Anxiety is a physiological, mental, and emotional response to a stressor; it is a heightened, more extreme response to things that aren’t necessarily threats. For example, that sensation you might get when meeting someone new: feeling your heart beating faster, trembling in your hands, dry mouth. Chances are, the person you are meeting isn’t a threat, but your autonomic nervous system perceives them that way.
What are the Symptoms of Anxiety in Kids and Teens?
Kids experience anxiety in a variety of ways. Most commonly…
- Withdrawal from friends, families or activities
- Headaches or stomachaches
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty with transitions from home to school or class to class
- Increased self-consciousness
How Is Anxiety Different in Adults?
Common symptoms in adults include:
- Worry about work, relationships and finances
- Feeling “keyed-up”, or tired
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep
- Difficulty with concentration and focus
- “Comfort eating” or craving “carbs”
- Feeling irritable
- Difficulty relaxing and “turning off” thoughts
Is It Real or In My Head?
Anxiety is absolutely real. And incredibly common. We live in a 24/7 culture, with stimulation through technology and media coming at us at a pace that is impossible to keep up with. Imagine a thimble trying to contain a waterfall. Anxiety is often the result when we criticize ourselves for not being able to keep up, or compare ourselves with others. And anxiety has strong genetic ties and can worsen when stressful life circumstances occur.
What Can I Do To Help Relieve My Anxiety?
ANXIETY IS INCREDIBLY TREATABLE. The first step is to recognize it. Steps you can take on your own include:
- Regular physical activity
- Reading for pleasure
- Watching TV or movies that make you laugh
- Being intentional about your social life
- Limiting caffeine and foods high in sugar
- Eliminate tobacco products