about Anxiety Disorders

There are a wide range of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorders,, social anxiety disorders, panic disorders, agoraphobia and specific phobias. However, they all feature symptoms of a feeling of generalized constant dread or fear.
Anxiety disorders can be caused by a range of factors. There is evidence to suggest that they may be genetic and can be inherited20. However, anxiety disorders can also develop in response to major life events and traumas.
Anxiety disorders can have a negative effect on childrens' emotional, social, and academic development and their future health. Childhood anxiety disorders are also on the rise all over the UK21, with a majority of Headteachers worried about mental health issues among their pupils.22

Anxiety Disorders are associated with:
  • Pupils with anxiety disorders on average achieve a lower level of education than those without23 and do not perform as well academically24.
  • Children with anxiety disorders often do not thrive socially and have delayed social development25.
  • Childhood anxiety disorders are linked with adult anxiety disorders, depression, and alcohol and substance abuse26.

Relax Kids for Anxiety


"The skills you have taught [child] have not only helped wither her anxieties about flying, but have also helped in other ways, such as dealing with tests. Even through poor [child] was nervous about the flight, she no longer sat in her seat gripped with fear."

Parent Parent of child attending Chill Skills 1-1 session with Relax Kids Coach Gillian Fitzsimmons.

Each stage of the Relax Kids' seven-step programme is based on clinically-proven approaches to anxiety management, such as therapeutic exercise, positive touch, breathing exercises, and mindfulness exercises. These are effective when used as either single interventions or anxiety-management strategies or as full-length sessions.

Move and Play - Regular exercise is associated with lower anxiety27 and depression levels.28 Exercise also causes the release of endorphins, which improve mood.
Stretch - Studies have shown that yoga-like stretches can reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression.29
Feel - Consensual, clothed and supervised peer or self-massage promotes positive touch, which decreases stress hormone levels and increases ‘happy hormone' levels.30
Breathe - Controlled and deep breathing exercises are an effective complement to other anxiety reduction methods.31
Believe - Positive affirmations on either a one-to-one or group basis help to promote good self esteem and confidence, which can complement conventional treeatments for anxiety disorders.32
Relax - Our guided meditations feature mindfulness techniques, which have been proven to have a generally positive effect on a wide range of mental health disorders.33

Footnotes for all research pages

1 Silva, A. P., et. al., 2015

"Measurement of the effect of physical exercise on the concentration of individuals with ADHD." in PLoS ONE, 2015 Jul; 10(3)

2 Pilkington, K., et al., 2015

"Yoga for Depression: The Research Evidence," 2015 Dec; in Journal of Affective Disorders 89, Nos. 1–3, pp. 13–24.

3 http://www.health.harvard.edu/ mind-and-mood/yoga-for-anxiety-and- depression Accessed 22/07/2015

4 Busch, V. et. al., 2012

"The effect of deep and slow breathing on pain perception, autonomic activity, and mood processing - an experimental study." Feb. 2012, in Journal of Pain Medication.

5 http://positivepsychologynews. com/news/emiliya- zhivotovskaya/2012032321636 Accessed 22/07/2015

6 Field, T., et. al., 2005

"Cortisol decreases and serotonin and dopamine increase following massage therapy." Oct 2005, in International Journal of Neuroscience 15 (10): pp. 1397-


7 Creswell, J. D., et. al., 2013

"Self-Affirmation Improves Problem- Solving under Stress", 2013, in PLoS ONE, 2013: 8 (5)

8 Strauss, C., et al., 2014

"Mindfulness-based interventions for people diagnosed with a current episode of an anxiety or depressive disorder: A meta- analysis of randomised controlled trials". 2014 Apr; in PLoS ONE 9 (4).

9 http://www.bath.ac.uk/research/ news/2014/07/16/cbt-primary-schools/ Accessed 22/07/2015

10 Jain, F. A., et. al., 2014

"Critical analysis of the efficacy of

meditation therapies for acute and subacute phase treatment of depressive disorders: A systematic review" in Psychosomatics 2014, pp. 297–302

11 Khoury et. al., 2015

"Mindfulness-based stress reduction for healthy individuals: A meta-analysis." June 2015, in Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 78(6) pp. 519-28

12 Gotink et. al., 2015

"Standardised mindfulness-based interventions in healthcare: an overview of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of RCTs". 2015 Apr; in PLoS One 10 (4).

13 Krain and Castellanos, 2006

"Brain development and ADHD". Clinical Psychology Review 2006 Aug; 26 (4): pp.


14 Loe and Feldman, 2007

"Academic and educational outcomes of children with ADHD" in The Journal of Pediatric Psychology 2007 32 (6): pp. 643-


15 Barbarese, W. J., et. al., 2007

"Long-term school outcomes for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A population-based perspective", in Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics: August 2007 - 28 (4): pp. 265-


16 Silva, A. P., et. al., 2015. Op. Cit.

17 Jensen, J. M., 2004

"The effects of yoga on the attention and behavior of boys with Attention-Deficit/ hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)" in Journal of Attention Disorders, May 2004 7 (4) pp. 205-216

18 Powell. L., et. al., 2008

"A journey of self‐discovery: an intervention involving massage, yoga and relaxation for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties attending primary schools" in European Journal of Special Needs Education, Volume 23, Issue 4, 2008,

pp. 403-12

19 van der Ooord et. al., 2012

"The effectiveness of mindfulness training for children with ADHD and mindful parenting for their parents" 2012, in Journal of Child and Family Studies 21 (1) pp. 139-147,

20 Patel, G., and Fancher, T., 2013

"In the clinic. Generalized anxiety disorder." in Annals of Internal Medicine 2013, Dec., 159 (11).

21 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk- england-18251582 Accessed 20/08/2015

22 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/ education-27993469 Accessed 20/08/2015

23 Van Ameringen, M., et. al., 2003

"The impact of anxiety disorders on educational achievement." in Journal of Anxiety Disorders 2003; 17 (5): pp. 561-71.

24 Mazzone, L. et. al., 2007

"The role of anxiety symptoms in school performance in a community sample of children and adolescents", in BMC Public Health. 2007; 7: pp.347-57.

25 Cohen, J. A., et. al., 2004

"A multisite, randomized controlled trial for children with sexual abuse-related PTSD symptoms." in Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 2004 Apr; 43 (4): pp. 393-402.

26 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/ health/4743146.stm Accessed 20/08/2015

27 Broman-Fulksa, J., et. al., 2004

"Effects of aerobic exercise on anxiety sensitivity" in Behaviour Research and Therapy 2004 42 (2) pp. 125–136

28 De Moor, M., 2006

"Regular exercise, anxiety, depression and personality: A population-based study", 2006 in Journal of Preventive Medicine 42 (4) pp. 273–279

29 http://www.health.harvard.edu/ mind-and-mood/yoga-for-anxiety-and- depression Accessed 22/07/2015

30 Field, T., et. al., 2005, Op. Cit.

31 Brown and Gerbarg, 2005

"Sudarshan Kriya yogic breathing in the treatment of stress, anxiety, and

depression: Part II - clinical applications and guidelines," 2005 in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 11(4): pp. 711-717.

32 Black, D. W. et. al., 1993

"A comparison of Fluvoxamine, cognitive therapy, and placebo in the treatment of panic disorder, 1993, in General Psychiatry. 50 (1): pp. 44-50.

33 Gotink et. al., 2015, Op. Cit.

34 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk- england-18251582 Accessed 20/08/2015

35 Kendler, K. S., et. al., 2006

"A Swedish national twin study of lifetime major depression" 2006, in American Journal of Psychiatry 163 (1): pp. 109–14.

36 Kendler, K. S., et. al. 2006 Op. Cit.

37 Lundy, S. M., et. al. 2010

"Cognitive functioning and academic performance in elementary school children with anxious/depressed and withdrawn symptoms" 2010, in Open Pediatric Medical Journal, 14(4): pp. 1-9.

38 Bermana et. al., 2004

"Effects of aerobic exercise on anxiety sensitivity" in Behaviour Research and Therapy, 2004, 42 (2) pp. 125–136

39 De Moor, M., 2006, Op. Cit.

40 Pilkington, K., et al., 2015. Op. Cit.

41 Field, T., et. al., 2005, Op. Cit.

42 Brown and Gerbarg, 2005 Op. Cit.

43 Gotink et. al., 2015, Op. Cit.

44 Jones, E., et. al., 2013

"Family stressors and children’s outcomes", 2013; Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre, Thomas Coram Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/ system/uploads/attachment_data/

file/219639/DFE-RR254.pdf Accessed 24/08/2015

45 Amato, Paul, et. al., 1991

"Parental divorce and the well-being of children: A meta-analysis." 1991 in

Psychological Bulletin, 110(1), pp. 26-46.

46 Bergera and Owen, 1988

"Stress reduction and mood enhancement in four exercise modes: swimming, body conditioning, Hatha Yoga, and fencing" 1988, in Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport 59 (2) pp. 148-159

47 Field, T., et. al., 2005, Op. Cit.

48 Brown and Gerbarg, 2005, Op. Cit.

49 Gotink et. al. 2015, Op. Cit.

50 Morozink-Boylan, J. et. al., 2013

"Varieties of anger and the inverse link between education and inflammation: Towards an integrative framework"

2013 in Psychosomatic Medicine 75 (6): pp.


51 Chen, X., et. al., 2010

"Aggression, social competence, and academic achievement in Chinese children: a 5-year longitudinal study." 2010 in Developmental Psychopathology. 22(3): pp.583-92.

52 Field, T., et. al., 2005, Op. Cit.

53 http://www.researchgate.net/ publication/23157862_The_effect_of_a_ selfmonitored_relaxation_breathing_ exercise_on_male_adolescent_aggressive_ behavior Accessed 20/08/2015

54 Creswell, J. et. al., 2013,

"Self-affirmation improves problem-solving under stress" 2013 in PLoS ONE, 8 (5)

55 Gotink et. al. 2015, Op. Cit.

56 Varní, J. W., et. al., 2007

"Impaired health-related quality of life in children and adolescents with chronic conditions: a comparative analysis of 10 disease clusters and 33 disease categories/ severities utilizing the PedsQLâ„¢ 4.0 Generic Core Scales" 2007 in Health and

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57 http://www.apa.org/monitor/ 2011/12/exercise.aspx Accessed 20/08/2015

58 Pilkington, K., et al., 2015.

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59 Field, T., et. al., 2005, Op. Cit.

60 Lesley and Cullen-Powell., 2005

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61 Busch, V., et. al., 2012 Op. Cit.

62 Gotink et. al. 2015 Op. Cit.

63 Land, R., et. al., 2010

"Physical exercise and individuals with autism spectrum disorders: A systematic review." in Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 4(4) pp. 565–576

64 Lucy E. Rosenblatt, et. al., 2011

"Yoga improves functioning in young children with autism: A pilot study" in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2011, 17(11): pp. 1029-1035

65 Radhakrishna, S., 2010

"Application of integrated yoga therapy to increase imitation skills in children with autism spectrum disorder" in International Journal of Yoga. 2010 3(1): pp. 26–30.

66 Lesley and Cullen-Powell., 2005

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67 Speka, A. et. al. 2013

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68 http://www.spdfoundation.net/ about-sensory-processing-disorder/ Accessed 21/08/2015

69 Busch, V., et. al., 2012 Op. Cit.

70 Koole et. al., 1999

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71 Powell. L., et. al., 2008

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72 Surís, J-C., et. al., 1996

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73 Wolman, C., et. al., 1993

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75 Busch, V., et. al. 2012 Op. Cit.

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