How to Support Adolescents Experiencing Anxiety
Adolescents who experience anxiety can benefit from techniques to help reduce anxious thoughts. This particular age group goes through not only a physical transformation but also a mental one. If parents and educators have an understanding of the change that is occurring in adolescents, it will be easier to support this age group. In a school setting, getting involved in extracurriculars that spark an interest can help decrease anxiety. Incorporating a healthy lifestyle that satisfies the teenager’s needs will also support this stage in development.
An understanding of adolescents is important to help reduce anxiety for this age group. Understanding that adolescents have a natural want and need to be self-sufficient will make teenagers feel heard when they express, for example, that they want to work and make money outside of the home. Teenagers also go through physical changes that include hormones. This change, like any other change, can be a source of anxiety. To help adolescents through this, adults in their life can try to better understand the differences in the body. Working with the teens and trying to understand how the changes make them feel will help with episodes of anxiety. When adolescents know that they are being heard and understood, they will be more open to discussing what makes them anxious.
Because adolescents sense the importance of being a part of a group, connecting with peers is a necessity. This can be done in school settings by joining extracurricular activities such as clubs, sports, or academic opportunities. Students will be able to relate to others and make meaningful relationships with peers. When teenagers can connect with others and find a place to express themselves, anxiety can be reduced. These extracurriculars also help feed the student’s interest. When children can find a productive way to express themselves, it can keep them focused in a positive way.
More traditional ways to combat anxiety is by staying healthy with a proper diet and exercise. As a parent it is important to model this for your child so that healthy habits can be built at a young age. Keep in mind that an adolescent’s body is still developing and may need an altered diet and set of exercises. It is helpful to do research prior to implementing these habits so that you can support the adolescent in maintaining healthy habits.
Understanding the development of teenagers, supporting extracurricular activities, and implementing a healthy lifestyle are all ways to help reduce anxiety in adolescents.
About the Author
Saniyyah Khalilallah worked in a Montessori classroom for over a decade, first as an assistant and then later as a certified guide (Primary, 3 – 6 years). Now, she is writing books for children, consulting, and tutoring. Contact her at skmontessori.com or email@example.com.