You can help kids and teens manage school anxiety. School anxiety, whether it’s back-to-school or any other time of the school year, can make life miserable for kids of all ages, and it can present numerous challenges for parents and other adults in the life of a school-anxious child or teen. School anxiety and stress can make kids worry, it can make them afraid, and it can make them hurt. School anxiety can interfere with friendships and with school success. As daunting as this can be, there are school anxiety strategies to help kids and teens manage anxiety. Keep reading »

The start of a new school year brings many things, including school anxiety and stress. Statistics on school and mental health compiled by Youth.gov indicate that almost half of all American children meet the criteria for a mental health disorder, and among those kids, anxiety is the most common. School anxiety and stress are causing problems for many of our kids and adolescents. Keep reading »

Anxiety exists in the body, and there are physical side effects of anxiety. We can experience anxiety symptoms throughout our whole being; indeed, anxiety impacts our thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and sense of physical wellbeing. Symptoms of severe anxiety can be frightening and lead to even more anxiety. Anxiety invades the body, an unwelcome guest that overstays its unwelcome. The physical side effects of anxiety can cause difficulty and even agony.  Keep reading »

I’ve learned lessons from my anxiety, and for that I’m grateful. I was surprised when I realized this. After all, anxiety can be challenging to live with. The symptoms of anxiety affect our total being; indeed, anxiety reaches our thoughts, emotions, physical health, and behaviors. Few, if any, people would choose to live with anxiety. Yet what if we stepped back and examined anxiety from a different perspective? Wouldn’t it be nice if there were some sort of greater purpose to it, perhaps life lessons to learn from anxiety? When I stepped back to look at my anxiety differently, I realized that there are many lessons I’ve learned from anxiety.  Keep reading »

Kids aren’t the only ones who can benefit from playing in the sand; adults and kids alike can reduce anxiety when they play with sand. Play therapy, which involves many different techniques including sand play, is a legitimate therapeutic approach to treating a multitude of mental health issues.

When people think of play therapy, they often think it’s something for children and issues unique to childhood struggles. While play therapy is used largely with children, it is used with adults, too. And beyond official play therapy, kids and adults benefit greatly when they, on their own and outside of a therapy session, simply play with sand to reduce anxiety. Keep reading »

While social anxiety is often thought to be something for the introverted among us—after all, they tend to be quiet and reserved—extroverts can experience social anxiety, too. In fact, introversion and extroversion are aspects of personality have no bearing on social anxiety. Social anxiety is an anxiety disorder, a mental health challenge that can be faced by anyone regardless of personality type. Therefore, extroverts can, indeed, experience social anxiety, too. Keep reading »

Anxiety is loud and obnoxious; to reduce anxiety, shut up and listen with a quiet mind. Listen? Why on earth would we want to listen to anxiety? After all, it’s a bully that messes with our minds, bodies, and very lives. As  true as that may be and as much as we want anxiety to leave us alone, arguing back or even agreeing with it doesn’t make it disappear. Instead, when you shut up and listen with a quiet mind, you can reduce anxiety.  Keep reading »

Are you facing change that’s increasing feelings of stress and anxiety? Anxiety can be related to adjustment disorder. We humans often dislike change; sometimes we even fear change. When change creates such stress that it interferes in the ability to fully function in life (work, school, interpersonal relationships, etc.),  a diagnosis of adjustment disorder by a primary care physician, therapist, or other health care provider is sometimes in order. If you’re facing change and experiencing difficulties, know that you’re not alone. Anxiety can be related to adjustment disorder, and treating both anxiety and adjustment disorder is possible.  Keep reading »

Anxiety can be horrendous, so why would anyone want to stop avoiding anxiety and instead practice acceptance and commitment therapy? Avoiding anxiety can make a lot of sense. After all, anxiety can cause our thoughts to race with fear and worry, it can make our emotions spiral out of control, and it can create a whole host of awful physical symptoms from head to toe. We want to do whatever we can to reduce anxiety. Ironically, avoiding anxiety doesn’t lessen it; avoidance intensifies anxiety. Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is an approach that helps us stop avoiding anxiety so we can overcome it.  Keep reading »

Do you ever get tired of anxiety, with all of its frustrations and limitations? An anxious mind can be exhausting; adopting a beginner’s mind can be uplifting and freeing. The concept of a beginner’s mind, called shoshin, comes from Zen Buddhism, and it teaches us to approach life as a beginner. This can feel refreshing, given that anxiety constantly tries to rule our lives as an authoritarian expert. If you’re tired of living with anxiety, adopt a beginner’s mind. Keep reading »