We regularly talk about anxiety and stress being on the up amongst the adult population, but the truth is that it’s affecting our children too. In so many ways, they’re not treated like children these days. Primary aged children now undergo tests and exams, routinely use their parents screen devices for entertainment and are chauffeured around to a series of after school activities, rather than simply using their imaginations at home. The flipside is that parents are unbelievably busy, often not noticing the signs of stress, or mistaking them as bad behaviour.
Yet do we really want our youngest generation to look back on their childhood as a stressful period of their life? Of course, not. In that case, we owe it to them to pay attention, to look more carefully for signs and help them navigate through those feelings, equipping them with tools to use for the rest of their life.
Anxiety in Children
Children are not usually eloquent enough to tell you that they’re feeling anxious or worried about something. They tell you in other ways instead. The problem is that stress in kids can often be misjudged as naughty or obstructive behaviour.
Tantrums, emotional outbursts, violence, not wanting to try new activities, not wanting to socialise, separation anxiety. These are just the more obvious outpourings. Each child is unique, and it can come out in a whole host of other ways. My daughter, for example, goes through a succession of outfits, throwing each one off, to declare she doesn’t like it, or that it’s itchy when she’s feeling anxious about going somewhere new. It took a while to figure this out, I might add! As parents, we really do have to take on the role of detective.
Naturally, many worries are part of growing up and they gradually go away on their own. Different personalities play a part too, with some children finding it easier to brush away worries and fears. Anxiety becomes a problem when it begins to interfere with everyday life or when you can see a pattern developing. In the worst instances, it can harm their self-esteem and confidence, cause them to avoid the trigger and become withdrawn.
How Do I Know My Child is Anxious?
The NHS website advises that you may notice the following with younger children:
- become irritable, tearful, or clingy
- have difficulty sleeping
- wake in the night
- start wetting the bed
- have bad dreams
In older children you may notice that they:
- lack confidence to try new things or seem unable to face simple, everyday challenges
- find it hard to concentrate
- have problems with sleeping or eating
- have angry outbursts
- have a lot of negative thoughts, or keep thinking that bad things are going to happen
- start avoiding everyday activities, such as seeing friends, going out in public or going to school
Aromatherapy for Anxious Children
There’s a strong scientific basis for aromatherapy because smells impact the brain’s emotional centre, otherwise known as the Limbic System. The right combination of therapeutic scents can help with mood transition by having a physical impact on the body, like slowing down breathing and heart rate.
Not only that, but smells can be used to create an association or cue. So, if you regularly use a scent that relaxes you, over time, your brain will begin to recognise that scent and react as soon as it smells it, meaning that relaxation arrives all the quicker.
That’s why millions of people around the world use aromatherapy as a natural stress reliever. It’s quick, easy to use and has rapid results. That makes it a perfect tool for stressed-out kids to use too.
Here at Scentered, we’ve gone a step further and formulated award-winning 100% natural aromatherapy balms for rapid application of powerful mood-enhancing essential oils. With 6 potent combinations, we have a balm for every eventuality!
Stress Relief for Kids
Use our DE STRESS Aromatherapy Balm whenever your child is feeling anxious or stressed about something. Apply the nourishing balm to their pulse points (wrists, neck, and temples), then get them to inhale the scent deeply three times.
The ultimate soothing blend, this formulation contains calming Chamomile and Neroli and Mandarin, tension soothers that also support feelings of well-being. Your child will soon feel calmer and more in control. Don’t forget that the more regularly you use it, the quicker you’ll create a cue to relax.
It’s also a great one to apply at the school gates if school makes them anxious and when they arrive home from school to help them unwind.
Aromatherapy for Sleep
Getting the right amount of sleep is critical to children’s physical and mental development. Not enough sleep makes everything seem overwhelming and contributes to stress and anxiety. Night-time fears can also be a big worry for lots of children, making it more difficult to get to sleep or leading to midnight wake-up calls.
Apply our award-winning SLEEP WELL Aromatherapy Balm to your child shortly before bedtime to help them drift into a deep, restorative sleep. It’s a rather sophisticated blend, part floral, part oriental that capitalises on the therapeutic benefits of Lavender, Chamomile, Palmarosa and Ho Wood to quiet the mind, whilst balancing them with stress relieving Bois de Rose and Geranium. All in all, the perfect mix to calm a racing mind and help your child relax into bedtime.
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