Over the past fortnight the Year 5 students in C3 have been involved in learning opportunities that help them to understand the different feelings and emotions they have. They have learnt about some of the amazing ways our brains look after us. The students in C3 decided to focus on anxiety, a feeling that is so common in the first weeks of school. They wanted to share their understanding of what anxiety is, let everyone know that it happens to anyone and that it is normal, and to demonstrate different strategies to manage anxiety. Anxiety is a relatively common experience amongst all ages, at times quite scary and overwhelming. Yet it is amazing how a bit of knowledge of the human body’s anxiety response, along with the practice of a few meaningful strategies, equips us to better manage this intricate, tricky response. There’s a great kids book called “Hey Warrior”, by Karen Young; it outlines the anxiety response in an age-relevant way and teaches two simple calming strategies: deep breathing techniques and powerful, positive thoughts. This helpful tool formed the basis of C3’s assembly item.
If you, or someone you know struggles with anxiety there are many resources that can help. In consultation with Yale’s School Psychologist, Julie Bergin, we recommend you take a look at the evidence- based ‘BRAVE’ program. It is a free online self-help program that contains some excellent information and resources for children, teenagers and their parents. A home-grown program, developed by several Queensland Professors and Associate Professors, designed specifically to help young people with anxiety overcome their worries and improve the quality of their lives. The time and effort taken to complete the program will pay huge dividends towards coping with anxiety and improved wellbeing.