Anxiety

The Setup for Anxiety

The expectations that are placed on teens can create a vicious cycle of needing to continually be looking ahead.  Teens need to get good grades, participate in many extracurricular activities, do community service, participate in family events, maintain friendships, get into a good college, know what they want to do with their lives, navigate social media, figure out who they are and what they want in life, date, go to youth group, do chores, and more. With all of these demands, many of my clients don’t have the space to sit and pay attention to how they are really doing.   Many of my clients see being sad or worried as an inconvenience.

Why feel this way if it’s not helping me with all of the 12 different things on my plate right now?

I totally get this. I think we all can get in touch with this idea.  We all want to be happy or content.  What I’ve found in my years of experience with both teens and adults is that this belief [that worry and sadness are inconvenient and unnecessary] tends to be the foundation that anxiety and depression are built upon.  And, for someone who already has a a habit of avoiding things they don’t like, we have the recipe for developing panic attacks.

It’s hard because it’s so easy these days to avoid.  If you feel worried, tune out with TV.  If you’re sad, go on Facebook and daydream about having some else’s life.  If you’re overwhelmed, play a video game.  Most distractions live at our fingertips (in our phones).  The worst part is, it feels like it’s working because initially IT IS.  But, the more we distract and avoid our worry about something, the more it tries to get our attention.  Do you know what that’s like?

Seemingly out of nowhere, you feel a tightness in your chest, your hearts begins to race, you are sweating and having trouble catching your breath.  You feel disoriented and out of control.  What is happening?  Am I going to die?  Why can’t I catch my breath?  And, as your brain tries to wrap itself around what is happening, all of a sudden it’s over.  Your body feels limp, like you flexed every muscle in your body for the last hour and there is no energy left inside of you.  The crazy thing is that this entire episode lasted all of 2 minutes, but it’s going to cost you the rest of the day.  You feel drained, weak, and scared. Really scared that this might happen again.

What I just described is a panic attack.  Many of my clients call them anxiety attacks.  They are awful. I’ve heard a panic attack described as a “hijacking of the body”, which is no way to live. And, the good news is, you don’t have to live with panic attacks.

How I Can Help

When we can create space in our lives to pay attention to what we are feeling, we can make a different choice.  No longer will your anxiety need to get your attention through panic attacks.  Instead, you can choose to step into your anxiety and take action.

I want to help your teen with this! I want to use my education, years of experience, and passion to work with teens to help them build these important life skills.  I want to be a part of helping everyone (children, teens, adults) learn how to live in this distraction-laden world and be able to enjoy it because we all are able to make space for tending to ourselves.  I want teens to be able to move away to college and feel equipped to experience all of their feelings and know what to do with them.

In working with me, your teen will:

  • Figure out what it feels like to be centered.
  • Understand the purpose of feelings and what they tell us
  • Learn techniques that lessen worry and anxiety and make it manageable
  • Begin the work of trusting herself
  • Experience freedom from panic

Most importantly, you can expect to get your daughter back.  Many families come to me so that I can help their teen daughters find freedom from panic attacks.  We do this and so much more.  When your daughter can manage her own anxiety and be more comfortable with her own feelings, she can also relax.  And, a relaxed teen can bring peace to an entire family.



kristenhannahmft@gmail.com
408-865-9479

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