Anxiety is like fire: It can keep us safe and warm, or completely devastate our property and our lives. It’s good to be a little anxious at times. When walking down a deserted street at night, anxiety keeps us on alert and ready to fight or take flight should a dangerous situation arise.
But for many people, especially adolescents, anxiety can become the norm instead of the exception. Just walking into a classroom or being with a group of people they don’t know can become crisis situations. And, the more they experience these scary events, the more anxiety becomes a chronic condition.
5 Important Things to Know About Teen Anxiety
Here are 5 things parents and teachers should know about adolescent anxiety.
1. Anxiety Refers to Physical Symptoms Associated with Negative Thoughts
Negative thoughts such as, “No one will like me,” or “Everyone is going to think I’m stupid” come first. These thoughts are then followed by physical symptoms such as a stomach ache, diarrhea, or shaking and shallow breathing. Young people need to learn how to not only shift their thinking (“This will feel awkward but I’ll be okay”) but also cope with the physical stress (take slow, deep breaths). This will help kids know without a doubt they can handle uncomfortable feelings instead of avoiding them.
2. Dealing with Anxiety Requires Problem Solving Skills
Life is full of uncertainties and gray areas. Parents of very young children help them navigate through these situations. But adolescents must be equipped with problem solving skills so they may tolerate uncertainty instead of avoiding it, as avoidance only makes things worse and gives anxiety more power.
3. The Teenage Mind is More Sensitive to Environmental Stress
The adolescent mind is a jumble of chemical changes that can make any situation seem like time spent in a fun house. These hormonal changes make adolescence a particularly challenging time to cope with anxiety.
4. Anxiety is a Vicious Cycle
When young people are anxious, it’s easy for the adults around them to become anxious as a response. But, the more anxious parents and teachers are, the more controlling and inflexible they may become.
As adults, it’s important we manage our own anxiety around our kids and students so we can manage the overall situation much more effectively.
5. Anxiety is treatable
The good news is that your teen doesn’t have have to live with anxiety symptoms. Panic attacks, constant worry or fear don’t have to rule their life. Anxiety responds very well to counseling. It often requires coming on a weekly basis, sometimes homework between sessions and motivation. So, you’re teen needs to be ready to get their anxiety under control. But truly, we have several different counseling techniques that can really make a difference and help your teen find some relief!
Begin Teen Counseling for Anxiety in Columbia, MO
If your teen is struggling with anxiety and is ready to begin anxiety treatment in Mid-Missouri, we have several teen therapists who would love to help. To begin counseling start with these steps:
- Contact our counseling clinic to speak to our care coordinator,
- Schedule a free in-person consultation meeting with one of our teen therapists
- Begin learning new ways to cope with and conquer your anxiety
Other Counseling Services Offered at Aspire Counseling
At our Mid-Missouri mental health clinic, we believe healing begins when you look past hurts, current obstacles and future worries directly in the eye and can confidently say, “I’ve got this.” Our counselors & therapists provide a variety of counseling services to give our clients the tools they need to cope with their challenges and achieve emotional wellness. Our therapy services include counseling for caregivers, counseling for chronic illness, postpartum counseling, grief counseling, counseling for teens, counseling for college students, counseling for adults, trauma and PTSD therapy, EMDR therapy, counseling for sexual assault and rape, anxiety therapy, counseling for depression, LGTBQ affirming counseling services, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT).Additionally, our therapy team contributes to our blog on a regular basis to provide you with interesting information on a variety of mental health topics. To learn more about our counseling services, please contact our counseling clinic in Columbia, MO.