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Is Shyness Genetic? New Scientific Facts Reveal The Answer

Is shyness genetic? I have often wondered if shyness could be passed down through the generations. I don’t recall being so shy in my early childhood, however it certainly crept up on me as I matured.

is shyness genetic

My parents, although they liked a social get together, were reserved and as a result they were not the most outgoing of people. Observing them through a child’s eyes, that this trait controlled and affected their relationships with other people.

Like me, my siblings were shy, or maybe I should say a little withdrawn when around others, particularly within larger groups.  In my sister case, this manifested into acute anxiety later in life, and it seriously put a blight on the quality of her life.

Given my families predisposition, I began to wonder whether shyness was inherited or learned behavior. Could it indeed be a result of a personal response to negative reactions, during the day to day interactions with other people in the formative years.

Importantly, does it lead to acute anxiety later in life that will severely control your relationships with others?

Is Shyness Genetic?

So, do children merely mimicking their parents’ social exchanges or do they inherit a shy gene?

Here is an interesting article reposted with permission from Sean Cooper, a life expert on social shyness and anxiety, and a man with a mission to help others overcome this devastating affliction.

Read on to learn what he has the has to say about this topic…

Sean Cooper on Social Shyness

If you have been shy all your life, then it is easy to believe that shyness could be genetic. For example, I used to be shy as far back as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories are of hiding behind my mother’s leg when guests came over to visit. That’s how shy I was!

But then there are other cases. Many people find that they were never shy as a child, but as they become teenagers or adolescents, they start becoming more withdrawn and introverted. Some people may see this happening and say it’s a “phase” they’re going through, but often these changes stay with someone even as they become an adult.

So what’s the answer? Is shyness genetic or a personality trait or something else altogether? Many people think that shyness is just something someone is born with, like their eye color or height. However, new scientific evidence proves otherwise.

The Scientific Results

What scientists and psychologists have discovered is that shyness is not genetic in the sense that it is engrained into your genes. If a scientist were to look into your DNA, they would not find a “shy gene” that makes you the way you are. So shyness is not genetic in the way most people would assume.

However, scientists have also found that your genes may have had a role to play in causing your shyness. Some people may have a certain gene that makes it easier for them to eventually become shy. The catch is, they only become shy when their gene is combined with a variety of other environmental factors.

Let me explain this in more detail. Whenever someone asks a question about the cause of their shyness, it’s always tricky to answer. The reason why is that shyness does not have one single cause like many diseases would. Shyness is multi-determined, which means that several different factors must work together to cause it in a given person.

Other Factors

Some of the factors in causing shyness are genetic, they are things you are born with. Other factors are environmental, for example: what your parents were like, your early childhood experiences, the culture you grew up in, etc. Although some people may be more likely to become shy because of a part of their genes, this does not mean that they will become shy for sure. It also means that someone without the “shyness causing gene” may also become shy if put into the right environment.

Although genetic factors do come into play when causing shyness, it doesn’t mean that shyness is a part of your genes like most people would assume. Your shyness is not permanent and can be overcome regardless of your biology.

If you found this article: “Is Shyness Genetic?” helpful, then click to learn more about how to overcome shyness at my blog.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Sean_W_Cooper/967373

Shy Children – Helping with a Common-Sense Approach

Shyness can be defined as the tendency to feel uncomfortable or worried during social encounters, particularly with strangers. Shyness may also mean feeling nervous, anxious, self-conscious, or insecure around people. Often, shy children want to interact with others but don’t because of fear.

That said, a good many people are reserved when introduced to new people, or asked to give a presentation, most people show physical or emotional responses that characterize shyness, such as blushing, or feeling speechless when with others. Children are no different.

Shy Children

However, problems start for the child when shyness becomes a fixed part of their daily life. Some shy children develop this tendency due to harsh life experiences they have had, but others are born shy. Shyness in children can manifest itself suddenly. If this is the case, then an event may have triggered it. Or it may be caused by an anxiety disorder; in this case consulting a professional would help. Whatever the reason shy children need assistance to overcoming their shyness.

When You Should Start Worrying

Most children can be hesitant and don’t easily react comfortably to situations that are new to them, these characteristics are normal in children and there is often nothing to worry about.

However, if these characteristics apply to every possible situation, then there’s a cause for concern and as a parent, you need to help your child overcome this. It is a fine line and you have to look at the actions, reactions that are a result of the emotions felt.

Usually, shy children not willing to make the first move, choosing to stay alone rather than reaching out to their peers, they feel more comfortable standing back from the crowd rather than joining in.

They are indeed likely to be emotionally distressed in situations that involve interaction with others, such as social gatherings, unfortunately this anxiety might prompt them to underestimate their abilities and view their environment in a negative light.

Helping Shy Children to Socialize

Most children start showing an interest in playing with others around the age of two. If your child prefers playing alone during this time, something could be wrong. The good news, however, is that a parent can do a lot to help their child interact with other children.

One of the best ways to train your child develop their social skills is through gatherings. Make use of community events or social groups to teach your child how to interact with others through modeling. Show your child that you can interact easily with people you are not even familiar with.

Learning Through Play…

When children are young they learn through play, this is a very effective teaching tool, and a parent can utilize this to teach their children to socialize.

During a play session with your child, be sure to verbalize specific social skills. Also, use puppets, dolls or even action figures to demonstrate other skills, such as how to invite other children to play, or how to react to an aggressive child. Involve the extended family, as they may help your child learn social skills in a safe environment.

Teaching a child these skills takes time, and mistakes will be made, however, continue these comfortable play sessions in an accepting warm manner until your child develops a better understanding.

Never lose patience as this will surely make the child miss the point of your teachings. Shy children tend to be more sensitive and empathetic than outgoing kids, so gentle teaching usually does the trick.

The Importance of Acceptance

Accepting your child without negative judgments will go a long way to help them feel good about themselves, and they need this comfort, because a lot of shy children have many hurdles to overcome.

One of the most distressing hurdles starts at school. Many shy children are often excluded from groups during play at school. Some are bullied by others in school because of their shyness. Therefore, they need assistance getting past this emotionally as well as the skills to handle this type of situation.

Things You Should Not Do!

As a parent you need to be patient if your child is not developing social skills as fast as you want, be patient and continue to all you can to help your child shyness.

Do not say to them “don’t be shy” this will give them the impression you disapprove, and that there is something wrong with them, or they might feel a sense of shame. Some children become emotionally distressed, and shamming them can only worsen the situation.

Giving the impression that there’s something wrong with your child will not only make him or her feel worse about themselves, but more insecure. Be sure to empathize with your child as this will teach your child to develop empathy, which will in turn help them develop the necessary social skills.

Teach Your Child Social Skills

There’s a strong link between social skills and success in any area of life.

With good social skills, it is easier to build strong relationships with others and excel in life. If your child lacks social skills, intervention and gentle guidance will help.

Below is a summary of how you can greatly assist your shy child to develop their social skills…

  • Interacting With Others

In order for any child to develop social skills, they need to spend time with her peers. By playing with their peers, they will develop intuition about other children and build a connection with them.

Parents should encourage socialization by exposing their children to their peers through play dates or organized activities such as church groups.

  • Set a Good Example

Children learn by what they see us do, not so much what we tell them to do. Be a model of excellent social skills, this means being friendly to everyone, offering assistance to others, as well as demonstrating a relaxed outlook about of all kinds of social interactions.

Make use of every opportunity to show your child how to interact with other people out there. This might seem ineffective, but research has shown that this can benefit children a great deal.

  • Encourage Shy Children to Speak Up

Children who are more open are more likely to have a number of friends. For your child to open up, you need to show love, affection and acceptance. A child who feels loved will talk about all the issues affecting them.

Whenever your child opens up about the difficult things that happened in school, be sure to provide emotion words to aid in expressing themselves.

In Conclusion

Parents are more influential in their children’s lives than they realize. If your child is shy or has difficulty interacting with other kids, you need to help.

These tips are only a starting point to assist shy children. Look for everyday opportunity to help your child to develop social skills that will be extremely beneficial in their everyday life.

Social Anxiety in Children

A big part of growing up, especially during schooling years, is making friends, enduring peer pressure and sometimes being confronted with awkward or embarrassing social situations. Anxiety in children is common and it is normal for children find themselves uncomfortable with such situations such as speaking up in class, reading out loud, using public amenities, participating in extracurricular activities, speaking to people in authoritative positions and making new friends, particularly of the opposite sex.


anxiety in children

Social anxiety in children, also known as social phobia, is commonly recognized to most parents and observers as typical shyness, and, as the saying goes, children should be seen and not heard’, may be disguised as the case of the perfect student’. The thing is, social anxiety and shyness are two extremely different things

While shyness may cause a child to feel unease around others, the discomfort that comes with social anxiety is often so extreme that your child may not react to social situations at all, sometimes even prompting them to take overstressed avoidance tactics of their feared situations.

What Causes Social Anxiety in Children?

The cause of social anxiety disorder, according to doctors, is a combination of environmental factors and genetics.

GENETICS: Many children may suffer social anxiety if at least one of their parents has, or had, an anxiety disorder, though not essentially social anxiety. Doctors believe that this inheritance may partly be expressed via a condition known as behavioral inhibition, where children tend to react negatively to every new thing or situation. An estimated 15% of all children will be withdrawn, shy and irritable in the presence of new people, things or situations. Others are generally fearful; often irritable as infants, fearful and shy as toddlers, and quiet, introverted and cautious as at school age.

ENVIRONMENT: Environmental factors (anything other than genetics) that can cause social anxiety include: disfiguring physical disorders, language or speech problems, neglect, abuse, living with very nervous people and having experienced some extreme embarrassments, such as having diarrhea in class, vomiting in front of people, etc.

Mostly, social anxiety disorder is a combination of both environment and genetics. It takes a heavy genetic load (both parents bearing extreme anxiety) to bring about social anxiety in the absence of environmental issues. Likewise, only a huge environmental factor, i.e. massive neglect or abuse, can cause social anxiety when the family has no nervousness history.

Social Anxiety Symptoms in Children

Signs of anxiety in children differ by age group and gender. Some psychological, behavioral and emotional symptoms may however appear across age lines.

Physical Symptoms Include: shaky voice, difficulty in speaking, experiencing dizziness or feeling faint, nausea, shaking or trembling, hot flashes or sweating, racing heart and red face or blushing.

Behavioral and Emotional Symptoms Include: extreme fear of other people’s judgments, avoidance of social situations and fear of social activities, a compelling urge to stay hidden, quiet, or be invisible, dread of scheduled social events, which begins weeks or days in advance and overwhelming feeling during certain social situations.

The child may also experience fear of situations where they get exposed or introduced to unfamiliar people and doing things that may make them feel thought foolish by others. Some children may even have and express an understanding that their fear is excessive or unreasonable.

Additional signs of social anxiety among children may include: timidity in front of new people or in unfamiliar settings, elective mutism, and freezing, clinging to familiar people, tantrums, blaming others for perceived social failures, crying and misjudgments that strangers are looking at or talking about them.

Among adolescents, these exclusive symptoms may be perceptible: anti-social behavior, truancy, fighting, self-deprecation, too much concern with being talked about or being looked at, taking alcohol to calm anxiety before social events, irritability, sensitivity to criticism or judgment, low self-esteem and feelings of inferiority, extreme test anxiety, and personality rigidity or inflexibility.

Treatment for Social Anxiety Disorder in Children

Treatment may differ from child to child. Some may require one type of treatment while others may require more than one. Before suggesting medication, the pediatrician may start with a few self-help treatments and therapy. Treatment options include:

  1. Group Therapy, in which your child will learn social skills to help them interact with people in social settings.
  2. Exposure Therapy, which entails learning how to slowly confront social situations rather than avoiding them.
  3. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, which involves learning how to curb anxiety through breathing and relaxation and being taught how to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.

Home Treatments Include:

  1. Getting enough sleep (at least 8 hours a day) – lack of enough rest can worsen the symptoms of your child’s social phobia and anxiety.
  2. Avoid caffeine – your child’s symptoms might increase with stimulants such as chocolate, soda and coffee.

If your child’s condition doesn’t improve with any of the above treatments, the pediatrician may prescribe medications for depression and anxiety. These medications do not treat the condition; rather, they improve your child’s symptoms and help him/her function in daily life.

Though some drugs such as Paxil have been proven to ease anxiety in adults, there is no evidence they can work out for kids, and therefore should not be tried whatsoever without the doctor’s permission.

Helping Children With Anxiety

As a parent, you can use these four tips to reduce anxiety in your child:

1. Teach Calming Strategies…

Rapid breathing is the most common symptom of social anxiety in children. To control it, and consequently reduce muscle tension, dizziness and heart rate, have your child follow this routine every time they feel anxious:

  1. Sit in a comfortable position with their back straight, and one hand on the belly and the other on the chest.
  2. Slowly inhale through the nose for five seconds; they should feel the hand on the belly rise while the one on the chest stays still.
  3. Hold their breath for three seconds, and then slowly exhale through the mouth for five seconds.
  4. Repeat the procedure till they regain a steady calm breathing pattern.

2. Conquer Negative Thoughts…

Help your child recognize and identify negative thoughts for what they are: incorrect and unrealistic. Teach them to replace these thoughts with positive ones. Make them feel like no one really cares about what they do as much as they think. Make them say things like, “Yes I might be shaky with my voice, but the others are possibly too nervous about their speeches to even notice.” Or “I’m well prepared for this test, I’ll do just fine.” With practice, your child will learn to reduce their social anxiety triggers prior to appearing in social situations.

3. Teach Problem Solving…

When your child is anxious or expressing fear, show them that you have noticed: “You’re worried about reading in front of your class tomorrow”. Have them reading through the passage multiple times, let them read out loud at the dining table in front of everyone, and don’t tell them what they should do or provide all the answers for them. Let them come up with solutions by themselves. Just don’t forget to applaud them and correct them where necessary.

4. Facilitate Friendships…

Sure, you can’t make friends for your child but you can teach them how to do it themselves. Make them know how to approach unfamiliar children by role-playing. Be the other child’ and let your child approach you asking to know your name, and asking to play or study with you etc. Switch roles and practice till he/she learns to fight the fear and anxiety completely.

Praise their efforts, being specific on what they did right and pointing out areas they need to improve on.
With patience and practice, your child can learn to think more realistically about their fears and learn to confront stressful situations.

‘Scaredies Away’ is a helpful book for parents of anxious children; it is targeted to children in the 6 – 12 age groups, and was written by Barry McDonagh author of Panic Away and Stacy Fiorile a certified school psychologist.

The book is a kid’s guide to overcoming anxiety and worry, and as such is a good place for parents to start when trying to help their child cope with their fear and anxiety.

It is descriptive in a way that children understand, and it gives children the tools to help them overcome their fears and normalize their anxiety symptoms.


What Is Social Anxiety Disorder?

Social Anxiety Disorder is also commonly referred to as social phobia. This is an anxiety disorder where a person has an unusual and excessive fear of being in different kinds of social situations. These people typically suffer from high and unusual amounts of anxiety that stem from a fear of being closely judged, watched, and even criticized by others around them.

Avoiding Social Situations

Social Anxiety

Courtesy of marin (freedigitalphotos.net)

A person that suffers from this particular disorder is actually afraid that he or she will make a lot of mistakes and end up looking bad in front of others. Therefore, they will be embarrassed and even humiliated in some cases in front of everyone.

This particular fear can be made even worse by having a lack of social skills and/or experiences in different social situations.

A person without any social skills will likely suffer from a panic attack from being put into unfamiliar situations.

Therefore, someone that suffers from social anxiety might actually try to avoid the situations to begin with which can result in anticipatory anxiety which is a fear of the situation before they ever get into it. This can occur days or even weeks/months before the event or situation even arises.

In most cases, the person is very much aware that they have an unreasonable fear of being in different social situations. However, they still have yet to overcome the fear. In the following video Sean Cooper talks about the need to make changes in your life if you suffer from shyness and anxiety…

Don’t avoid situations and put up with a narrow life, check out Sean Cooper’s Shyness and Social Anxiety which is aimed to help overcome your social anxiety and live a more interesting fulfilling life.

An Inability to Function at a Social Level

People that suffer from this type of disorder actually suffer from distorted thinking which includes having false beliefs about different situations that they may find themselves in socially. They might also develop negative opinions and emotions about others because of this fear.

Without proper treatment, this type of anxiety disorder can actually negatively interfere with a person’s normal day to day activities and ability to function at a social level. This can end up negatively affecting someone’s work, school, relationships, and more.

People that suffer from this type of anxiety are likely to be afraid of different situations such as speaking in front of people and/or in public. However, a lot of the people that suffer from this type of anxiety actually fear a lot more than one specific social situation.

Some of the different situations that others may fear are…

  • Eating in front of others
  • Working in front of others
  • Being the center of attention
  • Asking questions
  • Giving a presentation in groups
  • Using public toilets
  • Even talking on the telephone

Social anxiety disorder can also be linked to other types of mental illnesses including; panic disorder, depression, and also obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). In actuality, a lot of the people that suffer from this particular disorder actually go to the Doctor because of these other issues that are related instead of going because they suffer from social anxiety symptoms.

The Signs of Social Anxiety

Generally, people that suffer from social anxiety do feel and/or sense that something is ‘off.’

However, a majority of them do not understand and/or recognize their feelings as a sign of an illness.

A lot of the symptoms of this disorder can include the following; avoidance of social situations… intense anxiety  during social situations… even physical symptoms of anxiety which include different things such as sweating, shaking, blushing, and more.

How Common is Social Anxiety Disorder?

Actually, social anxiety is the 2nd most common type of anxiety disorder out there. It is actually also the 3rd most common mental disorder in the United States after alcohol dependence and depression. Believe it or not, but around 19 million Americans currently suffer from social anxiety disorder. This particular disorder generally comes about during adolescence and/or in early adulthood. However, this particular disorder can actually occur at virtually anytime, and it is actually more common in women than it is in men.

What Causes Social Anxiety?

There is no known cause of this particular disorder. It is believed that there are biological, environmental, and psychological factors that play a critical role in the development of it.

1. Biological

Social anxiety disorder is thought to be very closely related to having abnormal function of the brain circuits that actually work to regulate different emotions and this causes irrational responses in the brain. There are also believed to be genetic factors that play a role in developing it, as well. This particular disorder is more likely to occur when a relative suffers from it.

2. Psychological

The actual development of this disorder is also believed to stem from experiencing different embarrassing and/or humiliating experiences in the past. This can include either being bullied by ones friends and/or classmates can cause worry or fear of social situations in children about social situations.  A constant inner dialogue about how they are measuring up can have a negative effect.

3. Environmental

Another factor that is believed to play a role in the development of this disorder is the environment. People that suffer from this disorder may actually develop the fear of being in social situations from actually looking at and observing others in the same role. Therefore, by seeing what happened to someone else, they might develop the same irrational fear.

How Is Social Anxiety Diagnosed?

Social anxiety is actually diagnosed by a Doctor from asking different questions about your medical history. Also, they will perform a psychical exam. While there are no specific lap tests that will prove you have social anxiety disorder, there are ways in which to utilize tests to ensure that a physical illness is not the direct cause of it.

If no physical illness is present and/or found in your body, your Doctor will likely refer you to a psychologist or other type of mental health professional that is specifically trained in order to be able to treat and diagnose mental illnesses. These individuals are specifically trained and educated on how to evaluate a person for anxiety disorder. The Doctor will be able to base their diagnosis on different symptoms that you discuss and how often you suffer from them.

Social Anxiety Disorder Treatment

For social anxiety disorder, the best and most effective treatment available is cognitive behavioral therapy. Medication may also be used to help ease the symptoms of the disorder so that the treatment sessions are more effective overall.

Children With Anxiety: Helping a Child with Anxiety Problems

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems in children and teenagers. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, around 1 in 8 children suffer from anxiety at some point in their lives. If untreated, this anxiety can lead to serious problems in life including depression, increased likelihood of substance abuse, missed opportunities in career and relationships, and a general decrease in the quality of life.

Fortunately, anxiety is relatively easy to treat – especially if detected early. The only problem is that most parents don’t detect it early enough. As such, it keeps festering slowly for years, and by the time it manifests, it is quite advanced. Therefore, it is imperative for a parent to pay keen attention to their child, so that they can notice any early manifestations of anxiety. The starting point is understanding what anxiety is. So, the ultimate question is:

Children with Anxiety

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What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal, natural reaction to a stressful situation. We all experience anxiety from time to time. When we perceive something to be stressful, our body releases a hormone called adrenaline. This hormone prepares the body for a fight or flight response. Anxiety isn’t actually a bad thing. There are certain situations where it can actually be beneficial.

Anxiety about a forthcoming test can motivate you to work harder, and thus perform better. When crossing a busy street, a little anxiety can keep you focused, alert and decrease your chances of getting run over.

The problem arises when we fail to effectively cope with anxiety. As such, rather than becoming a positive influence, it can become debilitating. For children and teenagers, the effect can even be worse – since they are often not equipped with the life skills to positively handle their anxiety.

Basically, anxiety can broadly be divided into two types i.e. normal anxiety and abnormal anxiety. In children and teens, understanding these two types is critical if early potential anxiety problems are to be effectively dealt with. Let’s take time to consider the two types of anxiety.

Normal Anxiety in Children and Teens

Being anxious is part and parcel of growing up. As children begin to explore the world, they will encounter unfamiliar situations. The normal reaction to these situations is feeling anxious. The anxiety will typically manifest in three forms i.e. the physical, mental and behavioral.

Physical manifestations are bodily reactions to anxiety-inducing situations. These reactions are typically unpleasant, and arise from the effect of adrenaline on the body. They include heart palpitations, feeling tense, breathing difficulties, feeling shaky, stomach cramps, feeling sick, sweating, and feeling dizzy and breathing very fast.

The bodily reactions are designed to be normal. They are supposed to prepare the body for fight or flight responses. However, sometimes they trigger mental manifestations.

The mental manifestations are thoughts which accompany the feelings of anxiety, the mental state that results from insufficient coping skills when faced with a difficult challenge. They are typically fearful or worrisome thoughts. For instance, a child can see a dog and think “It is going to bite me”.

The behavioral manifestations are basically the actions which children take in reaction to anxious situations. There are two most common behaviors are avoiding the anxiety inducing situations, or seeking reassurance from their parents.

As children grow up, there a numerous things which they will be anxious about. For instance, things which children commonly worry about include darkness, dogs, being on their own, ghosts and monsters. With time, they either outgrow these anxieties or learn to cope with them.

However, not all children outgrow or cope with their anxiety. Some become incapacitated by the anxiety. This is when anxiety becomes a problem.

Anxiety in Teenagers

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When Anxiety Becomes a Problem

There are some tell-tale signs which indicate that a child or teenager is having anxiety problems. The common anxiety symptoms are the following:

  • Somatic complaints such as constantly complaining about headaches or stomach aches – especially when they are about do something which they are uneasy about
  • Sleep difficulties including trouble sleeping alone, having nightmares or difficulty falling asleep
  • Constant worry and often needing reassurance
  • Being afraid of, and frequently avoiding certain situations, or overeating to a situation
  • Difficulty socializing with other children
  • Reluctance to ask for help
  • Occasional outbursts of anger
  • Crying or clinging to the parent (specifically for your children)
  • Experiencing sudden and frequent panic attacks.

Anxiety problems are often centered on specific situations. As such, the manifestations will usually be tied to specific situations. In children and teenagers, anxiety can be divided into the following categories.

Separation anxiety – this is anxiety which arises from being separated from their parental figure. In younger children, it arises from the fear of being away from their parents. In teens, it can manifest in the fear of something happening to their parents e.g. the fear of dread, accidents or imminent death.

School anxiety – this is anxiety which arises in relation to the school environment. Its causes can range from a fear that other kids will not like them, to a fear of being bullied or humiliated; or not being able to cope with school work, for example test anxiety, mathematical anxiety.

Social anxiety – this is anxiety which arises from social situations. It is typically manifested by stranger anxiety, nervousness when interacting with strangers, or reluctance to join other children in play.

Fears and Phobias – this is anxiety which arises out of debilitating fear of real or imaginary threats. However real fear is not the same as anxiety… Some real threats may be dogs, while imaginary threats may be loud noises, or ghost.

Generalized anxiety – this is being anxious about anything and everything. Children who have generalized anxiety are constantly feeling anxious. However, they cannot seem to put a finger on the thing which is causing them to be anxious.

Helping children with anxiety

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to Help a Child with Anxiety Problems

Helping children with anxiety requires patience, tact and keenness. On the one hand, there is need to help the child to effectively deal with the anxiety-arousing situations. On the other hand, there is need to avoid the child becoming overly dependent on the parent. The following tips can help a child or teenager to effectively deal with anxiety.

1. Identify the anxiety trigger

Anxiety rarely occurs in a vacuum. There is often something which triggers it. As such, the first step towards helping the child is to identify the trigger. This can be done through either observation or asking the child.

2. Understand the child’s perception of threat

To an adult, feeling anxious about a ghost seems quite silly. However, some children think that ghosts are real. Therefore, for an adult to help a child such an anxiety, they have to empathize with the child. The same principle applies to any other trigger for anxiety. You need to understand the child’s perception – even if you know that it is erroneous. Encourage them to talk about how they feel; this is the only way you can get into their minds.

3. Provide reassurance

Once you understand the child’s perception, you can now address them by providing reassurances. Assure them that it is normal to feel the way they do. Then go ahead and provide them with positive encouragement. Inform them that everything will be alright.

4. Encourage the child to face to face their fears

The best way to empower the child is by teaching them how to cope with it. One way is through encouraging them to face their fears. This is the only way they can learn that anxious feelings can be effectively handled. Therefore, you shouldn’t avoid situations simply because it makes the child anxious. Take the child into anxiety-arousing situations, and provide reassurances, even as you help her to face them.

5. Model healthy ways of handling anxiety

Children learn mostly by imitation. As such, the best way a parent can do is to show children how to handle anxiety. The starting point is the parent’s own anxiety. A parent who, when faced with stressful situations, panics and loses her cool is likely to pass on that to the children. If a child observes a parent getting overwhelmed by anxiety, it will become difficult for her to effectively handle hers.

6. Don’t reinforce the child’s fears

Some parents use a child’s fears as motivation to make them do certain things. For instance, a parent who knows that a child is afraid of dogs may say things like “if you don’t go to bed, I’ll go outside and bring a dog.” Such things just worsen a child’s anxiety. Therefore, you should try to alleviate the child’s anxiety – not encourage them.

7. Seek professional help

The above 7 tips can be used for helping children with anxiety problems. These are tips to help a parent handle their child’s natural response to their environment and situations around them, and should in no way replace expert help if needed.

If the child’s anxiety levels are beyond normal, then the best course is to seek help from a counselor or psychologist.

In a nutshell, anxiety is a natural response to stressful situations. In children and teenagers, feeling anxious is a normal part of growing up. However, it is when anxiety interferes with the child’s development that it becomes problematic. In such cases, unless properly handled, it can lead to an anxiety disorder that can cause numerous problems later in life. So helping children with anxiety problems in a sympathetic and encouraging way is part and parcel of effective parenting.

Natural Remedies for Panic Attacks

Anxiety is a very common condition nowadays. This has mainly been influenced by the pace of life we have made since we are forced to be aware of everything and less care of ourselves. Panic attacks are one of the main consequences of anxiety. During panic attacks, one may feel fear causing symptoms such as shortness of breath, tachycardia, tremor, dizziness among others. Studies indicate that childhood aromas evoke calmness of the nervous system, makes up a good start for the natural treatment of panic attacks.

There are a few remedies that have been traditionally used for anxiety, because although the worries and stress of modern life have increased the number of cases, men and women of all ages have suffered anxiety for many years. We have therefore identified some of the natural remedies for panic attacks that everyone can use at their own pace and comfort level.

Woman Suffering from Depression

by David Castillo Dominici (freedigitalphotos.net)


Breathing Remedy

Learning to control your breathing is one of the panic attack remedies that can be very useful in your day to day goings on in your life. Train yourself to slow down your breathing every time you feel you are going to have a panic attack. Breathe in 5 seconds and hold for 2 to 3 seconds, and breathe out in at least 7 seconds. Although this will not prevent panic attacks, it will make them less severe. Retraining is another breathing method that can be practiced even when you don’t have a panic attack.

Breathing Remedy for Anxiety

by Ohmega1982 (freedigitalphotos.net)

Snack Remedy

When people are hungry, it is almost universal that they get irritable and anxious. Basically, when you are anxious and are heading towards a panic attack, this means that your levels of blood sugar are dropping. Having a quick sustaining snack such as a piece of chocolate or a handful of walnuts with a glass of water or along with a hot cup of tea is a good way to raise the sugar levels. Along with snacks, many people suffering from anxiety disorders skip breakfast.

Eggs are recommended for breakfast as they contain choline which has been shown to decrease anxiety when choline levels are increased. This is a useful little tip you should keep in mind when you are starting to feel a bit anxious.

Walnut Snack Remedy for Anxiety

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Chamomile Remedy

A cup of chamomile tea especially in the morning can help you calm down during those jittery moments as it has long been considered a proven natural remedy for anxiety. Some of the compounds found in chamomile (Matricaria recutita) have shown to bind to the same brain receptors like Valium which is a tranquilizer. Along with dried chamomile flowers, you can also take it as a supplement, mostly those that have been standardized to about 1.2% apigenin (the active ingredient).

Chamomile Tea Remedy for Anxiety

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Passionflower Remedy

Yes, Passionflower and in spite of its name, this herb will not help you in love since it has been approved for nervous restlessness… as a sedative. Although it’s often used for insomnia, studies have also found that it has the potential to reduce symptoms of anxiety just as prescription drugs. You can mix it with some lemon juice or a little lavender to alleviate anxiety and panic attack. Pour two tablespoons of passionflower and valerian root in a cup of water that is boiling. Cover and let cool. Take a cup of this tea before bed for a calming effect.

passion flower

by Arvind Balaraman (freedigitalphotos.net)

Omega 3 fatty acids Remedy

Foods rich in Omega 3 such as fish have very beneficial effects on our health. Two of the acids in Omega 3 however, EPA (eicosapentaenoic) and DHA (docosahexaenoi) have been successfully used in the treatment of long-term anxiety. Omega 3 capsules can be found many health food stores. The recommended dosage is 2 grams of DHA and EPA combined and this has shown to have an effect even more than placebo. One can also benefit from including fish rich in Omega-3 such as the Albacore tuna, anchovies, sardines and wild caught salmon in the diet.

Omega 3 Used for Long Term Anxiety

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Celery and Onion Remedy

These are two vegetables that are always in our kitchens. Cooking celery can help reduce the causative stress hormones since it is rich in phthalides. Onions on the other hand contain compounds known as phenolic which have shown to be highly effective in the treatment of anxiety according to studies. Do I need to tell you how to eat them? There is also variety of recipes on celery and onion diets that you can try.

Try This Juice Recipe

  • Spinach leaves
  • Couple of stems of celery
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Beetroot + tops –
  • grapes or carrot
  • tomato
  • An optional dash of Tobasco

Vary the amount of each ingredient to suit your taste. Wash trim and process through a juicer. Check out this site for more juice recipes for stress

Notes: The ingredients in the above juice recipe are good for their ability to help calm the nervous system… Celery (high in magnesium) and beetroot (magnesium and calcium). Lettuce contains lactucarium which is a natural sedative to help the nervous system and Tobasco is a happy sauce with cayenne or chilli which help release endorphins.



Exercise Remedy

Worrying about health and illness is one of the main causes of anxiety and this can simply melt away when you are mobile and fit. Exercise is not only good for the brain but also a powerful antidote to anxiety and depression, both long-term and short-term. If you exercise regularly, you will be healthier and also increase your self-esteem.

There are a lot of relaxation exercises that can be done at home to act on reducing excess muscular and mental energy, improve stress hormone regulation, and release endorphins to calm your body and mind; it all works to improve breathing and also promoting better sleep.

Excersie Remedy to Improve Stress Hormones

by Ambro (freedigitalphotos.net)

Desensitization Remedy

Desensitization is often done in presence of a therapist and can also be done by on an individual basis if you are committed to the method. This process makes triggers of your panic attack less frightening, usually by experiencing them over and over again until the body no longer finds them a trigger to anxiety.

If dizziness and shortness of breath are let’s say your most common triggers for your panic attack, you could desensitize yourself to these by using some variation of the following. For dizziness for example, spin around in a chair until you calm down. Try hyperventilating on purpose for shortness of breath. These variations need to go along with some type of relaxation exercises to ensure that won’t experience intense anxiety as you attempt them.

Mindfulness Meditation Remedy

This is supposedly one of the easiest natural remedies for panic attack if done the right way. Originally, Mindfulness meditation was a Buddhist practiced that has now grown to be a mainstream therapy. This therapy is effective in treating anxiety which largely causes panic attacks and has been used by various clinical psychologists on their anxiety patients.

Meditation Remedy for Anxiety and Panic

by Sira Anamwong (freedigitalphotos.net)

Basically, practicing the act of Mindful awareness gives one the experience of the true essence of every moment as it happens, in contrast to what is expected. To use this remedy, start by concentrating to the present moment with curiosity, intentionally and also with the effort to attend non-judgmentally. This makes the remedy not only suited to the home but it can be practised everywhere else with ease.

On a Final Note

In addition to the home remedies for panic attack and quelling the feelings of anxiety that can pervade your life to a paralysing extent, you can surround yourself with sound that are specifically made to sooth and relax. You will find these relaxation ambience DVD’s here to add calming and comforting sounds as you work on your mindfulness meditation technique. On a last note check out our site Anxiety Counsel here for more information and suggestions to help you deal with anxiety and panic.

NOTE: The home remedies for panic attack above can be very useful natural ways to help control your feelings of anxiety and panic. However as with all things concerned with health you need to be mindful of whether or not this is for you, and we always recommend that you consult with your doctor before acting upon any suggestion or use any sedatives natural or not, especially if you are on other prescription drugs.

Getting to Know Symptoms of Anxiety and Stress

Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety

Everyone experiences anxiety: a student who is about to take an important exam, a teenager preparing herself for her turn in the ice-skating competition, a fresh graduate waiting in the line for his first job interview, a man before a wedding proposal, a father outside the delivery room.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word ‘anxiety’ as “fear or nervousness about what might happen.” Everyone feels pressured, stressed, or afraid of the future sometimes.

Anxiety is normal, a good thing, even. In fact, it is the body’s natural response to challenging, threatening, and dangerous situations. Its function is to help the person stay alert, keep focused, and motivate analytical thinking useful in problem solving.


Vincent Van Gogh (upload.wikimedia.org)

The problem occurs when this anxiety becomes so big and so constant that it already affects the daily life of a person. When it becomes overwhelming and it starts to eat the person whole, it is no longer ‘normal anxiety’, but an anxiety disorder.

Then again, anxiety is normal, so to confirm if it is just normal or already a disorder, draw on the signs and symptoms of anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorder is a psychological illness, yes, but it does not mean that it is all about emotions and feelings. The brain controls the body so anything that it experiences is reflected in the physical body.

Physical Symptoms of Anxiety

These are recognized through high frequency of the following:

  • Extremely fast heartbeat and trouble breathing,
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Upset stomach
  • Hardening of muscles because of too much tension
  • Body twitches
  • Headache, and nausea or dizziness.

These physical symptoms of an anxiety attack are often mistaken as symptoms of other non-psychological illnesses but it could easily be confirmed as anxiety once the medical doctor asks the patients about his feelings.

Apart from the physical side but there are also the emotional aspects to deal with…

Emotional Symptoms of Anxiety

One of the key emotional symptoms of anxiety is intense paranoia, and the constant feeling that something bad is going to happen.

People with anxiety disorder are also very conscious about signs of danger, interpreting even the smallest of things or events as a warning or indication of threat.

Other emotional symptoms of anxiety include difficulty in concentrating or handling social situations, feeling persistently agitated, irritable and restless, and feeling down because of always thinking about the worst that could happen.

Constant Relentless Stress

Interestingly, like other psychological disorders, anxiety is affected by a lot of other different factors – both intrapersonal and interpersonal. Because of differences in backgrounds and contexts, anxiety symptoms vary among individuals.

As an example, one person suffering from anxiety may be exhibiting the disorder by being in a constant state of fear and worrying, and another by having the difficulty to control one’s thoughts and actions.

However, among all the symptoms of anxiety, having relentless fear or worry in light situations or in events where most people would not feel the same, is a constant in all cases.

It should be noted that these physical and emotional symptoms go side by side in a person with anxiety. Seeking avenues to overcome anxiety is essential, however, to ensure health and safety, immediate consultation with a physician is advised.


Natural Remedies for Anxiety


Anxiety can affect your quality of life. Feeling anxious, nervous and stressed will prevent you from spending quality time with your family, feeling good about yourself and enjoying professional accomplishments.

The Best Natural Remedies For Anxiety

Many people that suffer from anxiety are unwilling to start a treatment involving pharmaceutical products due to the possible side effects. Luckily, there is a range of home remedies for anxiety that will deliver great results.

Chamomile Tea

Herbal TeasChamomile tea is a proven remedy for clinical depression and anxiety. A study was concluded recently at the University of Nottingham Medical School in the UK. Researchers there found that chamomile relaxes blood vessels and the smooth muscle fibres. As a result, chamomile can decrease anxiety levels, promote relaxation and improve the quality of sleep.

To experience the benefits, you simply need to drink a cup of chamomile tea. There are some supplements that contain chamomile extract, as well. Unlike some other home remedies for anxiety, chamomile delivers long-term effects. According to one study, benefits of chamomile tea’s active ingredients could be experienced even two weeks after the volunteers stopped drinking the tea.

Valerian Root

Valerian root is another incredibly popular natural remedy for anxiety. It can also be used to treat sleep disorders and depression. Many people that are attempting to stop taking sleeping pills will try valerian root instead.

Valerian root extract should be taken a couple of hours before sleep to improve insomnia. Up to 120 milligrams taken daily can be efficient in providing stress relief. The extract should be taken for a period of up to 30 days.

Studies show that the essential oil in valerian root has chemical properties that could affect the brain of anxiety sufferers. These chemicals mimic the effects of some anti-anxiety medications that doctors commonly prescribe. Valeric acids can be transformed into one of the neurotransmitters that promote relaxation and decreases stress levels. The benefits are achieved without the harmful side effects of sedatives and other relaxing medications.


Researchers consider the kava root one of the best home remedies for anxiety. A drink is made of it and this drink is especially helpful for treating anxiety, chronic stress and depression. Kava promotes relaxation without causing drowsiness or disruption of mental activity.

Research supports the benefits of the kava drink, which has been used in certain cultures to treat anxiety for centuries. Kava comes with several big benefits, including the fact that it is non-addictive and related to no dangerous side effects.

Kava supplements have been compared to prescription medications because of their potency. Individuals suffering from liver problems should refrain from using kava to treat anxiety. The extract is also incompatible with alcoholic beverage consumption. Before you try Kava read this overview.

Home remedies for anxiety coming in the forms of tea and supplements can deliver results similar to the ones brought by powerful sedatives. Trying several different natural remedies is the best way to figure out which one is right for you. Follow this link to read more information about these herbs for anxiety.


Health Disclaimer

The information povided is for the general information of our readers. The information is NOT a diagnosis of the best care for your health issue nor is it a substitute for the judgement of a physician. The information is not medical advice, if you have severe or persistent health problems please consult your health provider.

Herbs For Anxiety

Many people find it difficult to cope with anxiety and everyday worries. A few natural remedies can be used to help make the situation better and natural herbs for anxiety are a great option.

Herbs That Can Help You Deal With Anxiety

Here are four of the most efficient herbal remedies that are readily available.

Lemon Balm

Green Tea for Anxiety

By happykanppy(FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Lemon balm features among the best used herbs for anxiety. Various studies confirm its calming effect, especially when lemon balm is taken alongside other herbs.

The herbal extract calms the nervous system and has a soothing effect. It also reduces high blood pressure and helps overcome digestive issues.

Lemon balm can be taken by people who suffer from anxiety, sleep disorders and restlessness.

Take 80 milligrams of lemon balm leaf extract three times per day. You can combine it with 160 milligrams of valerian root extract.

Valerian Root

Valerian root has been used to treat anxiety for centuries. It can most certainly improves the quality of sleep and provides relief from various aches, including menstrual cramps. Traditional medicine from the Chinese and Indian cultures have recommended valerian to treat insomnia and it is the roots that are used medicinally.

Valerian promotes a feeling of calmness, which can help people suffering from social anxiety disorder, for example. The supplement is available in the form of capsules and tea, as well as in liquid form.

More information about the dosage should be provided on the product’s label. You can also grow and use your own valerian and it is an attractive addition to the garden.


Chamomile tea can help you calm down and overcome your anxiety quickly and efficiently.

According to studies, chamomile tea has works in a manner similar to drugs like Valium, affecting specific brain receptors and delivering the calming effect. Chamomile tea is an excellent natural remedy for people suffering from general anxiety disorder. The UMMC and University of Pennsylvania Medical Center researchers found out that drinking chamomile tea for a period of eight weeks leads to major decrease in the general anxiety symptoms.

Green Tea

This is another kind of healthy and delicious tea that you can try to overcome anxiety and tension.

Green tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine and it could have been the reason for the ability of Buddhist monks to meditate for hours. L-theanine reduces anxiety, lowers the blood pressure and regulates the heartbeat. Having five cups of green tea per day can help you cope with the symptoms of anxiety disorders.

Studies confirm the efficiency of herbs for anxiety. Learn more about the active ingredient and the dosage before you begin a herbal treatment. Enjoying a few cups of tea throughout the day will decrease the severity of anxiety disorder symptoms and it can also deliver additional health benefits.

AnxietyCounsel has more useful tips and advice about anxiety disorders and treatments.


Health Disclaimer

The information povided is for the general information and is neither a diagnosis of the best care for your health issue, nor a substitute for the judgement of a physician. If you have severe or persistent health problems please consult your health provider.




Social Anxiety Symptoms

Living with social anxiety is extraordinarily difficult because it can impact every area of your life. When you experience severe social anxiety symptoms, something as routine as leaving your home to go to the grocery store can seem like an impossible task. Being afraid of interacting with other people can stop you from developing important relationships or building your dream career. Even mild cases of social anxiety can have devastating consequences because they prevent people from living their lives to the fullest.

by David Castillo Dominici (FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

by David Castillo Dominici (FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Whether you experience crippling anxiety at just the thought of being in social situations or you respond to specific triggers like public speaking and speaking on the phone, isolating the source of your anxiety and learning more about popular treatments can help you control your symptoms in any situation.

Social anxiety disorders are associated with many different symptoms that can vary quite a bit in intensity. Generally, people with social anxiety experience an unreasonable fear when they are put in specific social situations. For example, some people who have social anxiety may fear interacting with strangers while others absolutely hate being the center of attention.

While their symptoms can be very different, all people who have social anxiety have an underlying and unexplained fear of social situations. Because people are naturally social creatures and you simply can’t go through life without communicating with others, dealing with social anxiety can be especially stressful.

Regardless of the intensity of your condition, if you experience social anxiety symptoms it’s important to look for help before they intensify. Unfortunately, feelings of social anxiety rarely disappear on their own unless you consciously work on suppressing them. The positive side to having social anxiety is that it’s not a hopeless condition.

With a few lifestyle changes and access to necessary medication, you can learn how to live with and even eliminate your social anxiety. Your first step to getting treatment should be to learn more about your symptoms and try to isolate the triggers that cause them. Once you know what situations cause your anxiety to escalate, you can start working on controlling and treating your symptoms.

Because the most common symptoms of social anxiety are fairly mild, most people have no idea that they are suffering from a specific condition. For example, if you get extremely nervous before speaking in public or participating in meetings, you might have a form of social anxiety. There are many different methods that are used to treat social anxiety depending on the severity of the symptoms.

Click Here To Help Overcome Your Shyness & Social AnxietyShyness & Social Anxiety

Prescription anxiety medications are usually only used in extreme cases because they can be addictive when taken over time. Anxiety medications can also cause potentially dangerous side effects, so it’s very important not to take them without your doctor’s supervision. Most common symptoms of social anxiety can be treated with lifestyle changes and behavior therapy. Eliminating social anxiety does take a lot of time and effort, but it’s entirely possible if you are willing to try new things and put yourself out of your comfort zone.