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Billie Eilish Proves That Anxiety Isn't Just For Adults

Recently Billie Eilish opened up about their childhood anxiety, telling the world how she shared a bed with her parents until the age of 11 and how emotionally distraught she’d be if she couldn’t.

When speaking with The Sunday Times magazine, they said, “I couldn’t be away from my parents. I was worried about what would happen to them, I was worried about what would happen to me, I was worried about being forgotten…I couldn’t sleep by myself. If I woke up and my parents weren’t in the bed, and the lights were off, I would scream until they came to the door.”

Children tend to show anxiety in different and similar ways to adults, especially due to the fact that they may not always have the words to communicate that what they’re feeling is anxiety. Oftentimes, they’ll show it through their actions, crying and screaming as Billie mentioned, but also in ways that may not be as obvious. 

In “9 Surprising Physical Symptoms of Childhood Anxiety, we see that anxiety can manifest as what could be considered common physical symptoms or ailments. What is actually a symptom of anxiety could look like physical ailments, like a stomach bug.

Some of these symptoms can look like:

  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Hives

It’s important to know these signs of anxiety in children because unlike an adult who can potentially say, “Hey, I’m dealing with some severe anxiety. I need a minute,” children may not be able to communicate the same thing.

Luckily, however, there are ways to help manage anxiety in children as caretakers and adults.

As seen in “5 Anxiety-Reducing Tools to Use With Children,” there are different exercises that we can do to support children with their anxiety such as:

1. Dragon Breathing.

A breathing exercise that’s creatively framed because, y’know, children. When telling a child to dragon breathe, you’re going to tell them to take a deep breath in through their nose for a few sustained seconds, hold it, and then to release it and “breathe fire” slowly. 

2. Yoga.

Anxiety can be physical and live in the body, so engaging in yoga or something similar to it that involves moving your body while also deep breathing could be excellent for helping them get through anxious periods.

3. Spaghetti body or progressive muscle relaxation.

This is an exercise where your child will practice tensing up and releasing their body back to back, but in a fun way by telling your kid to act like “uncooked” spaghetti, which is rigid and stiff, and then “uncooked spaghetti” which is loosey goosey. The idea is for your child to be able to be aware of where anxiety hides in the body, and to become more aware of when they’re feeling triggered.

Billie Eilish isn’t alone with having lived through childhood anxiety. It’s good they had their parents to support them through it as well. At the end of the day, that’s what makes the biggest difference for a child with anxiety — supportive, loving, and engaging parents. 

Lead image courtesy of Billie Eilish’s Instagram account

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