How to help your teen manage anxiety over the future
If your teenager is struggling with anxiety about school or their future, he or she is not alone. You are not alone. The American Academy Program has advice that can help your teen manage anxiety over the future.
Teenagers and anxiety: The statistics
Anxiety and other mental health issues have risen dramatically among adolescents and young adults. A Pew Research study found that mental health is an issue for 70 percent of teens. Another study from the American College Association found that the percentage of students dealing with anxiety increased dramatically over time.
- Nearly one-third of college students examined suffer from depression.
- 61 percent of teens say they feel pressure to get good grades (Pew Research study)
Perfectionism and anxiety
Anxiety often comes in the form of negative thoughts, a fear of failure or a fear of social interactions. Many students feel a constant “pressure to perform.” They may feel pressure to ace the test so that they can maintain a good GPA to get into a good college so they can have a successful career.
According to Psycom.net, perfectionism can lead to:
- Low achievement
- Inability to focus and finish tasks
- Feelings of helplessness
- Social isolation
The Role of smartphones and social media on anxiety
Incidences of anxiety and depression have risen sharply since the advent of smartphones and social media. Teens have a constant need to be accepted, along with a fear of being judged.
Since most teens always have their phones with them, there is no escape from the pressure, even when they are at home.
Helping your teen manage anxiety
While anxiety is real, there are ways teens can manage their feelings.
The core philosophy of mindfulness is that you pay attention to your thoughts and then let them go.
What to do:
- Get comfortable and close your eyes.
- Pay attention to your breathing. Notice how the air moves through your body. Notice how your body moves. Notice your heart beat.
- What can you hear and feel? What sounds are coming from the room or outside?
- If your mind starts to wander, focus in again.
- Smiling Mind
- Stop, Breathe, Think
- Insight Meditation Timer
Take deep breaths
Deep breathing exercises work because of the body’s physical response. “Strong, deep breathing initiates the relaxation response, which . . . can neutralize the surge of neurochemicals that cause the awful physical feelings of anxiety,” according to Hey Sigmund.
Exercise is good for the body and mind. Even 30 minutes of exercise a day can help ease an anxious mind. Exercise helps because it increases levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which tells overexcited neurons to “calm down.”
A diet filled with junk food, sugar, and processed/packaged foods can have a big impact on your teen’s mental health. Make sure your child is eating unprocessed, healthy food, as well as food that contains good gut bacteria.
Anxiety is real for millions of teens, but there are ways you can help your child cope with fears about the future.
Tutoring at American Heritage School
Your child may need extra help to avoid falling behind due to Covid-19. The American Academy is offering a specialized Tutoring Program for Lower, Middle, and High School students.
Subject areas include:
- Foreign Language
- Physical Education
- Social Studies
Join The American Academy Program
The American Academy Program – a college preparatory school for students with mild learning differences - was created to help students who struggle with learning disorders.
Our small classroom setting allows students to receive more individual attention. Together with experts and teachers, we can ensure that your child is taught methods that will help him or her do well in school.
We are now accepting applications for the 2021-22 school year. Please reach out to Alexandra Rollins with any questions you may have.