Teen Anxiety: What Can We Do About It? 5 Simple Ideas that I Decided to Try with My Own Children

A close family friend of ours could not go to school today because she was overtaken by anxiety. The stimulus was college day and the PSAT for freshmen. I felt so sad about the pressure she and many others are feeling about their futures and felt hopeless as far as how to help.

A close family friend of ours could not go to school today because she was overtaken by anxiety. The stimulus was college day and the PSAT for freshmen. I felt so sad about the pressure she and many others are feeling about their futures and felt hopeless as far as how to help.

  1. Spend time in nature with them, or at least outside, without electronics. Sometimes this is as simple as eating early dinner on the front steps of the house or in the back yard, taking the dog for a walk, or helping in the yard. The open air, sun, breeze, and sounds of birds, and shapes of nature clear the day’s energy that gets pent up in our energy field.  It can help reset our bodies and minds for a fresh start for the next phase of homework or for the next phase of the evening.

 

  1. Be mindful of our own anxiety about the future, and the pressures and expectations we have for them. Out of love, our children want to please us and make us proud. It is important for us as parents to practice grounding ourselves in the present and take responsibility for any anxiety we have about the future.  As we cultivate trust in life for ourselves, we model this for our children.  We must look ahead, and also put one foot in front of the other as life unfolds.  We have become accustomed and dependent on knowing what is going to happen, or even where to go (remember when we didn’t have smartphones?), and we need to train in being comfortable even when it is not clear where to go or what is going to happen.

 

  1. Are kids moving enough these days? The kids who are involved in sports do not have to worry about this one, but it seems like these days, unless you are on a sports team, you are not getting enough movement.  Physical activity is essential to shaking up the nervous system and freeing the body of held emotions, stress, and too much mental activity. When that energy has nowhere to be released, it is a very simple cause of anxiety.

 

  1. I realize that teens do not really get any physical contact!  The 5 year old gets it, the parents get it, but the preteen and teen don’t really get it unless they have a boyfriend or girlfriend.  They really do need it and long for it, so I notice I have to make a conscious effort to put my hands on my daughter. Always use healing, loving hands.  We can reassure them or support them in their successes and failures by putting hands on their shoulders or holding or hugging. We can massage their shoulders if they have a lot of study.  We can massage their heads and ears, or play with their hair. Before bed we can massage their backs, legs, arms, feet.  We can use essential oils for anxiety if they like them, or just scratch their backs before sleep.  There are many ways to use touch with our teens to help ground them and to communicate unconditional love and reassurance through our hands.

 

  1. Make an effort to expose them to different generations. I think being around babies, toddlers, young children, young adults, adults, or older adults gives teens perspective and takes them out of their possibly very constricted bubble of the teenage world.  They see the freedom and naturalness of children, and the wisdom and serenity of the mature. They get to see that maybe life is going to be ok, in this everchanging world.

 

  1. Make an effort to expose them to different generations. I think being around babies, toddlers, young children, young adults, adults, or older adults gives teens perspective and takes them out of their possibly very constricted bubble of the teenage world.  They see the freedom and naturalness of children, and the wisdom and serenity of the mature. They get to see that maybe life is going to be ok, in this everchanging world.

 

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