In today’s modern era, competition is intensifying. The world is facing an economic problem of scarcity – limited resources and unlimited wants. People are skeptical about the future, while teenagers are hunting for lucrative careers. There is an unspoken pressure from society, family, friends, and teachers that make teens worry about their future. Have you ever been in a future planning spree with some random person? After all, many people have a habit of bugging students with overwhelming questions.
Unfortunately, this situation is mentally challenging since teenagers are still exploring themselves and their talents. At the same time, the illusionary world of social media is creating unreal expectations from life. The economic uncertainty and unfortunate events such as the Amazon forest fire, the global pandemic, plane crash, fire outbreaks, are creating tension.
These things are drowning teens into anxiety and depression. They tend to feel nervous and worried due to the fear of losing control over life. As a result, panic attacks are sprouting in teenagers, but there is always a way out. Before jumping to prevention measures, it is imperative to understand the causes of teenage anxiety and panic attacks.
What are the causes of teenage anxiety and panic attacks?
Sometimes, people label anxiety to be a normal response to events and situations in life. Adults wonder what teens have to worry about as they are one responsible for all financial expenses. Panic attacks and anxiety result in physical sensations – faster heartbeat, breathing, tense muscles, sweaty palms, which is not normal. Here is a list of things that can cause teenage anxiety and panic attacks.
a. Social Media & Peer Pressure: Every teenager wants to ‘fit in’ the social circle, but peer pressure has always been a significant problem. It can be harmful and positive, but both can raise stress levels. A friend getting excellent grades puts a lot of pressure to conform and keep up. Likewise, bullying is another reason for social anxiety and panic attacks.
b. Drug Abuse & Drinking: Many teens indulge in bad habits that their parents disapprove of. It can result in anxiety disorders and stress in teenagers due to the fear of being caught.
c. Unrealistic Expectations: Teens are under a lot of stress due to the overwhelming expectations of parents. They want children to score higher grades and make it to the most prestigious universities. Similarly, teens have to stay active in extra-curricular – sports, community events, and maintain a social life. These expectations don’t leave them with enough time to decompress and unwind, resulting in anxiety.
d. Brain Development: Teenagers are different, meaning not all of them are ready to take adult responsibilities. Perhaps, brain development takes time. The underlying pressure leads to frustration mixed with a lack of ability.
Most parents worry about panic attacks during teenage, thinking their child is insane or incapable. Instead of putting labels, look for ways to prevent anxiety and panic attacks.
How to get rid of teenage anxiety and panic attacks
First of all, understand the difference between anxiety and panic attacks. Although both might sound similar, some ‘factors’ trigger anxiety. In comparison, a panic attack doesn’t come in reaction with a stressor; it is unpredictable and happens all of a sudden. Are you looking for a cure or treatment? Here are some ways to manage and prevent anxiety and panic attacks.
1. Practice Slower, Deeper Breathing
The minute you notice your heart beating fast or excessive sweating, start practicing breathing exercises. These are the most common symptoms of teenage anxiety and panic attacks. Usually, during a panic attack, breathing becomes shallow and rapid, decreasing the brain’s oxygen. It can further trigger the fear and panic mentally. Hence, take slow deep breaths to increase the blood flow in your brain. It will put you back in control by lowering heart rate and stress. Thus, catch up with breathing exercises and manage these attacks efficiently.
2. Exercise Daily
Are you into sports? If not, then mind going on a morning jog or an evening run with parents. Researchers believe exercise can reduce symptoms of anxiety, and there is enough evidence to prove this claim. Sweat from exercising releases endorphins – the happy hormones can ease anxiety levels. It is not mandatory to hit the gym since some physical activity will be good enough. You can participate in a soccer or baseball game after school, join a swim class, or take your pet for a walk every day.
3. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Have you heard of CBT? Cognitive-behavioral therapy, commonly known as the ‘talk therapy,’ helps the brain control thoughts and emotions. It lets people overcome their fears by changing the way someone thinks about it. Therapists are incredible listeners, making teenagers comfortable discuss to any problem. It teaches new coping skills and relaxation methods to relax the brain when under pressure. Moreover, if you had a traumatic experience, therapists can help you deal with it appropriately.
4. Supplements & Medication
If you think no amount of exercise or therapy is helping, opt for supplements since the medication is the last resort. Consult your doctor and ask recommendations on supplements for anxiety and panic attacks. You have to include vitamin D in the list as it an effective mood booster. Similarly, the vitamin B complex consists of eight different nutrients that manage body processes, including the stress levels. Request the doctor to prescribe a combination of supplements – magnesium, zinc, omega acids, for the best results.
5. Practice Mindfulness
If stress rules your life, and anxiety attacks are increasing, try your luck with mindfulness. Instead of running from your thoughts or sleeping it away, consider paying attention, and write them in a journal. It is the best practice of eliminating automatic negative thoughts – ANTS that make us feel miserable. Alongside this, consider challenging them with positive thoughts. For instance, if you feel unhappy, remind yourself of the better days in the past and show optimism for the future. By identifying the ANTS, you can readily replace them with realistic responses, eliminating the risk of anxiety and panic attacks.
Believe it or not, we are living in uncertain times. The threat of diseases is whirling around our minds while the increasing competition is opening doors to new challenges. The upcoming generation is stressing about the future and what it holds for them, resulting in tension and fear. Parents have to understand mental health concerns and support their children to reduce teenage anxiety and panic attacks in these tough times. Similarly, teenagers also have to develop a strong willpower to combat anxiety.