Teen Anxiety: How To Cope With Anxiety

Tests, SATs, sports, extra-curricular activities, bff drama – parents!  Teens certainly face a lot of pressure. and that pressure can lead to… Anxiety!

What exactly is anxiety?

Anxiety is that scared feeling that you may be aware of in your stomach or in your chest or like your, something stuck in your throat, it comes up when you see something ahead of you that looks like it might be dangerous, or hurt you.

but it’s not just something you see, it’s also something you’re thinking about, right?

Yes, it can come from thoughts, it can come from an actual situation.

Besides things like having to worry about tests or having to worry about making it on the sports team or having to deal with parents, what are some of the other things that causes teens to be anxious?

One big source of anxiety is college, “what am i going to do after high school?” another big source maybe what’s going on between your parents as well as how they react to what you do. Probably the biggest source though is friends. “Do they like you? Will you get a boyfriend?” those are all anxiety provoking arenas.

How about the thing called performance anxiety, what exactly is that?

Performance anxiety comes up when you’re going to be in front of other people. some people just get scared because people are watching them, others get more scared because they’re thinking “(gasp), this is my big chance.” any thought about “the bigs”, increases nervous feelings.

Anything new, like “oh this is the first time, uh, our team has played against that team.” // another big way to feel anxious when you’re going to be in front of people .// “what do they think about me. how am i doing in their eyes?”

So instead, in performance situations, just focus on what you’re doing. keep right in the present, and in the flow.

How does information help fight anxiety?

Getting information is the first step toward problem solving. anxiety alerts you that there’s a problem ahead, let’s take the simple example of a test coming up: if you’re anxious, figure out precisely what information you need, “oh, i need to know what the test is going to cover, I need to know how long we’ll have to do the test”.

The more information you have, the more likely you can then go into planning how to prepare. preparation makes a big difference.

Are there any other things that can help reduce anxiety for us teens?

Just remember, anxiety’s there to help you. It alerts you that there’s a problem ahead, so pay attention, think about what’s triggering that anxiety when you have that anxious feeling. Get information and come up with a plan of action.