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Stress

  • Stress

    Six Ways to Avoid Stress This Semester

    Six Ways to Avoid Stress This Semester

    1. Make good use of your planner

    Schools typically issue a planner to their students at the beginning of the school year, but there are tons of cute and affordable planner options if you would like to have one more custom to your needs. It’s been proven that writing things down helps you remember them, and often times seeing everything you have to do written out together can help you visualize how much time you have to spend working on different projects throughout the week. I personally have 4 different places to write things down: a pocket-sized daily planner with hourly slots to help plan out busy days (TJ Maxx), a dry-erase calendar (Amazon.com), an un-dated weekly planner that stands up on my desk (also TJ Maxx) and a weekly to-do list notepad that I use for non-school and work related tasks (TJ Maxx as well). This way, if I think I’m forgetting a deadline, I probably have it written down in at least one place.

     

    Shop planners here:

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    https://www.target.com/p/2018-19-academic-smoky-planner-8-5-x-11-ashley-g/-/A-53718426?preselect=53334116#lnk=sametab

     

    https://tjmaxx.tjx.com/store/jump/product/Jaguar-Organization-Kit/1000364623?colorId=NS1155377&pos=1:20&Ntt=planner

     

    1. Plan for big deadlines ahead of time

    Do you have a paper due the Monday after a weekend lacrosse tournament? Or a group project the same week as a final exam? As soon as you know big due dates, work schedules, sporting events, and family plans, it helps to write them down in one place so that you don’t surprise yourself at the last minute when you realize you have to finish writing out an essay in the car on the way home from a visit to grandma’s. Maybe use one of those cute planners you’ve bought? Just an idea.

     

    1. Give yourself plenty of time

    As someone who is the kween of procrastination, I have to finish my assignments as far ahead of time as I can manage so that I’m not scrambling to scrape them together fifteen minutes before class starts. In high school, I would take a nap immediately after school and not even touch my backpack until 6:00 am before school the next day. I would have to set five consecutive alarms every 15 minutes starting at 5:00 am in order to get myself out of bed and get my backpack out of my car where it had been since I left school the day before. (But at least I got that hour and a half nap in, right?) I’ve found it a lot easier on the body and brain to knock things out while you’ve got time, even if it means going right to the library after class. Even if your brain conks out every ten minutes or you end up spending too much time scrolling through Instagram, at least you’ve gotten started.

     

    1. Have a good balance

    Don’t get me wrong, school is important. But this doesn’t mean you have to spend every Friday and Saturday night studying. It’s just as unhealthy to isolate yourself from you’re friends because you’re worried about making an A on every assignment as it is to neglect your schoolwork. Exercise is also super important to feel good and be healthy, whether that’s going outside and walking the dog every day or participating in sports. In my experience, it’s always been best to listen to the body and do what feels right. If you spend every moment that you’re with your friends worrying about when you’re going to finish your math homework, it’s alright to decline to hang out every so often. If you’re late to soccer practice every day because you don’t get out of work until fifteen minutes before it starts, consider taking a few hours out of your work schedule. If you’re not sure whether to cut down on something that’s taking up a big chunk of your time, try to focus on how you feel during and after that activity. Is it worth it for you? Would you be happier doing something else? Keep in mind, you can do anything but not everything.

     

    1. Go to class

    It sounds easy enough, but even at your least attentive, you’ll retain more than you would if you weren’t there. The more time you miss, the more time you spend catching up. Sitting through one more presentation may seem impossible, but you’re truly just setting yourself up for more stress in the future. While you’re there, try to take the best notes you can. Even if you’re completely zoned out, at least you’ll have some key words and phrases written down that you can work out later. Focusing for so many hours is difficult, but half the battle is simply showing up.

     

    1. Make sure it’s not more than stress

    Since childhood, my panic, agitation, and constant fatigue were attributed to “stress.” It wasn’t until my freshman year of college when I went to my doctor and told him I thought I might have an anxiety disorder. Three years later, I can’t imagine functioning without the treatment I started receiving and I will always wonder if middle and high school would have been a bit more bearable if I had been diagnosed earlier.

     

    If you’re feeling overwhelmed or unmotivated the majority of the time to a point where it affects your day to day life, it may be something more than just a busy schedule. Schools provide guidance counselors as a resource for students, and that resource is meant to be utilized. It can be extremely difficult to confront mental illnesses like anxiety or depression, but reaching out and asking for help from a counselor or family physician is much easier than continuing to struggle every day.

  • Articles, Stress

    How Women Influence For The Better

    How Women Influence For The Better

    by Aulana Dudley

    A woman can be very important to a girl or boys life, they can shape who we are and how we react to certain things.
    A woman who has had a significant influence on me is Elizabeth Gross. Elizabeth has been my therapist for a little over a year. She helps me while I deal with my fear of human emotions and my anxieties mixed together. Elizabeth’s influence consists mostly of teaching me ways to handle human emotions (mostly when people cry) without becoming uncomfortable and ways to calm my mind down. For example, before I started going to Elizabeth I bottled every emotion up until I would explode and only anger would come out; I would also have panic attacks with no way of calming myself down and eventually I would just end up falling asleep. Since I’ve been seeing Elizabeth,  I’ve been able to control the number of emotional outbursts I have and I now know what can trigger them to happen. I can also find specific music to help guide my brain back to a placid mental state of mind during panic attacks.
    With Elizabeth’s influence, it has affected how I live moreso because now I know what my brain can handle and what can push it over the edge, this is what affects my character the most. She has also helped me find loopholes for my separation anxiety between my father and older sister, Satura. Elizabeth’s influence also alters my confidence; because she also aids me with my social anxiety which helps me get rid of some of my shyness and my fear of public speaking. She also helps me feel more confident in expressing how I feel about things that make me uniquely myself such as Star Wars, Marvel, DC Comics, and cartoons. Elizabeth has helped me in so many ways that I feel as though she has been a big impact in how to view certain things and my personality. Being able to see what a colossal change in my life Elizabeth has made on my life for the better has been one of the most heartwarming things I have ever been able to do.
  • Dating, Depression, School, Stress, TRENDING

    February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

    Girlspring is Supporting Dating Violence Awareness!

    February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month! Teen DV Month (sometimes called TDVAM) is a national effort to raise awareness about abuse in teen and 20-something relationships and promote programs that prevent it.

    Dating violence is more common than many people think.

    One in three teens in the U.S. will experience physical, sexual or emotional abuse by someone they are in a relationship with before they become adults.

    Help us spread awareness and stop dating abuse before it starts!

    In February 2017, loveisrespect will be celebrating its 10th anniversary! So, we thought we’d get back to basics. Our theme for Teen DV Month 2017 is Love is . . . Respect. We’ll be talking about what respect means and why it’s so important in a healthy relationship – online and off. We hope you’ll join the conversation!

  • School, Stress, Tips

    What Is Stressing You Out About School?

    A new school year is exciting. There’s that wonderful feeling of making a fresh start, catching up with old friends, and making progress by moving up a grade. But there’s no denying that it can be stressful too.

    What’s Worrying You

    If you find yourself preparing for school by hoping for the best and imagining the worst, you’re not alone. Here’s what we heard from 600 people who took our survey on back-to-school worries.

    32% Schoolwork Issues
    30% Social Issues
    25% Appearance Issues
    10% Nothing
    3% Extracurricular Issues

    One third said they worry most about schoolwork. No surprise there. You’ll be studying more advanced material, so it’s natural to worry about whether you’ll do OK.

    But not everyone said schoolwork was their biggest worry. Just as many people said they worry most about social issues like fitting in, having friends, being judged, or being teased. Since social life is such a big part of school, it’s not a shock that social issues are the biggest worry for some people.

    Besides schoolwork and social stuff, another category ranked high on the worry list: appearance. One-fourth of the people who responded to our survey said appearance issues worried them most of all. If this is you, you’ve got plenty of company.

    Kimberly, 14, told us, “I’m happy about going back to school — I’m bored stiff here! But I’m worried about reputation, teasing, failing, and being a nerd.”

    So we asked people to tell us how they plan to cope with the things that worry them most, and whether they have advice for others. Here is what they said.

    Managing Worries About Schoolwork

    Rachel, 15, told us, “I’m kinda hard on myself, like I feel really bad if I don’t have a 4.0 grade average.”

    Lots of people are hard on themselves, but worrying can just add to the pressure. Casey, 15, offered this advice: “Stressing too much about it doesn’t get you anywhere. It’s good to be concerned about your work, but you have to act on that.”

    Here are some of the plans you have for coping with schoolwork:

    Zach, 18, said, “Better time management. I need to stop talking with the social butterflies and get to work!”

    Michael, 16, plans to “come home, take a quick break, and then get started on my work straight away. Procrastination only brings frustration!”

    Katie, 17, offered this advice: “To avoid trouble, do homework as soon as possible and at least start projects the day you get them.”

    Finding the Right Balance — and Support

    Fallon, 16, said, “Finding time for everything is going to be a challenge!”

    Daniel, 14, agreed. “I play sports so I have to keep my grades up to play.” How does he keep the balance? “Work really hard and lean on my parents for lots of support. If you have parents around that actually take an interest in you, take advantage of that and let them be there for you.”

    Relying on other people for support and advice can help balance all the pressures school can bring.

    Claire, 15, depends on her brother. “He is 18 and has been through it.”

    Dana, 14, advised, “Use the guidance counselor. That’s why they are there.”

    Chelsea, 16, said her teachers were a big help when she was trying to catch up in school: “Since I asked for help I’ve felt more relaxed and more normal so that now it doesn’t bother me as much as it did.”

    Balancing school with life’s other demands means staying healthy. Lots of people told us their goal for the school year is to eat well, get plenty of exercise, and lots of sleep so they’ll be primed to succeed.

    Managing Social Pressures and Problems

    When it comes to the social scene, making new friends is one of the biggest worries people mentioned. Lots of people said that friends would be in different classes or even at different schools.

    Jessie, 15, said, “I’m going to try to make new friends and talk more. Don’t worry about being awkward because others are too. Lots of people are good at being cool, but they are insecure too.”

    Finding a safe, welcoming group is a great foundation for dealing with the ups and downs of school. Jessie’s advice: “It’s important to have your own little or big group that you can hang out with.”

    Lolo, 14, explained how “My best friend left last year, and I’m worried about who I’ll hang out with.” Her strategy is: “Don’t hang out with anyone who has a good social image but who is mean. Try to find someone who will really be your friend.”

    Lots of people are concerned about drifting apart from friends and breaking away from existing friendships to start new ones.

    Jen, 16, told us, “I have not talked to my best friends all summer. I don’t want to be their friend anymore, but they don’t get that.”

    Leanna, 14, said, “I am stressed about the groups and who I am going to sit with because I have different friends in different groups.”

    Tim, 14, worried about “making new friends without ex-friends spreading rumors.”

    Brittany, 15, who worried about dealing with “rude old friends” offered this advice: “Be nice to everyone. You never know who you may need help from in the future.”

    And Amina, 14, said, “There are these really jealous girls and they are always stressing me out.” She found that just being nice to them can make a lot of difference: “They will be amazed at how you treat them and maybe loosen up some.”

    Using kindness to stop meanness in its tracks is one good way to deal. Jessica, 16, has another strategy for coping with rude people: “I just ignore them. It drives them crazy when you don’t act or seem like you care about anything they have to say.”

    Some of you worry that the things you did in the past will influence how people see you now. Tina, 15, told us, “My best friend and I were in a car accident last year when we decided to go to a party instead of school. So I am worried that my peers and teachers will think that I am irresponsible because of that incident.”

    Amanda, 14, said her way of dealing with rumors and gossip is “to hold my head up high, smile, and try to create a new reputation for myself. Change the negatives into positives!”

    Looking Good

    How we feel about the way we look is closely tied to social issues, feeling comfortable, and being accepted.

    Codi, 14, said, “I am not usually a shy person, but starting high school in a new school is scary. I don’t know anyone other than those on my soccer team. I am afraid that once they see me out of my soccer clothes and in my skater cut-up clothes they won’t want to talk to me.”

    “At my old school, I was the most popular girl,” said Emily, 14. “Now I’m starting to get acne and developing.” Dealing with body changes is a big issue for lots of people.

    It’s natural to worry about appearance, but most people said they try to keep things in perspective.

    Casey, 14, said, “A year from now, will what you worried about really be a big deal? Other stuff is going to happen.”

    Lots of you recommend getting the support of a friend, parent, or counselor when you’re feeling down about your appearance.

    Keisha, 15, said, “Don’t worry about it so much. And when your family and friends say you look great, accept the compliment, because it’s true!”

    Mickie, 14, told us she has no worries about starting school, but she does have this advice for looking good on the first day: “Wear clothes that fit your style. Don’t wear something that makes you look like a poser.”

    And Lia, 14, reminds us, “If you’re worried about your clothes and how you look, just remember that it’s what’s on the inside that matters.”

    We couldn’t agree more.

    From: Teen Health

  • Stress

    Managing Stress

    What Is Stress?

    Stress is the uncomfortable feeling you get when you’re worried, scared, angry, frustrated, or overwhelmed. It is caused by emotions, but it also affects your mood and body. Many adults think that teens don’t have stress because they don’t have to work and support a family. They are missing the point and are wrong!

    What Causes Stress?

    Stress comes from many different places.

    • From your parents. “Don’t disappoint me, clean up, hurry up, finish this, do your homework, go out for the team, practice your music, try out for the school play, do your best, stay out of trouble, make more friends, don’t ever try drugs.”
    • From your friends. “How’d you do on the test, try this, prove you’re not a loser, don’t hang out with them, don’t wear that.”
    • Even from yourself. “I need to lose weight, build my muscles, wear the right clothes, get better grades, score more goals, show my parents I’m not a kid anymore.”

    And from:

    • Watching parents argue
    • Figuring out how to be independent
    • Feeling pressure to get good grades
    • Thinking about the future
    • Being pressured to do something you know is bad for you, like smoking
    • Not being good enough at sports
    • Worrying about how your body’s changing
    • Dealing with sexual feelings
    • Worrying about neighborhood or world problems
    • Feeling guilty

     

    How Does the Body Handle Stress?

    First, here are 2 short definitions.

    • Hormone: a chemical made by one part of the body that travels through your blood to send messages to the rest of the body.
    • Nervous system: the brain, spinal cord, and all of the nerves. The nerves send messages between your brain and the rest of your body.

    The body is a finely-tuned machine that can change quickly to do what we need it to do, like react to stress. The body has two nervous systems. The voluntary system does what you choose to have it do—walk, talk, move. The involuntary system keeps the body running without your even thinking about it—breathe, sweat, digest. The body actually has 2 different nerve pathways in the involuntary system. One works while we’re relaxed, and the other works when there’s an emergency. These 2 systems can’t work together at the same time. It’s important to know this because we can shut off the emergency system by flipping a switch and turning on the relaxed system.

    Is Stress Always Bad?

    Even though stress is uncomfortable, it’s not always a bad thing. Sometimes stress helps us deal with tough situations. A lot of stress changes our bodies quickly and helps us react to an emergency. A little stress keeps us alert and helps us work harder.

    Ages ago, when people lived in the jungle—where a tiger might leap out at any moment—the emergency nervous system was key to survival. Imagine your great, great, great ancestors, Sam and Zelda, munching on some berries. Suddenly they saw a tiger and had to run! Hormones gave them the burst of energy they needed to escape.

    How did their bodies react? First, Sam and Zelda got that sinking feeling in their stomachs as the blood in their bellies quickly went to their legs so they could take off. Then when they jumped to their feet, their hearts beat faster to pump more blood. As they ran from the tiger, they breathed faster to take in more air. Their sweat cooled them as they ran. Their pupils became bigger so they could see in the dark, in case they needed to jump over a log while running away. They didn’t think about anything but running because they weren’t supposed to stop and figure out a friendly way to work it all out with the tiger.

    Our ancestors never would have survived without the stress reaction, but stress helps us do more than run. It keeps us alert and prepared for the next lurking tiger.

    Few of us need to outrun tigers today, but we all have problems and worries that turn on some of those exact same stress responses, like that panicky feeling you sometimes get when you’re studying for a big test. Your heart beats fast. Your breathing becomes heavier. You sweat and get flashes of heat because your hormones are confused about why you aren’t listening to them. Why are you standing still when they are telling you to run?

    If Stress Is a Survival Tool, Why Does It Make Us Feel Awful?

    Sam and Zelda had few choices when the tiger chased them. Either the tiger ate them or they escaped. As sick as it sounds, if they’d been eaten, they wouldn’t have had much to worry about anymore, right? If they lived, you can be sure their burst of energy allowed them to outrun the tiger or at least outrun Zok (their slower friend who was eaten by the tiger). In their run for survival, Sam and Zelda used up every drop of their hormone burst and then took a well-deserved nap.

    In the modern world, our biggest worries aren’t usually about life or death. We don’t really have to run away from our problems. But those same stress hormones stay in our bodies because, unlike Sam and Zelda, we don’t use them up by running. Instead, those hormones continue to hang around, unused and confused. They seem to be asking, “Why did my body stand still when that ‘tiger’ attacked?”

    It would be better if we had different hormones for different stresses. Hormones to deal with parental pressure would make you love chores. Hormones related to school stress would make you focus longer and shut down your kidneys so you wouldn’t need bathroom breaks. But we only have those hormones that prepare us to flee or fight. So it’s really important to use your brain to decide what’s a real emergency and to use exercise to use up those hormone bursts.

    Even when there are no real emergencies, our emotions make our bodies act like there is a huge crisis because the brain controls both emotions and stress hormones. If your brain thinks something terrible is happening, your body will react as if it really is! Even a little bit of stress that never seems to go away can confuse the body. It makes the body work harder to prepare for an emergency that may not really be there.

    A tiger running at you is a real crisis. If you believe a mild stress (like a math test) is an emergency, you will not be able to study. Your body will be preparing to deal with a real tiger, and you won’t be able to concentrate on anything but escaping. The trick is to figure out when something really is an emergency and when your emotions are only treating it like one.

    From: Fostering Resilience

  • Depression, Stress

    Anxiety Disorders

    What Is Anxiety?

    Liam had always looked out for his younger brother Sam. But whenever Sam took the late bus after soccer practice, Liam worried about him so much he couldn’t concentrate on his homework. Liam watched the clock, worrying and imagining the worst — picturing bus accidents and fearing, for no particular reason, that Sam might be injured or dead. Only when Sam arrived home safe could Liam finally relax.

    It’s completely normal to worry when things get hectic and complicated. But if worries become overwhelming, you may feel that they’re running your life. If you spend an excessive amount of time feeling worried or nervous, or you have difficulty sleeping because of your anxiety, pay attention to your thoughts and feelings. They may be symptoms of an anxiety problem or disorder.

    Anxiety is a natural human reaction that involves mind and body. It serves an important basic survival function: Anxiety is an alarm system that is activated whenever a person perceives danger or threat.

    When the body and mind react to danger or threat, a person feels physical sensations of anxiety — things like a faster heartbeat and breathing, tense muscles, sweaty palms, a queasy stomach, and trembling hands or legs. These sensations are part of the body’s fight-flight response. They are caused by a rush of adrenaline and other chemicals that prepare the body to make a quick getaway from danger. They can be mild or extreme.

    The fight-flight response happens instantly when a person senses a threat. It takes a few seconds longer for the thinking part of the brain (the cortex) to process the situation and evaluate whether the threat is real, and if so, how to handle it. If the cortex sends the all-clear signal, the fight-flight response is deactivated and the nervous system can relax.

    If the mind reasons that a threat might last, feelings of anxiety might linger, keeping the person alert. Physical sensations such as rapid, shallow breathing; a pounding heart; tense muscles; and sweaty palms might continue, too.

    Normal Anxiety

    Everyone experiences feelings of anxiety from time to time. Anxiety can be described as a sense of uneasiness, nervousness, worry, fear, or dread of what’s about to happen or what might happen. While fear is the emotion we feel in the presence of threat, anxiety is a sense of anticipated danger, trouble, or threat.

    Feelings of anxiety can be mild or intense (or anywhere in between), depending on the person and the situation. Mild anxiety can feel like a sense of uneasiness or nervousness. More intense anxiety can feel like fear, dread, or panic. Worrying and feelings of tension and stress are forms of anxiety. So are stage fright and the shyness that can come with meeting new people.

    It’s natural for new, unfamiliar, or challenging situations to prompt feelings of anxiety or nervousness. Facing an important test, a big date, or a major class presentation can trigger normal anxiety. Although these situations don’t actually threaten a person’s safety, they can cause someone to feel “threatened” by potential embarrassment, worry about making a mistake, fitting in, stumbling over words, being accepted or rejected, or losing pride. Physical sensations — such as a pounding heart, sweaty hands, or a nervous stomach — can be part of normal anxiety, too.

    Because anxiety makes a person alert, focused, and ready to head off potential problems, a little anxiety can help us do our best in situations that involve performance. But anxiety that’s too strong can interfere with doing our best. Too much anxiety can cause people to feel overwhelmed, tongue-tied, or unable to do what they need to do.

    Anxiety Disorders

    Anxiety disorders are mental health conditions that involve excessive amounts of anxiety, fear, nervousness, worry, or dread. Anxiety that is too constant or too intense can cause a person to feel preoccupied, distracted, tense, and always on alert.

    Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health conditions. They affect people of all ages — adults, children, and teens. There are many different types of anxiety disorders, with different symptoms. They all have one thing in common, though: Anxiety occurs too often, is too strong, is out of proportion to the present situation, and affects a person’s daily life and happiness.

    Symptoms of an anxiety disorder can come on suddenly, or they can build gradually and linger until a person begins to realize that something is wrong. Sometimes anxiety creates a sense of doom and foreboding that seems to come out of nowhere. It’s common for those with an anxiety disorder to not know what’s causing the emotions, worries, and sensations they have.

    Different anxiety disorders are named to reflect their specific symptoms.

    • Generalized anxiety.

    With this common anxiety disorder, a person worries excessively about many things. Someone with generalized anxiety may worry excessively about school, the health or safety of family members, and the future. They may always think of the worst that could happen.

    Along with the worry and dread, people with generalized anxiety have physical symptoms, such as chest pain, headache, tiredness, tight muscles, stomachaches, or vomiting. Generalized anxiety can lead a person to miss school or avoid social activities. With generalized anxiety, worries can feel like a burden, making life feel overwhelming or out of control.

    • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

    . For a person with OCD, anxiety takes the form of obsessions (bad thoughts) and compulsions (actions that try to relieve anxiety).

    • Phobias.

    These are intense fears of specific situations or things that are not actually dangerous, such as heights, dogs, or flying in an airplane. Phobias usually cause people to avoid the things they are afraid of.

    • Social phobia (social anxiety).

    This intense anxiety is triggered by social situations or speaking in front of others. An extreme form called selective mutism causes some kids and teens to be too fearful to talk at all in certain situations.

    • Panic attacks.

    These episodes of anxiety can occur for no apparent reason. With a panic attack, a person has sudden and intense physical symptoms that can include a pounding heart, shortness of breath, dizziness, numbness, or tingling feelings causes by overactivity of the body’s normal fear response. Agoraphobia is an intense fear of panic attacks that causes a person to avoid going anywhere a panic attack could possibly occur.

    • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

    This type of anxiety disorder results from a traumatic or terrifying past experience. Symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, or constant fear after the fact.

    From: Kids Health

  • Depression, Stress

    How Anxiety Disorders Affect People

    How Anxiety Disorders Affect People

    For people dealing with anxiety disorders, symptoms can feel strange and confusing at first. For some, the physical sensations can be strong and upsetting. For others, feelings of doom or fear that can happen for no apparent reason can make them feel scared, unprotected, and on guard. Constant worries can make a person feel overwhelmed by every little thing. All this can affect someone’s concentration, confidence, sleep, appetite, and outlook.

    People with anxiety disorders might avoid talking about their worries, thinking that others might not understand. They may fear being unfairly judged, or considered weak or scared. Although anxiety disorders are common, people who have them may feel misunderstood or alone.

    How Are Anxiety Disorders Treated?

    Anxiety disorders can be treated by mental health professionals, or therapists. A therapist can look at the symptoms someone is dealing with, diagnose the specific anxiety disorder, and create a plan to help the person get relief.

    A particular type of talk therapy called cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) is often used. In CBT, a person learns new ways to think and act in situations that can cause anxiety, and to manage and deal with stress. The therapist provides support and guidance and teaches new coping skills, such as relaxation techniques or breathing exercises. Sometimes, but not always, medication is used as part of the treatment for anxiety.

    What to Do

    Getting the problem treated can help a person feel like himself or herself again — relaxed and ready for the good things in life. Someone who might be dealing with an anxiety disorder should:

    • Tell a parent or other adult about physical sensations, worries, or fears. Because anxiety disorders don’t go away unless they are treated, it’s important to tell someone who can help. If a parent doesn’t seem to understand right away, talk to a school counselor, religious leader, or other trusted adult.
    • Get a checkup. See a doctor to make sure there are no physical conditions that could be causing symptoms.
    • Work with a mental health professional. Ask a doctor, nurse, or school counselor for a referral to someone who treats anxiety problems. Finding out what’s causing the symptoms can be a great relief.
    • Get regular exercise, good nutrition, and sleep. These provide your body and brain with the right fuel and time to recharge.
    • Try to stay patient and positive. It can take time to feel better, and courage to face fears. But letting go of worry allows space for more happiness and fun.

    Some people with anxiety disorders might blame themselves. They may feel embarrassed or ashamed, or mistakenly think that anxiety is a weakness or a personal failing. Anxiety can keep people from going places or doing things they enjoy.

    The good news is, doctors today understand anxiety disorders better than ever before and, with treatment, a person can feel better.

    What Causes Anxiety Disorders?

    Experts don’t know exactly what causes anxiety disorders. Several things seem to play a role, including genetics, brain biochemistry, an overactive fight-flight response, stressful life circumstances, and learned behavior.

    Someone with a family member who has an anxiety disorder has a greater chance of developing one, too. This may be related to genes that can affect brain chemistry and the regulation of chemicals called neurotransmitters. But not everyone with a family member who has an anxiety disorder will develop problems with anxiety.

    Things that happen in a person’s life can also set the stage for anxiety disorders. Frightening traumatic events that can lead to PTSD are a good example.

    Growing up in a family where others are fearful or anxious can “teach” a child to view the world as a dangerous place. Likewise, someone who grows up in an environment that is actually dangerous (if there is violence in the family or community, for example) may learn to be fearful or expect the worst.

    Although everyone experiences normal anxiety in certain situations, most people — even those who experience traumatic situations — don’t develop anxiety disorders. And people who develop anxiety disorders can get relief with proper treatment and care. They can learn ways to manage anxiety and to feel more relaxed and at peace.

    From: Kid Health