If you have a child who struggles with anxiety, you might be interested in finding them some activities that reduce their stress instead of adding to it. Kids with anxiety can sometimes struggle with sports or have a fear of performing or getting involved with other kids. Here are some activities that might be able to help.
Yoga can be a great way for kids to try something new in a low-pressure environment. Yoga focuses on developing a deep, belly breath and a meditative mentality during the activity. Kids yoga classes are more fun, with poses that tell stories or follow narrations. Some yoga classes might have themes like animal poses from the jungle or superhero poses for power. As your child does yoga, they can get in touch with their body and learn how to calm themselves with that deep yoga breath.
Some children might enjoy the focus and control that comes from yoga so much they move into aerial art, which completes poses in the air using ropes and pieces of fabric.
You might not think of karate or taekwondo as a recipe for reduced anxiety, but it can actually be a great way for kids to build self-confidence and learn mastery over their emotions, facing their fears and feeling strong and powerful without losing control. Many martial art disciplines focus on mental health and inward reflection, with a strong internal compass that helps to govern the outward actions of the individual. Enroll your child in a small class to get started and see how their confidence in their own abilities will grow.
If your child feels anxious at the idea of a group class, another option is one-on-one swimming lessons. This way, your child gets singular attention from the teacher and doesn't have to worry about failing in front of other peers. Swimming lessons require focus on learning the different techniques, which can chase out anxious thoughts as your child focuses on the movements. Swimming itself can be a stress reliever and the endorphins from the exercise can improve positive feelings.
Art therapy helps a child to confront their feelings of anxiety and what might lie behind them through a friendly medium. During art therapy, a counselor can work with your child on healthy emotional expression while completing drawings, paintings, or sculptures.
For more information, contact a local kids yoga studio or recreation center.