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  • Writer's pictureDr. Emi Garzitto

How to Teach Anxiety (Part Two)

All of our interactions and responses influence those around us. 

The adults in the primary support system for children have a tremendous influence on children.  What we do, what we think and how we respond, all carry an impact on children, whose brains are still building the neural network and responses that inform their moral practice.

Here's the final five of the top 10 Strategies to Create the Anxious Child:

6. Give them toys, money and food every time something difficult happens. I alluded to this a bit in the last blog post.  The most important thing that we do for children in difficult times is give them our presence, our whole body listening, and our ability to reinforce their own ability to take care of their circumstance. The more we can reinforce their capacity and courage, the more confidence and resilience they will develop.

7. Feed them sweets, refined carbohydrates and fried foods.  Avoid healthy fats, fruits and vegetables and protein. Food is incredibly important in brain development.  Our brains, and mostly our frontal cortex, grew 35% when we went from eating plants to eating animals which is primarily protein and fat. Refined carbohydrates should be avoided as much as possible.

8. Hugging, physical contact, and positive eye contact are big no nos. Our positive loving touch is our secret weapon in counteracting anxiousness.  Loving human connection calms our bodies. It enacts our dopamine and oxytocin, both of which calm and ground you.

9. Avoid physical activity, especially unstructured play and outdoor activities. We evolved as a species by moving.  Walking,  being outdoors, moving and playing, all help us develop the practice and the strategies to calm bodies and brains.  We should encourage and model daily physical activity as much as possible.

10. Don’t take care of your own anxiousness. Never take responsibility for your own feelings or circumstances.  It is ALWAYS someone else’s fault. When we take responsibility for our feelings and circumstances, we put ourselves in the drivers seat.  We provide ourselves with the message that we can listen to our feelings and respond to the messages and information that we receive from them. Self responsibility is empowering. 

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