Tackling Teen Anxiety: A Counselor’s Guide to Well-Being
- 23 September 2022
No one described the looming feeling of anxiety better than JK Rowling through her most popular work, the Harry Potter series. The dementors in the series become the metaphor for not only anxiety but different mental health issues. The very feeling of restlessness, desolation, and looming sadness that these mythical creatures (dementors) bring with them, align a lot with what anxiety feels like in real life. This means that be it in fictional space or real life, mental health issues require due attention in every manner possible.
In this regard, the aspect of teen anxiety becomes a pertinent topic of discussion. Undergoing the most turbulent period of transition in life, the teens face multiple challenges. It then becomes important to address these challenges to ensure their holistic well-being. Their anxiety stems from multiple factors like burnout through academics, misplaced notions of identity, peer pressure, and confusion regarding future prospects, among many other factors.
In this regard, it is essential to take steps to tackle anxiety among teens. Here are five steps that can help students maintain their well-being.
This step involves paying attention to the emotion and the different ways through which it manifests in the body. It can be a stomach ache, tightening of the throat, or pounding of the heart. It is important to address these emotions as it speaks a lot about you and your surroundings.
Give it a name
Giving your emotion a name is another step that makes coping easier. It is important to detach from these emotions and look at them objectively.
When you are feeling a certain emotion, don’t deny it. Acknowledge and accept that the emotion is present, whether it is anxiety, grief, sadness, or whatever you are experiencing at that moment. Denying, suppressing, or escaping the emotion only increases its intensity in the long run.
The next step involves understanding how to tackle the emotion by understanding what it needs. It can be writing a journal, a streak of intense workouts, or even meditation- anything that helps you feel a closer connection to your emotion.
After you have calmed your emotions, the next step is to understand and introspect the triggers that might have given rise to those emotions. Understand the steps you can take in the future to handle your emotions differently.
As student counselors, we have come across multiple instances of students battling anxiety issues. To tackle this, we focus on building awareness among teens around the transition that they are witnessing. Besides organizing the hands-on counseling session for students, we also conduct the same for parents- in order for them to understand the emotional needs of their child better. Besides this, we also tackle some touchpoints like sexuality, LGBTQ awareness sessions, safeguarding, and bullying. We make sure to loop in parents, teachers, and staff in a single thread in order to ensure the overall well-being of our students. Some of the past events that we have conducted are Inclusion Week, DeStress December, Peer-to-Peer Support, and Support Group sessions through the Well-Being Club. As is evident, at Oakridge, Gachibowli, the well-being of students remains our topmost priority and we ensure to upkeep that with many such initiatives.
-Ms Bornali Yadav and Ms Saahithi Pidathala
(Student Counsellors, Oakridge, Gachibowli)