As adults, we think about stress all the time.
Stress about paying the bills.
Stress about looming deadlines at work.
Stress about whether our kids are getting the best possible education.
Which is why the Waldorf Academy, a Toronto elementary private school, has some tips for you and your children to reduce the stress in your life.
Keep reading to learn about stress and children (because they can get stressed too) and what you can do about it.
The Effect Of Stress On Children
Stress is a natural, biological, response to adverse circumstances.
It was evolving the fight-or-flight stress response which allowed our ancestors to survive, and the release of cortisol and adrenaline can be useful in short-term situations.
The prolongation of the stress response, however, and release of these hormones can have an adverse effect on children’s developing bodies.
This is an issue as up to 20% of children have reported experiencing stress and worry, according to data from the American Psychological Association, however many parents underestimate the effect of stress in their child’s lives.
The stress children feel may be different than what their parents are feeling, however it is important to address as mental health issues such as anxiety and depression can have a negative impact on a child’s long-term physiological development.
3 Ways Children And Adults Can Reduce Stress
There are a number of ways to reduce stress in children.
Further, it is important to teach children healthy ways of coping with stress, to avoid the development of unhealthy coping mechanisms later in life.
Practice some of these ideas with your child, and don’t be surprised if both of you experience beneficial effects.
1. Have A Snuggle
Getting close with your loved ones is a proven way to relieve stress.
Close contact prompts the brain to release oxytocin, the hormone which helps mothers bond to their newborn babies.
Oxytocin also helps with reducing stress, managing pain, reducing blood pressure, and improving sleep.
So grab a blanket, and a story book, and get cozy on the couch.
2. Sing Your Hearts Out
Do you get annoyed when your child or partner decides to sing along loudly every time their favourite song comes on in the car?
If their singing is causing you stress, perhaps you should consider singing along with them, instead of complaining.
Singing can help to reduce stress-causing hormones such as cortisol.
It can also stimulate the vagus nerve, which can help to reduce stress on the parasympathetic nervous system.
So next time your child wants to sing along, consider joining in, instead of complaining.
You might find it will do some good for both of you.
3. Have A Dance Party
Dancing is good for you – doctor’s orders.
If you’ve ever watched the hit show “Grey’s Anatomy” you may know that it was a common event for the main characters to deal with their stress by “Dancing it out”.
This wasn’t just a cute trope created for the TV series though – dance has some serious benefits.
Both music and movement have been shown to help reduce stress.
Put them together and you’ve got a powerful prescription for reducing the symptoms of stress.
So put on your favourite tunes and get moving.
Contact Waldorf Academy
The Waldorf Academy is dedicated to helping your child grow in every way possible, and that includes helping them learn to recognize and manage stress in a safe, supportive environment.
If you want to learn more about a Waldorf education for your child, contact us today to set up a meeting.