How to Relax: Kids and Anxiety, Stress and Anger

Do you have a child who struggles with anxiety, stress or anger? It can be particularly difficult for some children (and some adults) to regulate their emotions.

I thought I’d share some of the activities I’ve found useful in my work with anxiety and anger. Most of the activities in this post are directed at young people, however, many of them can also be helpful to adults. In fact, I often suggest my clients get their whole family involved! The whole point of these exercises is to become relaxed, calm and have fun.

1. ‘Just Breathe’ is a beautiful, short video of kids describing their experiences of feeling angry and how they calm themselves through taking deep breaths.
By Julie Bayer Salzman and Josh Salzman – Wavecrest Films.

2. The Smiling Mind App
This is a free, Australian web and app mindfulness program, developed by psychologists specifically for young people. It’s very easy to use and only takes 10 minutes to do. I’ve introduced Smiling Mind to many young people who really love it and use it daily. Ten minutes to a more relaxed you!
Click here for the Smiling Mind web site and click here to find the app.

3. Three posters (free and printable) on ideas to help kids calm down. These are great visual cues. They’re from a blog called Childhood 101, written by Christie Burnett.
9 Calm Down Ideas For Kids’ (such as “Punch a pillow” or “Draw a picture”)
Five Steps To Managing Big Emotions
Calm Down Yoga For Kids

4. Mandala drawing and colouring
The simple act of drawing or colouring mandalas can produce feelings of calm and relaxation. Whilst involved in the process, we become focused and in-the-moment, hence able to let go of other thoughts and feelings – even if just for a while.
There are plenty of free printable mandalas available online, or you could have a go at drawing your own.

If you’d like more information about anxiety, stress, anger, mindfulness or to make an appointment, please contact me.
Phone: 0439 995 302

Toni Jackson is a compassionate, creative and experienced Counsellor and Psychotherapist in Perth, Fremantle and Mundaring, Western Australia. She has worked over the past 20 years in the areas of women and adolescent mental health and wellbeing, counselling adults, adolescents, children and families from many different backgrounds. Toni uses counselling, psychotherapy, art therapy (such as drawing, painting, sand play, clay modelling and sewing), mindfulness and cognitive behaviour therapy to support her clients’ unique needs. Toni specialises in working with women who are experiencing anxiety, stress or depression; and young people struggling with anxiety, self esteem or self identity.
Toni’s qualifications include a BA Psychology, Grad Dip Women’s Studies and accreditation as a Psychotherapist (GT).



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