January 23, 2023 6 min read
Being a teenager is difficult in 2022. We have to deal with problems that didn’t exist or weren’t normalised in the days of previous generations.
Gen-Z is the most self-aware generation yet because we’re more open to accepting that there are problems and finding solutions to fix them.
One thing that there is a lack of however, is our understanding of anxiety and how to deal with it.
Note: this article is about the emotion of anxiety, not anxiety as a generalised mental disorder. If you’re dealing with the latter, please reach out to a mental health professional today.
Before looking to overcome it, we must first understand the causes. Only after you understand why a problem exists can you figure out how to deal with it.
Here are 3 of the biggest causes of teenage anxiety.
As a generation that has essentially grown up on social media, we watch people (most of whom we barely know ?) post about many of their wins and not as many losses—it’s no wonder then, that we tend to become underconfident and stressed out.
We often don’t think of the fact that what we see online is never entirely true, and people usually post glorified, edited, and the best versions of their life.
Adolescents are also generally prone to emotional vulnerability due to all sorts of hormonal changes paired with environmental factors. Any kind of sudden change in your surroundings can trigger intense emotions.
For instance, family problems may have a long-lasting psychological impact on children, which can trouble them for a lifetime. Another example is how moving cities and losing friends can cause emotional turmoil, leading to anxiety.
With competition rising continuously, in a country as populous as India, the pressure that’s put on children can make many crumble under it.
High academic expectations are another significant source of stress for teenagers where they are required to study for long hours to get good grades and prepare for competitive exams to get into the best colleges.
Notice how this section is titled ‘manage’ anxiety, not ‘overcome’ it. There is never really a permanent escape from anxiety. The emotion of anxiety is not unique to teenagers or people from a specific profession.
Each and every one of us experiences anxiety, regardless of how old we are, what we do, and who we are.
Managing anxiety is about learning to live with it, it’s about experiencing anxiety but not letting it stop you from going about your day to day life and taking action.
Here are 4 effective ways to manage your anxiety.
The best thing to use social media for is creativity and sharing your ideas with the world.
Find opportunities and connect with like-minded people, work for causes you are passionate about, and use it to access information to educate and grow yourself as a person.
Above all, be mindful of how you’re using social media. Don’t get lost in the endless cycle of doom scrolling.
Through self-talk, make yourself understand that what you’re seeing online is not someone’s ‘normal’ or ‘average’, it is their best, edited, and superficial self.
The human brain naturally compares, so we can’t stop it, but when it does, we need to remind it that what we see online is not real life. Nobody is as perfect as they portray themselves to be online.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle is the best antidote to stress and anxiety.
Be physically active, go out, and play with your friends. Don’t always resort to the cheap dopamine given by social media and video games. Make a habit to spend some time outdoors every day. This burns off cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body and helps you to relax.
Take care of your physical health, because it directly controls and affects your mental health.
Eat a healthy diet to keep your body fit and energetic. Maintaining a good sleep schedule is essential to keeping your body and mind healthy. Lack of sleep is one of the main causes of stress in teenagers. Manage your time better to ensure that you don’t have to sacrifice your sleep during exams.
Having support is essential when you are struggling with mental health. Nobody can get through life alone, regardless of how strong and put together they are.
Form healthy relationships with your parents, friends, teachers, and acquaintances. This will make you feel confident and reassured that you can rely on someone in a time of need.
Communication is essential whenever you feel some friction or problems with anybody, learn to communicate respectfully and effectively. It is always the right option to talk it out and understand each other. This will make it easier to maintain positivity by avoiding any negative emotions and not forming toxic relationships.
Having the self-awareness and strength to know when to seek help is important.
Sometimes the feelings of getting overwhelmed may be prolonged and lead to a situation which is hard to navigate by yourself.
In such a case, do not hesitate to reach out to your parents, teachers, school counsellors, or anyone you trust.
It is perfectly fine to take professional help when things seem to get out of hand. There are several mental health services for teens and therapists, specially trained to assist you.
Opening up as a teen is hard but it’s the first step to improving your mental health and life.
There will always be people ready to help you, all you have to do is ask.
The teenage years are undoubtedly a period of excitement, rebellion, and, most importantly, understanding and accepting ourselves. It’s a formative and transformative period where you both discover who you are and decide who you’re going to be.
It’s not always easy to navigate though. Surrounding yourself with motivated and empathetic people can help.
Always remember that it’s okay to feel down or lost, there’s no shame in it. In fact, it’s an integral part of the process of figuring life out.
The path to your goals goes through anxiety, doubt, and fear. But if you do the things mentioned in this article, we’re confident you’ll get to your desired destination.
And if you need some help getting there, Kohort is always here for you 🙂
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