What is teenage stress and anxiety?

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Stress and anxiety can consist of body signals like ‘butterflies’, a sinking sensation, tense or unpleasant sensations, or ‘nerves’.

Everybody feels anxious from time to time, especially when faced with unfamiliar, unsafe or stressful situations. Stress and anxiety is a typical reaction to these scenarios.

Anxiety in teenagers

Stress and anxiety are really common in the teenage years.

This is because teens have new experiences, opportunities, as well as difficulties. They want more self-reliance, and their brains change.

For example, teens might stress over starting high school, looking a particular way, fitting in with their peers, sitting exams, participating in concerts at school or going to school formals. They may even have illogical thoughts about themself and the future

Likewise, as their self-confidence increases, teenagers may stress over being responsible for their actions and getting tasks completed, studying and exams.

Feeling distressed becomes part of the normal range of emotions, just like feeling angry or sad. For many teens, anxiety doesn’t last and goes away by itself. But for some teens, it doesn’t go away or is so extreme that it stops them from doing daily activities.

Stress and anxiety in teenagers isn’t always a bad thing. Feeling nervous can help to keep teenagers safe by getting them to think about the situation they’re in. It can also encourage them to do the best they can. And it can help them get ready for challenging conditions like public speaking or sporting events.

Managing anxiety: helping teenagers

Handling stress and anxiety is an important life skill.

If your teenager is feeling anxious, the best method to help them manage it is to let them understand that it’s ok to feel distressed in some cases. It’s ok to let your child know the feeling will go away in time, and that it should not stop them from doing what they want to do.

Here are other ways to help your teenager in managing daily stress and anxiety

Helping your teenager face stress and anxiety.

  • Acknowledge your child’s fear– do not dismiss or ignore it. It’s vital for your child to feel that you take them seriously and that you believe they can conquer their anxiety and stress. Likewise, they need to know that you’ll be there to support them.
  • Gently motivate your child to do the important things they are anxious about. But don’t push them to deal with situations they do not wish to deal with.
  • Assist your child by setting small goals for things that they feel a bit anxious about. Please encourage them to complete the goals, but don’t jump in too early or take control. For example, your teenager might be distressed about meeting new friends at the start of a school year or anxious about starting high school. As a first step, you could suggest your child participate in team activities.
  • Try not to overreact if your teenager avoids a scenario because of stress and anxiety. Tell your teenager that you believe they’ll be able to handle their emotions in the future by taking things step by step. Attempt to acknowledge all the steps that your child takes, no matter how little those actions are.

Helping your child explore and understand feelings

Tell your child about your worries as a teenager, and advise your teenager that lots of other teenagers feel nervous, anxious, and self-confidence too.

Help your teenager to understand that it’s typical to go through a large range of feelings and that often these can be strong emotions.

Talk with your child about his other feelings– for example, ‘You appear thrilled about the swimming carnival’. This sends the message that all emotions, favourable and unfavourable, come and go.

Always listen to your teenager’s concerns. By listening, you are helping your child identify their thoughts and feelings, which is a significant initial step in managing them.

Providing your teenager with love and assistance

Show your teenager affection– for instance, by hugging them and telling them frequently that you love them. Your love lets them understand you’re there to help them cope when they are feeling anxious or stressed.

Avoid identifying your child as ‘shy’ or ‘nervous’.

Attempt to be an excellent role model for your teenager in the way that you handle your stress and anxiety and deal with calmly and efficiently. 

Thinking about your family life and routine

  • Make time in your family regimen for things that your teenager enjoys doing and include relaxing. These could be basic things like playing or listening to music, reading books or outdoor activities.
  • Spend time to get to know your teenager’s friends, who they trust and feels comfortable around.
  • Motivate a healthy lifestyle for your teenager, with a lot of physical activity, sleep and healthy food and plenty of water. It’s also crucial for your child to avoid alcohol and other drugs.
  • Strong parent-teenager relationships benefit a youths’ psychological health. A sense of belonging and family and friends can help safeguard teenagers from psychological health problems like stress and anxiety disorders. Your support can have a direct and favourable impact on your teenager’s mental health.

Getting help for teenage stress and anxiety

If you believe your child requires professional help research your options, therapy like hypnotherapy and psychotherapy as well as counselling can be an excellent first step.

You might feel awkward talking to your teenager about anxiety or other psychological illness. But by discussing stress and anxiety with your teenager, you give them the approval to speak with you. Your teenager will need your help to get professional support.

Paul Smith - Clinical Hypnotherapist Sydney

Paul Smith - Clinical Hypnotherapist Sydney

Paul is an experienced Clinical Hypnotherapist and Strategic Psychotherapist in Sydney. Paul is also an NLP Practitioner and PSYCH-K® Advanced Facilitator. Paul has an intuitive ability to connect like no other.
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