Anxiety can take a toll on the self esteem of a teenager. As kids with anxiety are prone to perfectionism and obsessive thoughts, this can naturally lead to self-blame and your teen taking too much responsibility when things go wrong. Over time, this can chip away at self esteem, leaving a person feeling very low. You can help to mitigate against this by having conversations with your teen, reminding them of the following facts.
Anxiety is common. Everyone experiences some sort of anxiety in their life.
There is a great likelihood that someone your teen knows quite well is experiencing or has experienced anxiety in their life. Make sure your teen knows that they are not alone in this. If you have struggled with anxiety yourself, it may be helpful for your teen to hear how you have managed. If there’s someone else in your family or network who has dealt with anxiety, ask them if they would be willing to share their experience with your teen.
Having anxiety has nothing to do with personal worth, character or abilities.
It takes a lot of courage to face anxiety and work it out. Courage is about moving through your fears and worries – and people with anxiety do this all the time!
Anxiety is not a personality, it is a feeling.
It’s important for your teen to know that their anxiety does not define them as a person. Remind them that anxiety is a response that happens in everyone’s bodies, and it will come and go—more for some people than others. It will never last forever, and will disappear even faster when helpful tools and strategies are used.
Be mindful, active, healthy, and reflective.
Help your teen get into a healthy lifestyle! Mindfulness thinking can be a wonderful way to ease anxiety, especially through meditation. Promote staying active through exercise and spending time outside. Encourage them to stay healthy by having a well-rounded diet, but not getting fixated or inflexible about exactly what and how much to eat.
And last but not least, teach your teen to be reflective about all these actions to help relieve the anxiety they feel. Ask them to check in to see how their body and mind feels after taking part in these healthy lifestyle practices. For more information on anxiety and helpful strategies to manage it, have a look at our Childhood Anxiety course (Teen Anxiety course coming soon).