Healthy Ways to Deal with Adolescent Anxiety

Anxiety disorders are common in children and adolescents. Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time, but when you’re dealing with it all the time, it can be overwhelming and debilitating. If you’re a teenager, it can feel crushing and impact your social life.

Learning to cope with anxiety in healthy ways can improve your overall well-being. You just may need some new tools.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is characterized by intense and chronic worry or fear about everyday situations. The worry you experience may often be disproportionate to the actual threat of the situation or object causing the anxiety.

Some common signs of anxiety include:

  • Excessive worry
  • Restlessness
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Feeling “on edge”
  • Trouble controlling worry
  • Racing heart
  • Sweating or chills

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, you might seek the help of a mental health professional.

How Does Anxiety Affect Kids and Teens?

Anxiety can wreak havoc on teenagers. They may worry so much that they have difficulty sleeping, or they may put intense academic pressure on themselves and feel anxious when they don’t live up to high expectations.

They may also feel frightened of other’s perceptions of them. Anxiety can impact school performance and cause problems in social relationships. If you’re dealing with anxiety, there are some things you can do to learn to cope.

How to Cope with Anxiety

There are some tools you can use to learn to manage your anxiety. Learning how to cope effectively can help you alleviate symptoms of anxiety.

1. Deep breathing techniques

Learning deep breathing techniques can help you cope with anxiety effectively. There are different methods of deep breathing, such as:

  • Four square or box breathing: With four square or box breathing, you inhale or breathe in for four seconds, hold it for four seconds, exhale or breathe out for four seconds, and hold your lungs empty for four seconds. Once you’re done with the sequence, you begin again.

  • The 4-7-8 breathing technique: With this technique, you inhale through your nose for four seconds, hold it for seven seconds, and breathe out for eight seconds. You should aim to repeat the technique four times.

  • Five-finger breathing: With five-finger breathing, you trace each of your fingers as you inhale and exhale. You start by placing your hand out and tracing each finger. As you trace your finger up, inhale, and when you trace your finger down, exhale. When you’re done with your hand, take five deep breaths.

Deep breathing can help restore a sense of calm and help you regulate your breathing when you’re anxious.

2. Relaxation techniques

Finding ways to relax and unwind can help teens deal with anxiety. Some relaxation techniques that may be helpful include:

If you are looking to utilize relaxation techniques to cope with anxiety, you must find one you enjoy.

3. Medication

Medication can be helpful for teens dealing with anxiety. While medication isn’t a fix-all, it can reduce symptoms of anxiety. If you’re considering medication, talk to a medical professional to determine what treatments may suit you.

4. See a mental health counselor

When you talk to a licensed mental health provider, they can help identify what’s going on and assist you with recognizing triggers and coping skills for your anxiety. An anxiety therapist for teens will develop a treatment plan with you to help you work on and reduce symptoms of anxiety.

Let’s Recap

If you’re a teenager dealing with anxiety, it can be overwhelming and may leave you feeling emotional. Anxiety can impact school and social relationships. It can also make it challenging to go about your daily activities.

Learning relaxation or deep breathing techniques can help combat anxiety. If those techniques aren’t enough, consider medication for anxiety or seeing a mental health counselor.


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