It is very common for anxious children to struggle with finding the positives in life. Anxious children can often seem as though they have the weight of the world on their shoulders. I am going to give you five strategies you can put into place right now that will help your little person to find their smile.
- Pull funny faces. Positive body language releases endorphins that trick the brain into thinking that it is happy. Spend a few minutes stood in front of the mirror and make funny faces together. The more you trick the mind into finding a reason to smile the easier it will become find genuine reasons to be happy.
- Listen to inspiring music. Give a shout to Google or Alexa, ask them to play inspiring music, have a sing and a dance. If a lyric sticks in your mind repeat it throughout the day.
- Start a grateful book. When we focus on being thankful for what we have or what we have enjoyed then our mind will subconsciously begin to look for reasons to be grateful. Have a book by the side of your child’s bed, every night ask them to tell you at least one good thing about the day and write it in the book. You can also reflect back on all these positives on days when they feel there is no joy in their lives.
- Do a random act of kindness. The fastest way to find our happiness is to bring happiness to others. Have a think about what simple act your child can do for someone else, once they have done the act shower them with praise and ask them how it feels to make someone else smile.
- Recognise emotions. Support your child to be able to recognise what emotion they are feeling. We don’t want children suppressing emotions, help them to use the STOP plan:
S – Stop what you are doing
T – Take a few deep breaths to bring the heart rate down
O – Observe what emotion is being felt
P – Plan, what needs to happen to help this emotion to pass?