Growing up, I never thought much about anxiety. I was always a generally calm individual and rarely felt worried or overwhelmed. That all changed when I entered my teenage years and suddenly found myself struggling with daily anxiety and a fear of the unknown. It was a completely new feeling for me and it became increasingly difficult to manage.
At first I tried to power through these feelings, but eventually the fear became too strong and it started to seriously affect my quality of life. So I decided to confront it head on by seeking help from a counsellor who could offer me therapeutic advice and support. This was one of the most important decisions that I have ever made in my life, as it allowed me to gain an understanding of why these emotions were arising- that our anxious thoughts aren’t just “hormones” or something we have no control over- they are actually based on real situations that cause us real distress.
Through counselling, I learned how to better manage my emotions when they began to overwhelm me, as well as ways in which I could take action and address the underlying causes of my anxiety instead of simply trying to cope with the symptoms. With time, patience, hard work and dedication- both in the therapy room and out in the real world- I slowly began to notice positive changes within myself such as increased confidence, greater resilience during difficult moments, and more effective problem solving skills.
Navigating through teenage anxiety is not easy but if you are willing to be open minded about your feelings and work hard towards managing them constructively- just like any other personal challenge- you can overcome them!