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It can be difficult as a parent to watch your teen child suffer from anxiety when you’re not quite sure how or if you can help. In fact, you can do more to alleviate that anxiety than you may realize. This is an opportunity for you to take a bigger interest in your teen’s life. By helping them adopt healthier habits, you’ll help them cope with their anxiety in natural ways.
Plan More Physical Activities
Anxiety is related to stress, so it’s important to get your teen involved in activities that will help reduce stress. Although exercise is great for physical health, it’s also an effective way of alleviating stress and mental tension. As you engage in sports, resistance training, or other types of physical activity, your brain releases endorphins that stimulate the pleasure center of the brain. These endorphins combat stress hormones, which is why you often feel much happier after a good workout. Organize a variety of different activities you can do together as a family. Get your teen involved in bicycling, swimming, golfing, or tennis. Engaging in a variety of different activities will strengthen more muscle groups and keep your teen interested in working out.
As a parent, you will have to evaluate the severity of your teen’s anxiety. If it seems as though natural lifestyle changes aren’t doing enough to alleviate the anxiety, your teen may need professional counseling in Alpharetta, GA or your particular locale. A therapist will help your teen work through the causes of their anxiety during counseling sessions. In addition to teaching your teen behavior modification and other types of therapy, they may also prescribe medication to help your teen cope with their anxiety. Your teen may also feel more comfortable confiding in a stranger, so scheduling counseling will give them someone new to trust with their thoughts and feelings.
You should also schedule time for your teen to engage in relaxation techniques to help them feel more at ease each day. You can practice meditation or yoga with them. Alternatively, encourage your teen to read a book or take a warm bath before bedtime each night. If your teen likes to play video games, let them do that for an hour each night. Playing games can be a great way to unwind and relax after a long day of socializing and schoolwork. Let your teen find other activities that relax them, so they will have a variety of choices each night.
Promote Great Sleep
Getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night is essential to good mental health, so you should make sure your teen is sleeping well. If they are having trouble sleeping, they may need a firmer mattress and new pillows. If their sheets or blankets feel rough or scratchy, get them smoother bedding. Additionally, keeping the thermostat set between 65 and 70 degrees at night can promote better sleep. If your teen’s bedroom is exposed to exterior lighting or noise, you should try to eliminate these environmental conditions. A sleep mask or earplugs may help. If your teen still isn’t sleeping well throughout the night, consult their doctor about the issue.
Be a Good Listener
One of the first things you should do to help a teen with anxiety is to be there for them. In many cases, a teen may just need someone to talk to in a casual manner. Try to avoid being judgmental. It will be better altogether if you can step out of your role as a parent and simply listen to your teen’s concerns. In most cases, a teen’s anxiety stems from difficult social situations that they are ill-equipped to handle. When they feel as though they have no one in whom they can confide, their anxiety will worsen. As you listen to your teen, try to come up with similar experiences you had in your youth. This can help them feel understood, and they may be able to adapt your solution to their situation.
As your teen adds these practices to their daily routine, they will begin to feel fewer episodes of anxiety. Instead, their emotional health will improve, and they will feel more self-confidence. Their physical health will also improve, helping them to maintain better overall health. As a result, your teen will be happier and they will adjust better as they transition to adulthood.