Anxiety is increasingly common among teenagers today. Academic, peer, family, and social pressure, along with social media, can increase fear of failure and daily anxiety. Unfortunately, many teens don’t have access to mental health support for anxiety. Many self-medicate with drugs, alcohol, social media, video games, or self-harm. Dual diagnosis and centers that treat co-occurring issues can help teens cope with anxiety.
If you or a boy teen in your life are struggling with anxiety attacks, Foothills at Red Oak Recovery is here to help. Our holistic recovery programs help adolescent boys recover from addiction and co-occurring disorders. Reach our staff now at 866.300.5275 to learn more about our anxiety treatment and coping skills for anxiety attacks.
What Are Anxiety and Panic Attacks?
Anxiety is a physical, emotional, and mental state. During an anxiety attack or a panic attack, the nervous system moves from regulated to dysregulated. The body goes into a fight, flight, or freeze state. This can cause some people to freeze and shut down. Others might become aggressive or loud. A fight, flight, or freeze is a normal, healthy reaction in a state of danger. However, anxiety and panic attacks happen when there is no imminent threat. Symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks include:
- Muscle tension
- A constant sense of impending danger
- Trouble breathing
- Trembling and shaking
Once dysregulated, it can be hard to calm the nervous system. Anxiety symptoms can build slowly and cause a panic attack. Panic attacks happen suddenly and often include heart palpitations, confusion, and numbness. In addition, a person may disassociate and struggle with memory. Panic attacks are often caused by prolonged, persistent stress and may be connected to ruminating over the past or worrying about the future.
Anxiety Attack Coping Strategies
Anxiety can overwhelm and exhaust the nervous system quickly. Constant anxiety is increasingly common and can lead to serious health problems. There are many holistic ways to cope with anxiety and help your teen lower their anxiety levels.
Reduce Caffeine Intake
Caffeine can make anxiety worse by releasing adrenaline. The same thing can happen with video games, social media, movies, and television. Because caffeine is dehydrating, it can cause an electrolyte imbalance which can mimic anxiety attacks.
Practice Mindfulness and Breathwork Meditation
Mindfulness brings a person into the present moment. Anxiety exists in the past and future. Therefore, present moment awareness can calm the nervous system. Try breathing slowly to a count of 4. Then hold your breath for a count of 2. Then exhale slowly to a count of 4. Continue this for several minutes to re-regulate your nervous system. Sitting meditation, walking meditation, and yoga can also reduce anxiety. Studies show time in nature, whether it’s hiking or forest bathing, can calm the nervous system and balance chemicals in the brain, so add outdoor meditation to your routine.
Eat Well and Sleep Soundly
Food sensitivities and poor nutrition can contribute to anxiety. Allergies trigger the nervous system into fight, flight, or freeze mode. A well-balanced diet and enough sleep can help calm the nervous system and increase stress tolerance.
These are only a few approaches to coping with anxiety. It’s important to remind yourself that you are safe and that anxiety will pass. It’s also essential to seek support from friends, loved ones, and therapists to treat anxiety for long-term health.
Treat Anxiety Today at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery
If you or an adolescent boy in your life is struggling with anxiety attacks, call Foothills at Red Oak Recovery today. Our holistic treatment center helps teen boys recover from addiction and dual diagnoses. We provide comprehensive individual, group, and family therapy to help teen boys understand, cope, and heal from anxiety. Reach us at 866.300.5275 today to learn about the benefits of our program for anxiety and other co-occurring issues.