Calming Anxiety in Your Child Naturally

Anxiety is a normal human response to dangerous or stressful stimuli. It is an essential human emotion that helps us to navigate through threatening situations with as little self-harm as possible.

But what happens when anxiety ceases to be a normal physiologic response to a threat and suddenly starts to control your life?

Excessive anxiety that interferes with daily life is a pervasive illness. If you have a child with anxiety, then you know the distress this disorder can cause. Fortunately, if your child suffers from excessive anxiety, there is hope.

Anxiety disorders, including social phobia, separation anxiety, and generalized anxiety disorder, are considered to be the most frequent mental disorders in children and adolescents [1].

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America estimates that 1 in 8 children suffer from an anxiety disorder and that the majority of people suffering from anxiety can wait 10 years or more before they seek help.

Some symptoms of anxiety in children include excessive worry and fear, panic attacks, refusing to speak and make eye contact in uncomfortable situations, avoiding certain situations like social interactions or classes, becoming emotionally numb or irritable, ritualization, and needing constant reassurance.

These are but a few symptoms that children with anxiety might be experiencing [2].

Assessing and diagnosing anxiety in your child should be done by your health care professional since the causes of anxiety can vary.

Some disorders to consider that can cause anxiety includes excessive thyroid function, an imbalance of neurotransmitters, or even adrenal dysfunction.

Magnesium and Exercise

Although anxiety disorders can be debilitating, there are some natural remedies that can be effective in reducing anxiety symptoms. For example, studies show that multivitamins high in magnesium have been beneficial in reducing anxiety [3].

This study also showed that a combination of magnesium and vitamin B6 was effective for reducing anxiety associated with PMS (premenstrual syndrome) [3].

Physical exercise has been proven to be very effective at reducing anxiety symptoms in a wide range of patients despite differences in age, health and sex. Studies show that moderate to high intensity aerobic exercises are beneficial in preventing and alleviating anxiety symptoms [4].

Resistance exercises are still encouraged although there is little evidence showing anxiety prevention. This could be due to patient differences in resistance training duration and frequency.

Lavender Oil

Lavender essential oil is another natural therapy that can be extremely helpful in calming anxiety.

Lavender oil can be used in a diffuser or taken internally to produce a calming effect.

Other herbal remedies shown to provide anxiety relief include passionflower, St. John's wort, and valerian [5].

It is always best to speak to a naturopathic physician when taking herbal remedies, especially if you are taking other medications.