A COALSNAUGHTON father of two has published a book aimed at helping children understand and deal with anxiety.

Nicholas Smith wrote the guide - called Not Today, Mr/Mrs Brain - after his own experiences of helping his son CJ cope with bouts of feeling anxious.

The book helps break down symptoms of anxiety and explains them in a way children will understand, often using humour as a helpful tool.

Speaking to the Advertiser, Nicholas explained that he wanted to take what he knew as an adult and use it to help youngsters grasp the way they might be feeling.

He said: “My son in particular struggled with bad anxiety when he was younger. We were trying different techniques to help him get through stuff.

“To be honest, I saw a lot of myself in him when I was his age and there was a lot that I wish I knew now that would’ve made life a lot better.

“I took it upon myself to think of things that I do now as an adult that I’ve learned through life that would be beneficial to him as a child.

“We came up with a few different strategies and what the book tries to do is distil down the concepts so that a child would understand.”

Throughout his research, Nicholas focused on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which aims to understand and rewrite the way your brain thinks or understands things.

This form of therapy looks at how the brain sends signals to the rest of the body to let it know that something is wrong.

Nicholas continued: “This was first brought to my attention when my wife was pregnant and I was suffering all sorts of stress-related symptoms.

“I was working in London and she was in Scotland and I was constantly on edge waiting for the call saying she was in labour.

“Whenever I was in an environment where I’d be stuck for a while, in the office or traffic, I was experiencing wild physical symptoms related to my anxiety.

“A doctor explained to me that my brain had gone into overdrive and was sending signals all over the place which was making these symptoms a reality when they’re really not.”

After compiling his research, Nicholas began to work on ways he could break down his information into a way children would comprehend.

Nicholas faced a slight challenge when writing his book in that he could not draw any of the pictures, prompting his daughter and talented artist Georgie to step in and help him.

“The stumbling block I always had when publishing is I cannot draw to save myself,” Nicholas added.

“Georgie took it upon herself to do all of the illustrations on a rainy night if she couldn’t go outside and play.

“I thought they were really good so we put it all together and published it to see how it would go.”

Not Today, Mr/Mrs Brain can be purchased on Amazon for £9.99.