Children/youth and anxiety
Anxiety is becoming an increasing issue for our tamariki. The causes are varied but the responses are similar. In the teen population it is often pressure on oneself to perform and achieve.
Anxious thoughts, sore tummies, headaches, panic, dizziness, poor attendance to school, anger the list goes on.
Schools are doing their best and introducing mindfulness which has wonderful research behind it.
The forgotten component is breathing well at baseline, not the attempted calming exercises that are done in class (which unfortunately are often taught poorly. I see many children doing large chest breaths as their interpretation of a 'deep breath').
Many children are mouth breathers, this in itself stimulates a pattern of breathing which will create anxiety (see above section re anxiety) as well as poor oral health, snoring and alteration in facial development.
Breathing well as much as possible, recognising when it is not optimal and bringing it back to baseline, will not only reduce anxiety but prevent it from occurring.
Another benefit is that breathing well has shown to increase memory recall before tests and also improves sports performance.
It's a win win!