The Very Real Physical Effect of Anxiety & Tension on Your Child
In today’s modern age, stress is a very real part of most people’s lives, and is something that can be experienced at work, at home, and even at play. But while these types of external stressors can often be alleviated by simply removing yourself from the situations, mental stress is much more insidious. This is because we as humans are often the cause of our internal tension, which can be brought about by a wide variety of factors, but which is immensely more difficult to escape from. And when your body consistently undergoes stress without any form of relief, it turns into distress, which can manifest itself physically and result in chest pain, upset stomach, headaches, and elevated blood pressure, and can even make existing diseases worse.
In fact, according to WebMD:
- 43% of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress
- 75%-95% of all doctor's office visits are for stress-related ailments
- Stress costs American industry more than $300 billion annually
Clearly, consistent stress—whether from your environment or from yourself—is a huge problem in the U.S., not only for adults but for children as well. After all, overstressed and unhealthy children grown into overstressed and unhealthy adults, which is what we’ll be focusing on today.
Are You Causing Your Child’s Stress?
As difficult as this question might be to answer honestly, it’s imperative that you do so. This is because it’s a well-known fact that children are closely connected to their parents’ “inner balance,” and if you’re off balance, then it’s highly likely that your child will be as well.
For example, if you’ve recently visited a doctor because your precious child has abdominal discomfort, it’s very important that you 1) not discuss this with them unless they specifically ask, and 2) don’t discuss these symptoms with others in your child’s presence. Why? Because their subconscious may end up being “planted” with the thought that something is wrong with them. As a result, their existing symptoms may worsen, and new symptoms may even manifest themselves.
How Can You Reduce Your Child’s Stress Level?
First, it should be noted that symptoms associated with chronic conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and migraine headaches are very real and can be debilitating. However, what these diseases all have in common is that they don’t have an immediately apparent organic base, and are often closely associated with general anxiety, inner tension, and overall imbalance. In other words, they’re the very real physical manifestations of mental stresses.
With this in mind, in order to prevent your child from experiencing many types of chronic conditions, and from carrying these symptoms with them into adulthood, they require two things from you:
- Frequent reassurance
- Lots of love
And in order to provide this for them, you as their parent need to work on your balance—your own stressors that can be passed on to them. While it’s definitely hard work, keep in mind that this is ultimately an investment in your child’s health and future!
Have Questions About Helping Your Child Avoid Stress?
If you have questions about how you can prevent your child from experiencing debilitating stress, or to discuss ways to reduce their existing stress levels, call Advanced Family Medicine today at (425) 453-6838 to schedule your appointment.
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