This secret to calm anxiety attacks in children is one that I have used often to help my kids when they are experiencing panic or anxiety attacks. It is simple to do and very comforting and grounding.
Sadly, panic and anxiety attacks are things that several of my children have had to endure. My daughters had night terrors and panic attacks for the first few years after we adopted them. My oldest son has seizures and occasional vertigo which lead to anxiety attacks.
I learned this technique by combining things I learned as I tried to help them. It is so calming to me as their mom to know that I have a way to help them when they need me.
Secret To Calm Anxiety Attacks In Children:
- Have the child sit in a comfortable position next to you.
- Gently squeeze the outside of their arms starting just below their shoulders and going down to just above their elbows. When you get to the elbows, go back and start at just below the shoulders again.
- Talk to them calmly and ask them to name 3 things they can see, hear, and touch.
- Encourage them to breath slowly in through their nose and out their mouth.
- Squeezing their arms gently and having them take slow deliberate breaths is physically grounding. Naming 3 things they can see, hear, and touch, is mentally grounding.
I just used this tonight with my son. My son was having a seizure but he was conscious and aware of what was happening. I hate that! It is so scary for him. His body is moving and he has no control. His eyes are rolling as well which makes him feel like the room is spinning. Just imagine how scary that would be. This is a perfect recipe for a panic attack. My son is not able to answer my questions about what he sees, hears, and touches, so I squeeze his arms and sit close enough that he can feel me close to him. It is amazing and so wonderful how comforting this is for him and how this helps him emotionally and physically.
Tonight, I taught my daughter how to do this. She sat close to him and squeezed his arms. Within seconds he had stopped crying and his breathing calmed. He was able to close his eyes and relax for the rest of the seizure. It was such a relief to see him calm.
Being able to help a child who is experiencing panic or anxiety is so important for me as a mom. I am grateful that I know this secret to calm anxiety attacks in children.