Think of the last time you felt anxious. Whether you were dreading an upcoming work presentation, worrying about finances, or thinking about an impending doctor’s appointment, you likely experienced an urge to avoid the stressor in some way, perhaps by procrastinating, thinking about something else, or putting off the appointment. Avoiding anxiety provoking situations is a hard-wired human instinct that can be very helpful at times, such as keeping us from walking down an isolated dark alley alone at night. However, avoidance can also be a slippery slope-particularly when it is a child’s primary way of coping with worry.
We all have cloudy days when challenges roll in, but some people seem to move through them more easily than others. People who adapt well to stress, recover quickly from challenges, and are even strengthened by difficult circumstances are called resilient.
Everyone feels anxious sometimes. It’s very normal. In fact, anxiety has a useful purpose in our lives; it keeps us safe. When we’re anxious, our bodies set off a reaction called the flight-or-flight response, and this causes changes in our bodies… faster heartbeat, trembling hands, shallow breathing, focused thinking. These changes help us act quickly when we need to, to protect ourselves -like staying away from a wild animal!
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Read More about Mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness is one way that children and teens can learn to cope with stress and enhance their overall mental health.
Looking for a Psychologist?
Getting the help of a trained, licensed professional may be the best thing for your child. The APA’s Psychologist Finder can help you locate a therapist in your area.