Many of our children are either returning to school or going for the first time.
Going to school can release a lot of fear, trepidation and anxiety. It is a time of huge transitions and many “firsts”. Take for example the student going off to college, or the middle school student entering high school. In all cases, the new landscape is different from the previous one and the only thing that is a constant is that the students bring themselves along.
You might wonder, “Why is that an issue?” As a child psychiatrist, I have to speak up for the issues that loom large. Many of our children are taking medications to support their adjusting to their new and quite different environments due to conditions such as ADHD, Anxiety disorders, Mood Disorders, Learning Disabilities, to Autism.
There are ways to help your child deal with the stresses that can be part of their school experience. Our Anxiety Busting Class was designed to empower your child to possess her/his very own back-to-school Stress Management Kit.
We recognized that the demanding schedules imposed on your students make it hard to find time to relax and may cause them to feel stressed and anxious in college or secondary school; prolonged anxiety can lead to depression and therefore prevention/intervention is a top priority. These anxiety-busting strategies will help your child (and you!) regardless of age.
Stress Management Tool #1
Diaphragmatic (Belly) Breathing
1. Practicing regular deep diaphragmatic/belly breathing (dbb) is one of the hidden keys to optimum wellness.
2. DBB reduces negative stress by lowering the stress hormone cortisol.
3. DBB improves your mood by elevating the “feel good” hormone, serotonin, and other positive endorphins.
4. DBB improves mental focus and concentration by increasing blood flow to the Pre-Frontal Cortex of the brain.
5. DBB improves quality of sleep by improving stage 1 and stage 4 sleep cycles.
6. DBB helps reduce cravings for processed carbohydrates (junk food).
Here’s how to reap these amazing benefits of deep diaphragmatic breathing:
• Sit in a comfortable chair with your eyes closed and inhale very slowly thru your nose using your diaphragm (your belly should expand while you inhale with little or no chest movement).
• Once your lungs are full and your belly has expanded, hold your breath for about 6 to 12 seconds.
• Then slowly exhale thru your mouth making sure you use your belly to push the air out.
• Once your lungs are empty and your belly is contracted, repeat the cycle.
• Your goal is to complete 10 cycles (inhale, hold, exhale) or 8 to 10 minutes of deep diaphragmatic breathing a day.
• The best times to practice this type of deep breathing is first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed.
• To enhance the benefit of deep breathing, you may visualize your goals; picture your ideal life; or pray while practicing.
I challenge you to practice deep diaphragmatic breathing for at least 10 minutes a day every day for the next 30 days!
Once you’ve mastered Lesson #1, check back and tackle Lesson #2 – Jin Shin Jyutsu Finger-Holding
You’ll learn Enew ways to eliminate stress, relieve pain, decrease muscular tension, improve digestion, and reduce depression.