Anxiety in Children and NLP

Can NLP help your child overcome anxiety?

Anxiety in children affects not only the child who suffers, but the entire family.

I have been working with children with Selective Mutism for many years and after my training in NLP I have used games and techniques to help the child’s anxiety with communication.

When your child is frightened and worries constantly about things that most children never give a second thought to, it can impact your life dramatically.

NLP and Its effect on Anxiety in Children

NLP is often an effective tool for developing behavioural flexibility and competence. Neuro refers to the brain and neural network, and linguistic is the content or words, whether spoken aloud or only thought. We are all scared of something whether it is snakes, flying in an airplane, or elevators, and for children with SELECTIVE MUTISM is fear of talking, answering questions, having their voice heard.

The reason why so many people are terrified of certain objects or activities, is to do with how the brain interprets signals and processes information.

Anxiety in children often results in irrational thoughts which can lead to physical symptoms such as stomach aches, a racing heart, sweating or freezing. Usually, by the time the child starts having the physical symptoms, they don’t even realize which thought they had that caused these symptoms. Children who suffer from anxiety often have frightening thoughts about the most common things.

Since Neuro-linguistic Programming deals with the brain, language, and programming, it’s often effective in helping to reduce anxiety in children. In essence, NLP describes the dynamics between the mind and language, and how that connection affects the body and behaviour. NLP often helps build confidence in children with anxiety while also helping them manage stress, reduce guilt and depression, and minimize those fearful thoughts that make them so anxious.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming Helps Change Beliefs, Helping to Reduce Anxiety

NLP is believed to work on several levels, including beliefs, identity, purpose, behaviour, and environment. These levels are essential and help children to achieve improvements and change negative values, improving self-esteem, confidence, and self-motivation. Children who are shy (and often anxious) can become confident and able to express their thoughts and feelings; initially at home and then they relax outside.

Children are often anxious and they put a protective “shell” around themselves because of their insecurities, which is part of the reason for the constantly frightening or worrying thoughts. In their minds, that scary moment is likely to happen again and again.

Anxious children cannot rationalize their thoughts; NLP therapy helps children by providing not only emotional support, but the ability to understand why they feel the way they feel and resolve these conflicts.

Children and NLP – Changing Lives

Certainly that talking about neural pathways, language, and programming sounds quite  complex; however NLP is basically the study we make mental maps inside our brain, and how those maps are used to make sense out of what can be a confusing life. In children, uncomfortable feelings and anxiousness can often be eliminated because they are taught how to change these maps, resulting in increased confidence and decreased fear.

Think about how as adults, we interpret things differently at times. For example, two witnesses to an accident may have different opinions about how it happened. This is due to the fact that all people have different “mental maps;” it is the same way with children.

For children, changing their mental map can help them overcome anxiety and panic attacks. Imagine if your child no longer suffered with constant fear and worry, and had an increased level of confidence and self-esteem. Both your child and your entire family would lead happier, more fulfilled lives without the constant anxiety. Anxiety in children is common today, and among the many therapies and techniques that can help your child lead a productive, happy life, NLP is one that should be considered.

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Anna Biavati - Smith SLT presents
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