2 Easy Ways to Beat Stress and Anxiety
For many families, social and academic issues related to school are the biggest sources of stress. When under stress, your child may start acting out, become irritable, moody, or start having stress-related symptoms like low appetite, stomachaches, headaches, or difficulty sleeping.
How Stress Manifests According to the Five Element Types
Every child will manifest the effects of stress differently according to his or her Five Element type. The Five Elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water, and each element corresponds to different temperament styles and personality characteristics. In addition, each element corresponds to different parts of the anatomy and physiology, so you'll see different physical issues come up related to the element affected. Click Here to Learn Your Child's Five Element Type.
Stress Affects the Element Types Differently:
Wood Child: Irritability, anger, defiance, back talking, headaches, muscle spasms
Fire Child: Overexcitability, moodiness, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, flushed face, hives
Earth Child: Worry, racing thoughts, stomachaches, nausea
Metal Child: Emotional, easily in tears, frustration, fixated on negative thoughts, chest tightness
Water Child: Fears, phobias, afraid to sleep alone, withdrawn, depressed
Stress causes a cascade of physiological effects in the body that are activated by the sympathetic nervous system, leading to the symptoms above. One way to counter these effects is to activate our parasympathetic nervous system, which has a calming and relaxing affect on the body.
There are 2 easy things you can do to quickly reduce the stress response.
#1 Practice Belly Breathing
Deep full belly breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system and turns off the effects of stress. I know this sounds simple to just breathe, but you'd be surprised how shallow people breathe when they are stressed! I recommend having your child take 4 - 6 deeps breaths if they seem stressed. Have him put his hand on his belly and instruct him to make his hand rise when he takes in a deep breath. Then have him slowly breath out over 4-5 counts. Another way to get younger children to breathe deeply is to have them pretend to blow out a candle, or take a deep breath and pretend to blow up a balloon. The practice of blowing up balloons is also a great way to distract kids if they're overexcited, irritated, or fixated on negative feelings. You can talk about the color, size, and shape of the balloons in order to engage their imagination. It's actually really fun.
#2 Auriculotherapy with Ear Seeds
Auriculotherapy has been clinically proven to help with stress and anxiety, depression, pain, addiction, allergies, PMS, vision problems, and so much more. Many health conditions can be treated with auriculotherapy as a main form or supplementary form of treatment. You can think of auriculotherapy like reflexology for the ear. Certain spots on the ear correspond to areas of the body, such as the head, neck, back, lungs, stomach, and shoulders. In addition, there are "master points" on the ear that have a regulatory effect on the nervous system. By stimulating the following three points on the ear you can activate the parasympathetic nervous system and induce the body's relaxation response (see photo for details):
- Shenmen - stress reducing
- Point Zero - calming and grounding
- Sympathetic Autonomic - induces a relaxation response
You can find the points in the picture below by looking for marks, discoloration, or tenderness around the areas that correspond to the points.
When it comes to stimulating these points, I like ear seeds best because you can literally put them on and they'll work in the background while you or your child go about your day. But, you can also stimulate these points by applying pressure with a clean, rounded toothpick.
Discover Your Child's Unique Five Element Type.
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