Anxiety and its Effects on Children
Anxiety comes in various forms and affects many children in the U.S. daily. Studies have shown that 9.4% of children aged between 3 and 17 suffer from anxiety. Keeping this knowledge in mind, educating children and adolescents on methods they can use to cope with their anxiety disorder is important. Aware has chosen five core coping methods children should use to help cope with their anxiety.
Often, journaling can be used as a tool to help navigate emotions and frustrations. Even as adults, it can be hard to verbalize how we are feeling and what is causing us anxiety. Understandably, it can be more challenging as an adolescent to convey struggles with anxiety and where it is rooted. However, encouraging journaling at a young age will be a great coping method as they navigate their anxiety and other obstacles in life.
2. Speaking with Someone You Trust
Communication plays a significant role in the life of a child or teen with anxiety. Worries can regularly be subdued if conveyed to someone they trust and feel safe. The person children choose to communicate with does not necessarily need to be the parent. It can be a mentor, teacher, family member, or friend. As a parent, it is essential not to let egos get in the way regarding with whom the child chooses to address their concerns. Ultimately, it comes down to the child’s best interest.
3. Self Care
Taking care of yourself might sound like an obvious solution to anxiety. Still, it is astonishing how neglectful we become of our minds and bodies when we suffer from anxiety. Taking the time to show yourself love can go a long way and looks different for everyone. For some, self-care might be having a spa day, hanging out with loved ones, or simply doing nothing and recouping. No matter what your method of self-care is, make it a priority coping method for anxiety and other mental health issues.
Therapy is not nearly as taboo as it used to be. Getting professional advice is sometimes the best coping method for anxiety. While anxiety can sometimes be resolved with lifestyle changes or at-home methods, more severe anxiety can require a licensed professional and medications. Additionally, it is always beneficial to seek professional help because navigating anxiety can be tricky, and those affected could be better or worse than assumed. For these reasons and more, we must educate children on the benefits of receiving professional help. No one should fear or feel embarrassed about therapy.
5. Identify Triggers
Anxiety can be triggered in a variety of ways. It is our responsibility to discover these triggers to help cope with anxiety and prevent the panic attacks that come with its diagnosis. In children and teens, triggers can be schoolwork, exams, public speaking, or a stressful environment. If adolescents in your life suffer from anxiety, help them identify their triggers by observing their environment when panic is on the rise.
We want to raise awareness for child and adolescent mental health at Aware. For more information, visit aware.com/giving-back and help us reach our goal of spreading more information on mental health.