and certified life coach. She also holds a masters in applied positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Renee specializes in cultivating skills of resilience in both adults and children. Her passion is taking research-based concepts and transforming them into fun and digestible learning modules. For children, she has created one-of-a-kind anxiety relief programs at GoZen! delivered via engaging animated shorts.


2 comments: View Comments / Leave a Comment

 

 

APA Reference
Jain, R. (2017). 11 Ways to Calm a Child’s Repetitive Anxious Thoughts. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 13, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/stress-better/2016/08/11-ways-to-calm-a-childs-repetitive-anxious-thoughts/

 

Last updated: 18 Nov 2017
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 18 Nov 2017
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.