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How pre-teens and teens can manage anxiety - kansas city psychiatrist - brayden willis - kcpsychiatrist

How pre-teens and teens can manage anxiety

About anxiety

Everyone can suffer from anxiety at some point in their life. It’s a common emotion characterized by a feeling of worry, fear and apprehension. Anxiety isn’t limited to these feelings, however – it also includes physical symptoms like nausea and sweating, as well as changes in behavior like avoiding the source of worry or seeking additional reassurance.  Anxiety can be situational and thus resolved after the situation has passed, but it can remain without a specific cause. Everyone experiences some level of anxiety – whether resolving it is a matter of reframing your perspective or seeking professional support depends on its severity and individual circumstances.

Anxiety can present like stress, and it is essential to recognize the distinction between the two. While stress can be an anticipated response to external challenges, events, or pressures, when your child experiences anxiousness, they may have physical reactions such as increased heart rate, quickened breathing, and muscle tension. Knowing the difference between anxiety and stress is paramount for parents to effectively understand and assist their children with whatever they arefeelParents can effectively help their children manage their emotional states by actively evaluating the differences between anxiety and stress.

Anxiety in pre-teens and teenagers

Protecting mental health is particularly important during the pre-teen and teenage years, as this period can be characterized by progressive change. Emotional, physical, and social transformations occurring in sync with an evolving brain structure results in typical anxieties amongst this major life stage. Such anxieties may appear in contexts such as transitioning to secondary school, striving for body image ideals, connecting with friends, experiencing one’s first job or performance in a school play and attending school formals. Furthermore, newfound independence could fuel anxieties surrounding responsibility, finances, and employment. It is thus essential to encourage open communication amongst pre-teens and teenagers to confront the common anxieties associated with their changing lives.

Helping pre-teens and teenagers manage Anxiety

Mastering ways to cope with anxiety is an essential life lesson for our youth, and it lies in your hands to help your child understand and navigate through these tricky times. Here are a few ideas that can shoo away their anxiousness: Start by setting up a supportive home environment; Show them the right path through stories, narratives, and remind them the need of self-belief; Help them problem solve while they are in distressed situations, enact with good manners, set limits on worried repeat offenses; Last but not least, a healthy balance between work, study and rest will go a long way in preserving their mental health. So, let’s turn this anxious energy into positive outbursts for greater discoveries!

As a parent, it is important to provide your child with a positive attitude towards anxiety. One of the best ways to do this is to be the role model they need in managing your own anxieties. Showing them that you still feel anxious sometimes but that you have healthy coping mechanisms can help them navigate their own anxieties too. You might share stories related to your own experiences or struggles with anxiety when you were younger, as these tales can help remind your child that it is natural to feel anxious at times. Talking openly and honestly about how anxiety affects you, as well as how you work with it productively, can empower your child to face their own feelings in a healthier way.

Helping pre-teens and teenagers feel safe and secure

Ensuring pre-teens and teenagers feel safe and secure is essential for developing their social and emotional well-being. This can be achieved through creating a family atmosphere where children are given quality time with both parents and siblings, as well as spending time in activities that are supportive of individual needs. Parents can tailor the family atmosphere to foster development in their child by building a routine that takes into account meals, family rituals, and activities that create opportunities for relaxation. Ultimately, providing an atmosphere of comfort is key to allowing pre-teens and teenagers to flourish.

Encouraging pre-teens and teenagers to make healthy choices

Many pre-teens and teenagers experience anxiety, which can negatively impact their mental health. As anxiety can be a difficult emotion to deal with, parents may consider healthy lifestyle choices as a form of coping. Walking outside, exercising, or even engaging in leisure activities such as drawing or reading can reduce stress and provide momentary relief. It is also important for parents to listen to their child’s worries and to provide the appropriate support when needed. By fostering healthy habits, pre-teens and teenagers may find it easier to regulate their anxiety levels and prevent further issues from arising.

  1. Get enough sleep

One of the most important things that pre-teens and teenagers can do to reduce anxiety is to get enough sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that teenagers get 8-10 hours of sleep each night. However, many teenagers do not get enough sleep due to late night activities such as homework, socializing, and extracurricular activities.

  1. Eat a healthy diet

Another important way to reduce anxiety is to eat a healthy diet. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help to reduce anxiety levels. Additionally, avoiding sugary and processed foods can also be helpful.

  1. Exercise regularly

Exercising regularly is another great way to reduce anxiety. Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. Additionally, exercise can help to improve sleep quality and increase energy levels.

  1. Avoid drugs and alcohol

Pre-teens and teenagers should avoid using drugs and alcohol as they can worsen anxiety symptoms. Additionally, drug and alcohol use can lead to other problems such as addiction and health issues.

  1. Talk to someone you trust

If you are feeling anxious, it is important to talk to someone you trust such as a parent, teacher, or counselor. Talking about your anxiety can help to lessen its symptoms and make it more manageable

When to be concerned about anxiety

If your child is showing signs of anxiety, such as being constantly nervous or feeling unable to control their worries for long periods of time; it’s important to consider professional help. The earlier that an anxiety disorder is recognized and treated, the better the outcome for your child in terms of their mental health and overall wellbeing. Seeing a doctor or another qualified health professional is the best step forward if you are worried about how much your child’s anxiety is impacting their schoolwork and social life. With appropriate treatment and support, anxiety disorders can be successfully managed so it is important to seek help at the first sign of difficulty.

If your child’s anxiety is starting to interfere with their daily life, it may be time to seek professional help. A psychiatrist can help you to understand and manage your anxiety healthily. Call today at 816.819.5166 or Schedule Online.

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