We all feel worried or nervous from time to time. Young people can face all kinds of concerns that may cause worry or stress. For example, an upcoming test, attending a new school, finding somewhere to live, or starting a new job.
This feeling is called anxiety, and it is a completely normal feeling for anyone to have. In fact, nearly everyone experiences anxiety at some point. Anxiety is how our body tells us to prepare for challenges or stressful events. This can help us be more aware or alert to dangerous or new situations. Usually, this worry and fear will go away after some time.
However, when someone experiences anxiety all the time or often, it can prevent them from enjoying things they used to love or stop them from doing new things.
Although anxiety is a common experience, there are times when it becomes very problematic. Here are some signs that you may need extra help.
Everyone is different and unique, and anxiety can look different from person to person. However, anxiety can cause changes in how your body feels, what and how you think, what you feel emotionally, and how you behave. In general, anxiety can cause you to feel excessive amounts of fear or worry about the future. Here are some common signs of anxiety.
There are lots of things that you can do to manage tough feelings. It can feel hard to find the energy or motivation to do these things. Sometimes it might feel like nothing will help. Try starting with one thing you know you can do, then slowly add things in step by step. This can help you feel like you’re making progress.
It’s easier to deal with the challenges of anxiety when they’re recognized early. You can take action on your own or with support from friends, family, or professionals.
Physical health is directly connected to mental health. Sleeping enough, eating nutritious foods, and exercising when possible can go a long way to feeling better.
You may feel scared, embarrassed or ashamed about talking about your concerns. However, talking about it with someone you trust like a friend, teacher, coach or therapist may help you feel better, understand your concerns more, and seek more help if needed.
Check out this page for more information on free youth mental health services that you or a loved one can access through our virtual clinic, Kickstand Connect.
Our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all connected. What we think influences our feelings, and our feelings affect how we behave. So, recognizing how your thoughts impact your emotional and physical feelings of anxiety can help you understand your anxiety better.
Wanting to avoid certain situations that might cause anxiety is normal. However, simply avoiding situations can cause more anxiety in the long-run. By avoiding the triggers completely, you may not learn to overcome your fears. By facing them, you can learn that the situation is not as bad as you may believe.
CBT stands for cognitive behavioral therapy. This is a technique that you can learn to do that slows down the interactions between thoughts, feelings and behaviours. It is a process to bring attention and awareness to how one part of the triangle influences the other. By doing this, you are able to examine your automatic or unconscious thinking patterns and make changes to help improve your health and happiness.
It may be helpful to reduce substance use. One study found that adolescents who used cannabis frequently were more likely to develop anxiety disorders by young adulthood. Although the exact relationship between cannabis and anxiety is currently unknown, it may be related to the effects that cannabis has on a developing brain. Alcohol and drug use may feel helpful in the short term, but they can make your anxiety worse in the long-run.
Cannabis and Anxiety and Depression in Young Adults: A Large Prospective Study – ScienceDirect
Anxiety – Foundry – (foundrybc.ca)
What Is Anxiety & The Effects on Mental Health | headspace
Coping With COVID-19 – Anxiety Canada
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All information on this site is intended to provide assistance and guidance but cannot replace the care of a medical professional.