5 Skills To Reduce Anxiety

Anxiety is a normal part of life. To help overcome anxiety (for ourselves or our children) we need to create self-esteem and teach positive coping skills. It is important parents, guardians, caregivers, teachers, etc. be on the same page in regards to anxiety and other emotions to help reinforce and implement positive coping skills.

Skills to reduce anxiety include distractions, sensory input, relaxation, positive statements, and rhythmic movement. Not all skills work for every individual and not all skills work in every situation. It is important to practice skills while not in the moment and it is just as important to identify which skill works best for an individual in a specific situation.

  1. Distractions: Color identifying, color counting, object counting. The goal of this skill is to immediately shift from worry to a distraction. This can be done anywhere with anything: colors of cars, find five blue things, how many trucks, how many trees, pictures on the wall, name five items that begin with the letter A, etc. This can be done in the moment.
  2. Sensory Input: What do we feel, hear, see, smell? In the immediate environment name three things you feel (clothes, wind, hair, sun, rocks under feet, etc), three things you hear, three things you see, three things you smell.  This can be done in the moment.
  3. Relaxation: Belly Breathing, Square Breathing, Sun Breathing. This is great to do before things get out of control or after when they are calming down.
  4. Positive Statements: Identifying a skill at which one excels and/or a positive character trait one exhibits. This is something everyone should do regularly for themselves and those around them. Positive self-statements will help create and reinforce self-esteem. Curious how to start? 
  5. Rhythmic Movement: Anything creating rhythmic motion will create sensory input and distractions at the same time. Using the large muscles to create movement will be the most beneficial in the moment before this gets out of control. To learn more about the benefits of rhythmic movement and how to accomplish this check out our post about Experiential Outdoor Therapy5 Skills To Reduce Anxiety



You can implement one, some, or all of these techniques today to start shifting some of those anxious moments for yourself or your kids.

For more lists and helpful information please check out some of our other posts.

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