Advice and Wellness

Mental Health: Addressing Anxiety

Biting your nails, shaking your legs, and panic attacks are all common stereotypes     associated with anxiety, but for good reason: they are all quite common symptoms. 

Anxiety is characterized as feelings of worry, fear, or uneasiness that interfere with your day-to-day life. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 7.1% of children aged 3-17 years (approximately 4.4 million) have diagnosed anxiety. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders in adolescents.

Feelings of anxiety may make someone feel uneasy about going through with the task at hand, whether that is  presenting in front of the class or simply conversing with someone new. Students are especially susceptible to anxiety, considering they are faced directly with a lot of stress inducing situations such as drama, fitting in, and most importantly school work.

Spending hours a day doing work in school and then coming home to do more work can inevitably cause anxiety for students.

Danniella Miller (11) agrees that schoolwork is a main stressor for teenagers.

“I think that most students face the most anxiety about school. Whether it be for higher education and college, or simply just getting your homework done that one night, something I’ve noticed between me and most people I’ve spoken to is never-ending anxiety when it comes to anything about school.”

A key factor for getting through these tough feelings is finding good coping mechanisms. 

“Speaking to guidance counselors or teachers is a way for me to get all of my thoughts out, which lets me get back to work instead of constantly worrying about all the things I need to do.” Miller shared.

Coping is a strategy that everyone, whether consciously or subconsciously, uses to reduce their unwanted emotions. While everyone has their own, it is crucial for someone’s well being that they indulge in healthy coping mechanisms. 

Fort Lauderdale High School Guidance Counselor Keely Turcyzn gave some examples of good habits to form for anxiety.

“Be kind to yourself! Carve out time each day for yourself. Whether it’s catching up on your favorite Netflix or Hulu show, taking a walk, working out, journaling, relaxing, spending time with people who make you happy, taking a nap, etc. Your needs matter! Self care is important!” Ms. Turczyn said.

It’s important to remember that you are not alone! So many of your peers experience at least some anxiety and understand to an extent the feelings that anxiety comes with. Don’t be afraid to talk to others and maintain a strong support system.

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