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As adults, we often look back at our teenage years with relative fondness. Sure, there were hiccups and hard times. There were the challenges that come with growing up, such as peer pressure, societal standards, and preparing for the future. Overall, though, most of us do end up looking back at this time and thinking positively about it.

So if you are a parent raising a teenager, you likely have forgotten the emotional adventure that being a teenager often is. Or how anxiety-inducing it all really is. The teenage years are already hard enough, so if you are looking for tips on how to help your teen navigate anxiety, look no further.

How To Help Your Teen Navigate Anxiety

Know The Symptoms & Signs

To better help your teen, it’s important to know how anxiety is manifesting itself. Some common symptoms of anxiety in teens include:

Additionally, they may show the following physical signs of anxiety such as:

Show Them Support

One of the best ways to help your teen navigate anxiety is to give them support. They might find it difficult to open up about what they are going with – after all, they are teenagers!

You don’t have to force them to have a conversation with you, but you can let them know you are there if they need to talk about anything.

Don’t Be Accusatory

Nothing is worse as a teenager than feeling as if you are being accused of something. If you have noticed a change in their behavior, there are gentle ways of asking them about this. You can say something like, “I’ve noticed that you seem a little off lately and I just want to check in to see if everything is okay.”

It might not feel like it lately, but you have always been their source of comfort and a safe place to turn to since they were a child. While the dynamic right now may be different, they’ll appreciate knowing that still is true.

Listen To Them

When they do finally decide to open up to you, it’s important that you be their listening ear. Even if you don’t understand their anxiety over something, they should feel as if you are hearing them about it. They should never be made to feel as if they are overacting. Instead, listen to them and when it’s appropriate, give them advice on ways to deal with what they are worrying about.

Give Them Ideas For Managing Anxiety

As adults, we often understand what anxiety feels like because we’ve been dealing with it for so long. Teenagers are a little different in how they process emotions and thoughts.

Talk with them about ways that you help to keep your anxiety in check throughout the day. Often, how we learn to cope with anxiety as adults is the same for teenagers. This could be anything from meditating, going for a walk, reading, or watching their favorite tv show or movie.

Navigating the murky waters of the teenage years is challenging enough. When you add in anxiety, it can really throw a wrench in trying to get through these years. Not knowing how to help your teenager deal with any mental health concern can be pretty disheartening for many parents. However, anxiety is one of the most common mental health conditions in the world.

If you believe that anxiety is beginning to impact your teen in profound ways, don’t hesitate to reach out to a therapist for help. Together, we can help get to the root cause of your teenager’s anxiety through counselling for teens.