If you’re a teenager with anxiety, you are not alone. Anxiety is a problem that teenagers face worldwide as pressures to succeed strengthen, uncertainties of the world become scarier, and social media presence increases in value. While it’s important to accept that you can’t control everything that happens, you can control the impact anxiety has on your life. To gain better control of your anxiety, we recommend starting with the following tips:
1. Anxious teens can practice breathing exercises
If you have been dealing with anxiety for awhile now, you are probably familiar with the feeling of breathlessness during an episode. This feeling is your body’s natural fight or flight response to stress, but it only intensifies anxiety. Thankfully, there are a variety of breathing exercises you can try to improve your breathing and anxiety. Some popular breathing exercises are focusing your breath, abdomen breathing, and guided meditation.
2. Take good care of yourself to reduce teenage anxiety
Everyone tells you to take good care of yourself, but what does that mean? For the average teenager, that means eating a variety of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and protein to ensure proper nutrition, sleeping between 9 and 9.5 hours each night, and exercising for a minimum 30 minutes each day. Taking care of your body ensures that you stay healthy and strong while reducing stress and anxiety.
3. Disconnect social media
Social media isn’t just a time waster, it can contribute to your anxiety too. While most teenagers innocently create accounts on social media platforms to connect with friends, they are putting themselves at risk for blackmail, harassment, and cyberbullying if the wrong information gets out. You might feel increased pressure for “likes” or positive comments or start comparing your life to those shown on social media. If you feel like social media is contributing to your anxiety, you should try pulling the plug for a few days and note any positive effects.
4. Face your fears
This next tip is easier said than done, but it is effective. Facing your fears is known as exposure and it works because the more you expose yourself to your fear, the less anxiety you will feel as your brain realizes there isn’t a real threat. This isn’t always a quick fix and might take some persistence on your side but it’s worth it if it lessens the amount of anxiety you feel.
5. Talk to someone
Whether it’s a friend, trusted adult, or trained professional, talking to someone about your anxiety can help take the pressure off you. It helps you develop a strong support group, and you might learn tips like healthy coping mechanisms. Letting someone know how you are feeling might open the door to receiving other types of treatment, that otherwise may have been more difficult to access.