Anxiety can be summed up with one simple definition — it is a normal reaction to stress. However, although most of us do react anxiously from time to time, some people react very strongly even to everyday activities such as public speaking or taking exams. Surprisingly, even going on a date is too much for some. And still, while anxiety will look and feel the same for everyone who experiences it, causes of anxiety in teens will differ somewhat from causes of anxiety in other age groups.
How to tell if anxiety is excessive?
A small amount of anxiety is a good thing. It makes us work harder, be more diligent and cautious, not so eager to jump straight into an unknown situation, making us more protective of ourselves and everything around us as a result. On the other hand, too much anxiety will paralyze us, so how to tell the difference?
Excessive anxiety manifests as being anxious without any apparent reason, worrying about everyday events or activities, constantly checking on stuff to make sure everything is okay, and an inability to function in specific situations like hanging out with friends or taking exams.
How does anxiety in teens manifest?
Just like with anyone else, anxiety in teens will manifest itself with a plethora of different physical and psychological symptoms such as heart palpitations, muscle tension, poor memory and concentration, sweaty palms, shortness of breath, digestion problems, and many others.
What causes anxiety in teens?
As with most disorders, there is no single factor or an event responsible for causing anxiety, but rather it is a mixture of genetic, environmental, and psychological, developmental factors, and even personality traits. A stressful lifestyle like not sleeping enough or having too much on one’s plate also significantly contributes to eventually developing anxiety.
Teens that are overly responsible and perfectionistic are more likely to develop anxiety, as are those teens that are eager to please, that shy away from conflict, or in general, have very low assertiveness.
Ways to lower the anxious response
Some of the ways you can help your teen deal with anxiety include:
- Teach him relaxation techniques like meditation, listening to serene music, breathing techniques, and yoga and tai chi.
- Help him identify negative self-talk, then how to replace it with positive affirmations which will help reduce it.
- Teach him how to decipher between feeling and facts. When anxiety rises, he should first pause and ask himself what’s going on, and then figure out what to do with the feelings he has.
- If everything else fails, seeking out professional help, which could also include pharmacological treatment, might be necessary.
BlueFire Wilderness helps with anxiety issues
BlueFire Wilderness is a wilderness therapy program for teens. We help teens, ages 11 to 17, grappling with depression, ADHD, anxiety, defiance, and other emotional or behavioral problems.
At BlueFire, we strive to help each student find their inner confidence and succeed. We believe that through a balance of self-assessment, insight-oriented therapy, outdoor living, adventure activities, and academic focus these teens will find their true selves. We provide a supportive opportunity for parents and children to reconnect and strengthen their relationship.
For more information about how we help with anxiety issues at BlueFire Wilderness, please call 1 (844) 413-1999 today.