How to Help Your Anxious Child

Sep 8, 2015 | Anxiety, Children, Hypnotherapy



No-one wants an anxious child!  Anxiety in children can come from a number of different sources although it can often be anticipation of events causes the issue. So what’s going on and how can you help your anxious child?

For example, as my daughter heads back to school for a new school year with some new teachers, new timetable and other new things, I can see her anxiety rising. It’s common, for her and for other children.

The world is a complex and sometimes a confusing place, so children can quite naturally feel a little anxious every once in awhile. Short periods of anxiety don’t appear to do any harm as long as the anxiety is short lived. For some children, however, tension and anxiety can become a commonplace and regular response to daily events, and this is where it can become a problem.

How Do You Spot the Anxious Child?

An anxious child may be affected physically in a range of ways. They may complain of headache, tummy ache or feeling sick; they may have faster heart-rate, shallow breathing, be fidgety or fussy, quieter or more talkative. They may also seem to have difficulty listening or following instructions (think about how you feel when you are worried or anxious!).

For something school related there may be worries regarding their performance in class and even criticism from teachers, tutors and friends can all result in feelings of prolonged panic or anxiety. There could also be issues with friendships, peers or even bullying. The issue is that when a child develops panic and anxiety they can become withdrawn, difficult, uneasy or fearful and this can have a serious effect on their development. They may begin to avoid places or people that cause that reaction in them. For instance, tension and anxiety at high school can lead to absenteeism, as they try to avoid the negative feelings or the circumstances that cause those feelings.

An anxious child can have trouble sleeping, become moody, exhibit a lessening of concentration at school, neglect social events and even try alcohol and drug abuse if the matter is just not addressed early enough. Early resolution of anxiety stop these problems being adopted as normal behaviours and therefore affecting them for his or her entire life.

What Can You Do?

As a parent or carer of an anxious child you can be empathic about their behaviour and responses. Try to always see that the behaviour is a way of communicating how they feel. Tell them you understand they must feel worried or anxious and that it’s OK to have those feelings.  You can also probably make some educated guesses at what is going on (as I did with my daughters’ time for return to school). Sometimes we don’t know the reason though, and sometimes we can’t do anything about the cause, but we can still help the child with their feelings. Here’s a technique I teach many children which can help them control their breathing, which in turn reduces their anxious feelings.

Balloon Breathing



How Hypnotherapy Helps an Anxious Child

When a child is battling with anxiety and the cause is unknown or the child is struggling a lot, it is likely that the behaviours will be triggered as a result of the beliefs held at a subconscious level which is where hypnotherapy comes into play. By using hypnotherapy an anxious child can be helped to understand these feelings and address the underlying beliefs.  Learning tools and techniques can help them change the way they think and respond in those previously anxious situations.

Children are more open to hypnosis than adults because they’re more likely to enjoy daydreaming and have active imaginations. Hypnosis is our natural learning state, which children adopt frequently, so they normally relax and really feel comfortable very quickly. An anxious child can imagine ways to let go of their troubles and create powerful visualisations to help their anxiety.



Find out more at and read about testimonials from people I have worked with.  

If you need help incorporating any of the above get in touch for a complementary telephone consultation and learn how I can help you incorporate easy things in your life.

This post discusses: anxiety, balloon breathing, behaviour, breathing, child hypnosis, children, school, sleep
Emma Langton

Emma Langton

Executive Leadership Coach

Emma hosts the Lessons for Leaders podcast. Each week she brings you lessons, learnings, tips and advice to enable you to lead with ease in business, without stress, doubt and overwhelm so that I help you to increase your performance, be resilient and thrive in life. Emma has been providing coaching, training and therapeutic support for executives since setting up her business in 2011. Prior to that she spent over 20 years with people at the top of national and multi-national training and communication businesses.


  1. markhaddin

    Hypnosis is our natural learning state, which children adopt frequently, so they normally relax and really feel comfortable very quickly.

    • Emma Langton

      Hi Mark
      That’s right and they can also be very active whilst in hypnosis too. Thanks for reading and commenting



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