There are good days. And bad. As a teenager, it is not always easy to express what one is going through. Sometimes one feels anxious over something that may feel trivial to others. What can a teen do about this? 16 year old Sahaj opens up with bravery and clarity about anxiety among teens on the second episode of Trending With Teens, India’s first live podcast by teenagers. Joining her are her friends Aparajita and Samriddhi. Let’s dive in to know their thoughts!
This article is a creative output of Preeti Lalwani of Team Bookosmia. We encourage you to listen to the podcast on audible.com or hubhopper to make the most of this meaningful conversation yourself.
Anxiety is what we understand as a feeling of uneasiness or discomfort in the mind. Statistics show that approximately 3.8 percent of the world’s population suffers from anxiety. Therefore it comes as no surprise that teenagers suffer from anxiety as well.
1. What kinds of anxieties do teenagers go through?
Sahaj revealed that she had an anxiety that people would peep into her restroom through the door. For Samriddhi, it was a bad hair cut while for Aparajita it was the loneliness of online classes and not being able to talk to someone during lunch break.
Another common reason for anxiety among teenagers, according to the podcasters, was
public speaking – where one feels many judgmental eyes on them.
2. Is there a difference between panic attacks and anxiety attacks or are both same?
Research says that panic attacks occur suddenly and for a short period with a little bit of physical symptoms like nausea, shortness of breath etc which is not in the case of anxiety. Anxiety is a stressful feeling and builds up gradually. Aparajita added that anxiety is also sometimes trans-generational, meaning the symptoms of anxiety is passed through the genes.
3. Should anxiety be kept hidden?
The trio believed that we should be able to embrace ourselves, if that includes our anxieties then so be it. Instead of comparing ourselves to others or artificial standards, we should work towards becoming better versions of ourselves.
4. What tips can be suggested for those with anxiety?
Sahaj suggested breathing techniques, which she read in a book. Like we do not wait for
cavities to occur in our teeth and brush our teeth daily as a prevention ,these breathing techniques are believed to be prevention techniques which helps us stay away from anxiety.
Listening to music has a great calming effect. An album named ‘Anxiety’ by artist Sophie and Billie Eilish were recommended by the podcasters.
Getting late and being pressurized by time are often great causes of anxiety. Samriddhi found that wearing her watch helps her manage her time better thereby reducing anxiety.
Made with beads, sometimes with stones in them, anxiety bracelets are believed to press on certain accupressure points that help in reliving stress. Sahaj’s mother made her one and while she candidly admitted that she didn’t know if it worked, she certainly loved the way it looked on her!
Writing or talking about it
Sharing our thoughts with parents and friends helps a lot. If not, even talking to an imaginary friend does the trick! Keeping a diary to vent or write down your thoughts has been proven to be therapeutic.
5. Is it ok to joke about ‘being depressed’?
While laughter and a sense of humour are great for our mental health, people use the word ‘depressed’ very commonly which is really not advisable because we never know who is actually depressed in the crowd.
6. How can parents help a teen going through anxiety?
Just being listened to help children a lot whenever they want to talk. Just listen to them without being judgemental. That really helps them in releasing their anxieties in ways we cannot imagine.