Some of my clients are shorter than me, but only because they are kids. We talk about things like developing their own code of honor, strategies for school, and family issues. I’m often surprised though, about the level of worry and anxiety they are experiencing at such a young age and am grateful I can help them.
Coaching kids can be rewarding and fun. They are curious, engaged, and open to new ideas. They also challenge me to keep things simple and create metaphors that help them remember.
It occurred to me that we adults can benefit from these simple metaphors and perspectives, too. So, here is my child’s version of talking about worry and the fear it creates.
- Fear is like a dog. It can bark a lot, especially if something happens like someone coming to the door. Treat it like you do your dog. Let it know everything is okay and tell it to be quiet.
- Love is always stronger than worry or fear. Love is your super power and you can use it to stop fear.
- Worry stories are like movies in your mind. They are a fake world and you can come back to the real world any time you want.
- Worry may feel big and powerful, but it isn’t. Your brain holds billions of thoughts and what you are worrying about is just one of them. It is a teeny, tiny speck of a thought in your super powerful brain.
- You can train your brain. Practice switching your thoughts to someone or something you love.
- Worry is a big waste of time. Wouldn’t you rather be playing or watching TV?
- Worry is confused. It’s trying to protect you, but forgot you are bigger now and don’t need it’s help anymore.
- Most of the things you worry about never come true.
- There is nothing wrong with you. Everyone worries sometimes. You are a child of God, beautiful, smart, and more powerful than you know.
Strategies for when worry, fear, or anxiety show up:
- Take deep breaths or count slowly.
- Pray or give your fear to God. He can handle it.
- Think about someone you love. Love cancels worry. You can even keep a picture of them with you to help.
- Focus on what is happening right now. Stare at something around you or the veins in your hand and let everything else slide away.
- Don’t get caught up in the worry movie. Come back to the real world.
- Remember fear is just a tiny thought in your brain and you are more powerful than it is.
Kids respond well to these concepts. They work for me, too. My hope is that someone, maybe even you, will be able to use them to feel better next time the worry dog decides to start barking at your door.
Please share this post with anyone you think can benefit from it, whether it be for themselves or their kids.
If you would like a deeper level of support around anxiety, fear, and worry and are considering working with a coach or counselor, I would love to talk to you. You can contact me here or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay