7 Common Factors of Stress and Anxiety…and What Helps

stress and anxiety and what helps

Stress and anxiety is something that we don’t want our kids to go through. It’s painful. It can feel hopeless. 

It can be frustrating because you see your kids struggling in school. Maybe struggling with behaviors with friends. Or struggling at home and it’s just hard.  It’s stressful. 

Answers are what we need. Hope is what we need. Understanding is what we need. 

Why are our kids revved up and stress out?

The 7 most common ROCKET FUELS to the Sensory System are:

Screentime.

We’ve talked a lot about screen time.  There are 6 factors that seem to especially aggravate the sensory system. You can read all about it here. These factors behave like rocket fuel. Especially to a system that isn’t able to get information to and from the brain properly and freely. (That’s where a specially trained pediatric chiropractor is so important.)

These 6 screen time rocket fuel factors trigger the fight, flight or freeze response.  This results in angry meltdowns, tantrums, trouble controlling emotional outbursts, etc.

Fast paced lifestyle.

Studies have shown that a fast-paced lifestyle is very stressful for a child.  It’s a delicate balance between keeping them busy and active…and when it’s too much.

If you find yourself rushing everywhere. Perhaps yelling and stressed out about being on time to this event or that practice. It could be your little one has a meltdown at the mention of it’s-time-to-go.  Maybe it’s time to rethink how the time is spent. There’s a balance.

Inadequate sleep.

How much sleep does a child need to help reduce stress and anxiety? What does sleep do anyway?  I have to admit, if I could choose a superpower I would choose to not need sleep.

However, back to reality… 

Our human bodies need sleep.  Sleep gives the brain a chance to ‘clear the dashboard’. To reset. To recharge.

It’s during sleep that muscles grow and development. You can’t buy that. There’s no way to package and sell that. Though many try. You simply have to provide adequate sleep opportunity for your child to be able to reap the benefits.

Food Sensitivities. Dyes & Chemicals.

Food is fuel for our body. It’s how our body grows and what it uses for energy. 

However, dyes, pesticides and preservatives are not for fueling a human body. Dyes are added to food for looks – giving a richer, deeper color. 

Preservatives are added to food for shelf life. Which means, it prevents the food from breaking down, not on the shelf and not inside the body for digestion.

Just something to consider as we’re thinking of our child’s growing body and what it needs for fuel.

Confrontation.

Everyone can tolerate a certain amount of stress and anxiety. However, if a child’s ‘cup’ is already almost full, having a parent complain or getting angry with them, leads to their cup overflowing and they shut down. The child doesn’t know how to respond.

Some kiddos even get very explosive with this.

Consider that your child might actually be feeling, truly feeling, that a situation is dangerous. Their brain might really perceive it that way. So, if their sensory system is not functioning properly, then they can absolutely feel danger – in a safe situation.

That’s a key point in parenting. Give your child grace as you understand this. And give yourself grace. Because they can’t help it – and you didn’t know.

Sugars.

We’ve had the blessed opportunity to work with sooo many kids that are just AMPED up. They love sugar so much that they will fight, scream and yell because they know that most times parents will take the easy way and give in.

So, what happens? 

Sugar and stimulants amp up your child’s brain like a drug. They’re chemicals. Stimulants like caffeine.

How can you tell if your child is amped up?

The two most common signs are:

(1) they don’t listen well, and

(2) they don’t have control over their actions, 

…and for some reason we expect them to.

The neurological long term effects in development (how the brain is affected in the long term) is it gives them a tendency to have a ‘bent’ toward over-stimulating activities. Such as, over-stimulating or dangerous situations, constant desire for outside sensory input, chemical use as an adult or a teenager.

What happens if you stop so much sugar?  That’s the good news! 

When we stop eating, drinking and taking stimulants, the brain will adapt and become relaxed. God designed it that way.

‘Helping’ our kids.

God made our brain to develop in a certain process. It’s a process of repetition and progression.

If we interrupt that process and try to help them when they’re brain’s not ready for the next step, that can get in the way. 

Neurologically we need to master one step at a time.

Think…tummy time first which helps in their building strength to hold their head up; then sitting; then crawling; before walking. So make sure they’re going through all of those steps without you forcing them to move on to the next one.

Think of a caterpillar in a chrysalis, working and developing to become a butterfly. On the outside, the chrysalis looks calm and still. However, inside there is an amazing amount of work going on.

And if we decide to ‘help’ and clip the end of that chrysalis before the development and progression has happened.

Well, out comes – not a butterfly and not a caterpillar. 

Repetition, progression, development and proper information are vital in the growth of a child. 

The goal, of course, is to provide an environment for our children’s brain to relax. To be calm. To be successful in school and be more social. 

After chiropractic care, we see over and over – their personality able to surface. They make friends easier. The kids that we work with are able to do better in school because their sensory systems have the ability to allow them to focus.  To sit still. Pay attention.

We all know that the ages and stages of life are REAL. For a child, it’s such a wondrous thing to watch. 

It’s a beautiful thing.

You may notice, as your child gets more and more chiropractic adjustments, they seem to magically be able to handle transitions better. Stress and anxiety seem to melt off. What a beautiful thing to witness.

Wanna chat about your child and their struggles with sensory overload? Click here and tell us what’s going on. Helping kids like yours is exactly what we do best.  And you’ll find, it helps not just your child but your whole family.

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