Anxiety in preschoolers and in teens/young adults seems to be as contagious as the flu these days.
Living in unstable homes or unsafe neighborhoods understandably leads to some of the cases of anxiety. However, toddlers as well as adolescents experience “free floating anxiety,” where a person can’t pinpoint WHY he feels the way he does. Absent a cause, the brain will fill in with the blanks – boogie monsters for our youngest ones, things like social anxiety and health fears for our older ones. It happens even in – especially in? – stable, loving and affluent families.
A look at our earliest reflexes gives a hint to what might be going on. Less sensory input can lead to increasing anxiety, and our modern and affluent lifestyle:
· Expectant moms are more sedentary, sitting at computers rather than doing physical housework of our grandmothers
· C-section rates are still rising – look how much less sensory input happens there!
· Babies are super-pillowed, infant-seated, put in walkers way before they’d otherwise be walking, etc. rather than being put on his abdomen to learn to crawl
· Babies are looking at two-dimensional surfaces way more than they should, especially
Adults who substitute treadmills for walking outside experience even such tiny differences as stepping on and off curbs, breezes, changes in sunshine, etc., that make a difference in both caloric intake and sensory input.
All these interfere with the maturing of the nervous system. Brain Gym® and Rhythmic Movement Training are the quickest, easiest-learned, methods that I’ve found, to help mature the nervous system. Their specific sensory input increases connections within your brain.
It’s not just anxiety that responds to increased connections within the nervous system. The ways we cope with anxiety also get help: insomnia, explosive tempers, controlling and addictive behaviors decrease as stress from trying to manage an undeveloped nervous system melts away. Also, things like dyslexia, attention and focus, poor social skills, kids who can’t break out of a dreamy state, people with sensory processing, all benefit greatly.
Therapists of all kinds learn as much as teachers and parents in these classes; it’s a very cost-effective way to become incredibly helpful to anybody – babies to the elderly, from struggling with life to those who would just like to optimize life.