Kids with Anxiety: It is Time to Be Just Whelmed 3 Brain Tips to Help your Teenager Get Control of Overwhelm Today How to Deal with Social Anxiety This Holiday Season
Have you ever worked a job that required you to stay focused in a loud environment with obnoxious co-workers distracting you all day long from 7:30 am – 3:30 pm. You get a quick 20 minute lunch in a noisy cafeteria with those same co-workers, some of whom have decided to make it their mission to torment you. You don’t even get a break to go outside and move your body to decompress.
This job not only requires you to work hard during the day, for low pay, but your advancement is totally dependent upon your performance, so you must bring lots of work home to stay on track. After a quick bite, it is back to work at home from 4:30 – 10:30 pm just so you don’t get behind and if you are lucky you get ahead. Then, the next morning you get up and do it all over again.
If you haven’t had a job like this, your teenager does. Welcome to middle and high school in 2018. The academic environment has significantly changed in the last 30 years. Today, competition and the need to be three steps ahead put enormous pressure on our children, some of which is drastically impairing their ability to function academically and socially. Add in social media with its false sense of connection and snapshots of other students “perfect” lives (tongue in cheek) and our teens are suffering with overwhelm at alarming rates. Science proves that ADHD and stress are at all time highs. Thus, here are 3 brain-based tips to help your teens stay balanced and well.
- Reduce the Pressure: Discern what the main stressor(s) really are and decide if they are worth keeping in the picture. As a mom of 5 kids, most of which are teenagers now, I have helped my kids make difficult decisions of taking items off their plates to help them be better adjusted and balanced. They have changed schools, adjusted schedules, reduced extracurriculars, and ended peer relationships that were toxic. It may not be easy, but it is practical and works. This doesn’t get rid of stress completely, it just brings it back to levels that help your teen stay neurologically regulated. If you have made changes like these are your teenager still struggles, it might be time for a qEEG Brain Map to see if their brain is stuck in a chronically stressed mode making matters worse for them.
- Time Management Including Relaxation: This is how brains work, when you are focused and thinking your brain uses faster processing speed. When are relaxed and hanging out, slower speed. It is essential to balance fast and slow so your brain doesn’t get stuck in one or more of those gears. If the brain is stuck in fast gear it creates feelings of stress and anxiousness. If it is stuck in slower speed, depressed feelings and low motivation. Keep activities balanced between fast and slow for optimal brain performance.
- Have Fun: In the schedule described above there is not much time for fun, so you will have to make time. Spend time having fun with your teenager even if for only a few minutes during planned breaks. This not only helps them to make time to relax but it models healthy stress management as they age. My kids and I chill together all the time. We cook, we dance in the living room, we play with our dogs. All of these activities help to bring the overactivity in the brain of overwhelm down to tolerable levels.
If your teen is stuck in a fast or slow gear, call the professionals at Leigh Brain & Spine for a qEEG Brain Map today. Find out what your child needs to reach his or her full potential.
Dr. Patricia Leigh is a Neurodevelopmentalist and specializes in helping children and adults overcome their struggles. Find out more: leighbrainandspine.com // (919) 401-9933