An engaging way to calm kids’ anxiety and promote better mental health, with illustrated activities in an easy-to-use decision-tree format
Children need mental health days, too. There are lots of stressors in today’s world, from the pandemic to economic recession to global warming, and kids aren’t exempt from the effects these issues have on our minds and emotions. What’s worse, letting worry and stress get out of hand can turn short-term feelings into long-term states of mind, like anxiety and depression. So it’s important to help kids tackle these issues—but when they’re in the middle of a worry attack, it can be tough to figure out what will bring relief.
Why Do I Feel So Worried? is full of simple, evidence-based practices that are sure to help kids find calm. It’s structured like a choose-your-own adventure book, which makes following its directions super easy for young readers ages 7 to 12. (There’s also a brief introductory section for parents and some grown-up notes throughout explaining the psychology behind different activities, so caretakers can choose how much they participate based on their child’s needs.)
How does it work? First, kids learn to pinpoint which emotion(s) they’re struggling with. Then, they use the flowchart to find an activity that can soothe their physical responses in the moment. (Is fear making you feel like you’re stuck and can’t move? Follow these instructions to wiggle different body parts until you shimmy the anxiety away!) After kids are calmer, they’re prompted to get to the bottom of what’s causing their stress. There are four different sections—school, friends and acquaintances, home life, and something else—that break down further into specific situations like trouble with a tricky piece of homework or separation anxiety from parents.
Each section is full of tried-and-tested methods, like breathing techniques, visualization, and pattern interruption, that empower young readers to take control of their emotions. Kids might not always be able to solve what’s worrying them—but with Why Do I Feel So Worried?, they can learn to respond to anxiety positively and build strong, lifelong coping skills.