Helping Kids Deal With Stress + Anxiety

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Stress is all around us. As adults, we usually know what it feels like and how to cope, but children are also constantly inundated with stressful demands and stimuli, often without the same knowledge and skills adults have.

Some stress can be good for kids, but having a growth mindset is imperative – that is to say, the knowledge that mistakes aren’t failures. As an elementary teacher, being mindful in this way is a part of everything we do at school, but it applies far beyond the classroom. Try applying these strategies to combat stress at home, and move forward with control and confidence in all of life!

Each strategy includes a suggested GoNoodle video – these calming videos are excellent, free tools to incorporate more mindfulness into your family’s life. Totally new to GoNoodle? Download the free app.

1. Take a Breath

Guided breathing exercises help kids slow down, recenter, and take control of emotions. GoNoodle’s Rainbow Breath video provides a beautiful and helpful visual of taking a breath to eliminate the stress. Try Rainbow Breath.

2. Hit the Reset Button

When kids find themselves stuck on a stressful assignment or in an anxious moment, the brain might need to pause, take a break, and just start over. In just three and half minutes, kids can be guided through one of GoNoodle’s refocusing exercises to strengthen their growth mindset. This is the perfect video to do with your children before sitting down to work on homework, or before they leave for school. Try Begin Again.

3. Let the Chaos Settle

Tangible examples and metaphors help many kids identify and manage negative emotions like anxiety. GoNoodle’s video ‘Swirling’ is a focus tool that teaches kiddos to visualize all the chaos around them settling into a quiet pile. Try Swirling.

4. Set Intentions

These are perfect to do before leaving for school in the morning, plus they also provide a great conversation starter after school. GoNodle’s one-minute intention setters guide kids through creating their intention for the day. Try Think About It.

5. Hug It Out

Before or after a stressful event everyone needs a hug. One of GoNoodle’s characters, Maximo, guides kiddos through a mindful hug stretch that incorporates cross-lateral movement, an important motion for brain development. Try Hug It Out.

Totally new to GoNoodle? Download the free app.

Marcy is a first grade teacher in Beaverton, OR, mom, and is an expert in using mindfulness strategies to help kids deal with stress and anxiety.

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