Powerful Strategies To Help Your Teen Beat Anxiety

Anna Nokes, LCSW

Anna Nokes, LCSW

Is your teen struggling with anxiety? Discover the most effective strategies parents can use to help teens overcome anxiety. All our articles are written by professional therapists. 

Strategies to Help Teens with Anxiety

Strategies to Help Teens with Anxiety

Individual Therapy For Teen Anxiety

Everyone can benefit from having someone to talk to who’s not their parent or friends. Best Therapies staff includes therapists that specialize in working with anxiety in teens. In therapy, your child will be able to learn coping skills to manage their anxiety more effectively, be able to find the root cause of the anxiety, and have someone to discuss the thoughts that anxiety cause that may be hard to share with friends and family! 

Joyful Movement: Physical Activity For Teen Anxiety

Moving one’s body moves the stress out of the body. Have a dance party, take a mindful walk, or take your pets for a walk. I would encourage you to help your teen find an activity that they enjoy that helps them move their bodies. It’s not about being focused on calories or intensity, but about how good it feels to move one’s body! 

Medication For Teen Anxiety

Have your teen assessed by someone who specializes in working with teens to see if medication would be helpful. As a teen, medication was a huge part of my healing! I refer folx to Meridian Psychiatric Partners. A psychiatrist will do a thorough assessment of your teens mental health. They’ll ask about mental health history in the family, symptoms that the teen experiences, when those symptoms started, and assess for other mental health conditions such as depression or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. 

Group Therapy: Building Resilience And Connection

Meeting other teens who understand can be crucial. It can be so nice to feel not alone and realize everyone struggles with something. You can search for therapy support groups on Psychology Today. I think group therapy is a great way for teens to make community with other teens experiencing similar issues and to be able to discuss with people who get it what it’s like to be a teen with anxiety! 

Group Therapy To Overcome Anxiety

Practice self-compassion

 Speak kindly to yourself! The way you speak to yourself matters. Model to your teen that it is cool to be kind to yourself. When I work with teens I try to help them stop saying things to themselves like, “you’re so stupid” or “you’re not normal because you struggle with anxiety.” Instead, I encourage them to say things like “you made a mistake and that’s okay! As humans, we make mistakes and the only thing that matters is that we grow from our mistakes,” or “so many people struggle with anxiety! Normal is overrated and what’s important is that you realize struggling with anxiety is a common experience that you don’t need to feel shame about!“

Grounding Exercises For Anxiety In Teens

5 senses exercise (5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can touch, 2 things you can smell, and one thing you can taste), mindful breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation are some of my favorites. When you take your teen to therapy, your teen will learn many grounding exercises that they can practice inside and outside of therapy. For one to experience the most benefit from therapy, it is important to take what one learns in therapy and utilize it outside of therapy on a regular basis. 

Additional Read: The Quarantine Blues: 3 Steps to Fight The Anxiety, Uncertainty, and Fear of the Pandemic

Conclusion

It’s okay to not be okay. You and your teen will get through the hard times that come your way. Some teens will struggle with anxiety into their adult years and that’s okay. It can be scary to hear that, but the important thing to note is that your teen can work on managing their anxiety with ongoing medication and therapy. Many people live with lifelong anxiety and go on to live really meaningful lives. It’s not about always being happy, but savoring the moments of happiness when they come. 

As a teen, the best way my parents supported me was by taking me to therapy. If you want your teen to work with someone who gets what it’s like to struggle as a teen, I’d love to work with them. If you’re worried about your teen’s mental health, take them to a therapy appointment and see how it goes. Try out a few different therapists to find the right fit for your teen! A meaningful therapeutic relationship with one’s therapist can be an anchor in the midst of living in a world where life can be really hard sometimes. 

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