How To Help Children with Anxiety and Depression Stay Calm

How to Help Children with Depression and Anxiety Stay Calm

By Candice Shaffer of Una Residences, The XI, One Dalton, The Astor, and EVGB

Though we often hear about the many mental health issues affecting the adult population, the mental health needs of children often go overlooked. Unfortunately, largely ignoring the problem has only exacerbated it for decades.

In fact, according to research conducted by Wolters Kluwer Health found that one in 20 children is now struggling with either depression or anxiety. Even more dire, researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia have found that depressed children are six times as likely as their peers to have deficits in skills, whether academic or social, than their non-depressed counterparts.

However, while millions of kids are turning to medication that doesn’t necessarily address their unique needs, there may an additional way to help battle those issues at home: music.

How to Help Children with Depression and Anxiety Stay Calm

That’s right! The right music just might be able to help address some of the more difficult-to-deal-with side effects of anxiety and depression, making it easier to enjoy life on a daily basis. Here’s how:

Music can reduce stress:

Stress is one of the biggest factors contributing to the declining mental health among children around the world, but particularly in the United States. With long hours at school, mountains of homework, and daily afterschool activities, it’s no wonder kids are having a hard time managing the stress of their daily lives.

The good news? Research published in PLoS One reveals that music can help decrease the human stress response. This is making it easier for highly-stressed kids to better handle the countless hurdles their daily life throws at them.

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Music increases the amount of time people spend exercising:

With the amount of time kids spend at recess being slashed throughout the United States and around the globe, it’s no wonder kids are feeling some pent-up frustration that’s not so easily expressed.

Fortunately, researchers at Texas Tech University have found that playing music during exercise makes people work out for longer, so when you and your kids are going for a walk or hitting the gym, make sure you’ve got a great playlist on hand to keep them sweating until that much-needed endorphin rush kicks in.

Music helps stressed-out people sleep better:

One of the most nagging side effects of depression and anxiety is the sleeplessness that often accompanies these conditions. Luckily, there’s hope for kids whose nights are spent tossing and turning.

According to research published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, students who listened to classical music had fewer insomnia symptoms during a trial period than a control group.

Music improves focus:

Ask anyone who’s ever struggled with depression or anxiety and they’ll tell you: it’s virtually impossible to focus when you’re dealing with symptoms—but the right music can help.

Researchers at Stanford Universityhave discovered that music can help make a person’s brain pay attention to specific tasks, making it easier to focus and accomplish what you set out to do.

Music can change your way of thinking:

Even if your kid is feeling like their symptoms are unmanageable, music can make a major difference. In fact, according to researchers at the Behavioral Science Institute of Radboud University Nijmegen in The Netherlands, music can create divergent creative thinking, making it easier to problem-solve and figure out just how to tackle those feelings of anxiety and depression that are making those everyday tasks seem so daunting.

How to Help Children with Depression and Anxiety Stay Calm

While dealing with a child struggling with depression, anxiety, or issues self-soothing can be a struggle, it doesn’t have to be an insurmountable one. Armed with some knowledge and the perfect playlist, you can help your child lead a more relaxing, productive, and altogether enjoyable life.

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