We all become anxious at one point. For some people, however, the case can be more severe. While it is a natural threat response of the body, there are instances when it can significantly affect one’s quality of life. Anxiety disorders can interfere with a person’s daily activities. Intense and excessive worry can result in muscle tension, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, hyperventilation, sweating, tiredness, and trembling.
If you have a teenage daughter suffering from anxiety, be proactive! Help her deal with the situation. Read on as we share some of the best things to do.
The Best Ways to Help Teenage Daughters With Anxiety
Many factors can trigger anxiety in teenage girls, whether it is losing weight, performing well at school, looking good, peer pressure, or hormone production. As parents, you must help your daughter proactively cope with anxiety through proper management strategies. Below are some of the solutions that might work.
1. Watch Your Words
One way to help your teenage daughter cope with anxiety is to watch what you say. Your words have power, so be careful about how you use them. Do not try to discount the problem. Acknowledge what they are experiencing.
Some parents might say, “calm down,” but note that for someone who experiences anxiety, keeping calm may not be as easy as it sounds. “I know how you feel” is another phrase that might seem harmless but should not be said, especially if you do not have an anxiety disorder. Look for more supportive words that will validate their feelings.
2. Consider Various Treatment Options
From giving CBD oil to hemp gummies, some parents might try to give alternative solutions to their teenage daughters. You might have read about it on the internet or heard from others. Nonetheless, research is currently scarce on its effectiveness, so it is best to consult a professional for help and look for unbiased reviews from actual users of this alternative treatment.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is one of the most popular professional interventions among teenagers with anxiety. It is a type of therapy that examines how thoughts contribute to stress and how behaviors can trigger worry. The premise is that a person’s perception of the situation determines feelings and not the situation itself.
Medications can also help teenage girls with anxiety but tread with caution. Pharmacological interventions may have the potential to reduce symptoms. The most important thing is to seek expert opinion from qualified medical personnel before giving any medicine.
3. Recommend Coping Skills
Medical interventions may be effective, but your teenage daughter can refuse them. Some might not like it because of the stigma. If they refuse such treatments, try recommending various coping skills. These can help them cope with uncertainty, fear, and doubts.
Breathing exercises might help teenagers cope with anxiety. Extended and controlled exhalations can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, resulting in stress response changes. It can also stimulate the vagus nerve to trigger calmness and relaxation by dropping blood pressure and heart rate. Incorporate proper breathing in other activities, such as when doing various yoga poses or during meditation.
Another coping mechanism that can potentially deliver effective results is journaling. Especially if your child does not talk a lot, encourage her to write her feelings instead. It can help improve mood and control symptoms. It can be tempting to look at her journal to see how she is feeling, but this is one thing that you must avoid. This can make her develop trust issues, which might not help with anxiety.
4. Prioritize Nutrition
In one systematic review of epidemiological studies, the researchers note that there was a cross-sectional relationship between nutrition and mental health. Those who had unhealthy dietary patterns had poorer mental health. It can impact biological systems that underpin anxiety and depression.
Find the time to eat together to make meals enjoyable. More importantly, serve the right foods. For instance, go for those with critical nutrients that can help improve mood, such as polyphenols, Omega-3, Vitamin D, and folic acid. Eating complex carbohydrates can also help, which is thought to increase serotonin. Pay attention to any dietary sensitivity they might have. Meanwhile, while providing them with the right food is crucial, ensure they are not overeating.
5. Encourage Physical Activity
Aside from eating right, you might also help your teenage daughter with anxiety by encouraging physical activity. It does not have to be intense. The important thing is to be moving. You can do this by spending the afternoons walking in the park or having a morning workout routine together. It can even be an opportunity to talk and for her to disclose her feelings.
Exercise helps ease anxiety in several ways. For instance, it can divert attention from the things making your teenage daughter anxious. Additionally, it decreases muscle tension and minimizes the body’s contribution to anxiety. It also pumps up the heart to alter brain chemistry. More so, exercise can build up the body and make it more resilient against strong emotions.
6. Improve Sleep
Teenagers with anxiety can experience sleeping disorders, including insomnia. The more they worry, the more they might find it difficult to rest at night. Such can have a domino effect since it means that they might not be able to go to school or perform well in class. Worse, it can make them grumpy and can affect their behavior.
Limiting screen time is one thing that might help improve the sleep of teenagers. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule can be effective. Limiting late-night meals and caffeine intake can work. You might also want to set up the mood by creating a more relaxing sleep environment.
If you have a teenage daughter with anxiety, do not despair! Consider the above-mentioned solutions to help minimize the symptoms and improve her quality of life. From watching your words to prioritizing Nutrition, be proactive in implementing potentially effective interventions. If the situation is getting worse, consult with a professional.