How to Help Your Teen When They're Struggling with Anxiety
As a parent, it's natural to want to protect your child from any hurt or harm they may experience. But when your teen is struggling with anxiety, it can be difficult to know how to best help them. After all, anxiety is a real and serious mental health condition—one that can be very tough to manage on one's own.
Fortunately, there are some concrete things you can do as a parent to help your teen through their anxiety. In this blog post, we'll cover some of the basics of anxiety and offer some practical tips for helping your teen navigate their way to a calmer state of mind.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is more than just feeling stressed or worried about something. It's a mental health condition that causes real physical symptoms like chest pain, rapid heart rate, trouble breathing, and more. For many people, anxiety can be debilitating— interfering with their ability to live a normal, healthy life.
That's why it's so important for parents to be supportive and understanding when their teen is going through an anxious period. Here are four specific things you can do to help:
1. Talk about anxiety openly and honestly
The first step in helping your teen manage their anxiety is simply to talk about it. Bring up the topic openly and honestly, and let them know that you're here to listen without judgement. This will give them the space they need to open up about how they're feeling and what they're dealing with on a day-to-day basis.
2. Encourage healthy coping mechanisms
There are lots of different ways to cope with anxiety, but not all of them are healthy (e.g., endless scrolling on social media, binge eating, drinking alcohol or using drugs). Instead of encouraging these unhealthy coping mechanisms, try to steer your teen towards healthier options like guided meditations, exercise, journaling, or spending time with friends or outside in nature. There are several natural remedies for anxiety that are especially helpful like B Vitamins and L-theanine.
3. Help them develop a support network
One of the best things you can do for your teen is help them develop a strong support network—whether that's close friends or family members who understand what they're going through or a therapist who can provide professional guidance. This support network will be essential for helping them manage their anxiety on an ongoing basis.
4. Seek professional help if necessary
If your teen's anxiety is proving too much for them to handle on their own—or if it's interfering with their ability to live a normal life—it may be time to seek professional help from a therapist, hypnotherapist or counselor. These professionals can provide additional support and guidance that will be invaluable in helping your teen overcome their anxiety once and for all.
Show your teen a photo or video of the therapist before you take them. Teens like to be included in the process and are a good judge of who they will click with and who they will not. We provide teens from Auckland and all over New Zealand with support to overcome their anxiety. You can book an appointment here.
Osteopathy can also be incredibly helpful for anxiety, especially if the person has had a concussion or injury.
Anxiety is a real and serious mental health condition—one that can be very tough to manage on one's own. Fortunately, there are some concrete things you can do as a parent to help your teen through their anxiety. If you think your teen may be struggling with anxiety, we encourage you to reach out for professional help sooner rather than later—the sooner they get help, the better!