Anxiety is a part of us and without it we likely would not be here. Our “flight or fight” reflex is based on anxiety and can be traced back to our evolutionary roots. The problem is when anxiety is not controlled. When fears of what we think may happen take over then anxiety affects our mental health. Teens can be taught how to control their anxiety and learn to take back control of their mental health.
A simple definition of anxiety is a result of our thoughts and feelings about events in the future that we think are going to happen. An exam that is scheduled for tomorrow can be stressful. A bully who might be at the park can be terrifying. In both of these cases, a young person’s thoughts and feelings about the future can have a really negative effect on them.
Anxiety can lead to insomnia, fatigue, irritability, and uncontrolled worry. It can be caused by social situations, spiders, and for some people it is a general feeling. 2/3 of people that suffer from anxiety will also suffer from depression.
The good news is that while some people may have anxiety for their entire lives, anxiety can be controlled with therapy. Cognitive behavioural therapy and mindfulness, two approaches that are at the core of my practice, have been shown to have a high rate of success when treating anxiety. There are techniques that I have taught to young people that can lessen the impact of anxiety.