How Stress Effects Kids: How Yoga Can Help
Let’s look at how stress effects kids. Stress is a natural part of life, and short-term stress is an essential part of normal development. What we call stress is the body’s response to something it perceives as a threat. When kids experience short-lived stress, it gives them the opportunity to develop the skills and resilience necessary to deal with stress as an adult. However, prolonged stress, or stress without supportive relationships to help a child feel safe, can lead to long-term negative health effects for your child. Here, 3 things to know about stress and children.
how stress effects kids
1. Flight or Fight: Stress signals the brain to start a chain reaction, often referred to as the “flight or fight” response. This response causes a rise in heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure and muscular tension. When a stressful situation involves actually having to fight or flee from a predator, these physical effects of stress are advantageous. However, these physical demands are often not useful in response to modern cause of stress and can leave kids feeling tense and overwhelmed.
2. Constant stress is a serious health issue. According to Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child, “the constant activation of the body’s stress response systems, especially during sensitive periods of early development, can be toxic to brain architecture and other developing organ systems”. Unchecked stress can lead to sleep issues, irritability, ulcers, fatigue, headaches, anxiety, lack of motivation and sadness.
3. Yoga for Stress. If your child seems to be suffering from long-term effects of stress, consider yoga as one tool to address stress. Yoga is not only a physical activity but also promotes awareness, attentiveness and emotional self-regulation, all essential skills for dealing with stress.
If you are considering yoga for your child, KareBoost Health offers Kids Yoga every Monday at 5pm. Kids Yoga is a fun, interactive class open to beginners and advanced kids. Kids can stretch and strengthen at their own pace, all while developing self-awareness and emotion regulation.
Worried about how stress effects kids in your house? You can also work with our Stress Reduction Coaches to learn new Relaxation Techniques to manage stress better. Summer is a great time to prepare for the stress during the school year.
Kara Unal, JD, RYT
Yoga Instructor (classes and private lessons)