Exercises That Can Help Teens Manage Anxiety

Untitled-design---2024-02-07T081722.238


In the swift and progressively complicated environment of today's world, anxiety is a frequent challenge faced by adolescents.

However, there are a multitude of exercises that can equip them to manage this issue effectively.

From deep breathing techniques to physical activities, confronting fears directly, battling negative self-talk, journaling, and meditation, these strategies not only alleviate immediate stress but also foster resilience and emotional intelligence.

The following article explores these exercises in depth, offering teens practical tools to navigate their anxiety and enhance their mental health.


Anxiety Therapists in Colorado

Bethany Cantrell, LPC

Bethany Cantrell, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Emily Murphy, LPC

Emily Murphy, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Seth Boughton, SWC

Seth Boughton, SWC

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Noah Suess, MA, LPC

Noah Suess, MA, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 481-3518
Mikayla Braukhoff, LPC

Mikayla Braukhoff, LPC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Kimberly Nefflen, LPCC

Kimberly Nefflen, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Amber Chambless, LPC

Amber Chambless, LPC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Kelsey Motley, LPCC

Kelsey Motley, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Sara Robbins, LCSW

Sara Robbins, LCSW

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Joseph Anders, LPCC

Joseph Anders, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 481-3518
Lauren Day, SWC

Lauren Day, SWC

Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Laura Hunt, LPC

Laura Hunt, LPC

Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Marie Whatley LPCC

Marie Whatley LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Dominique Schweinhardt, MA, LPCC, LPP

Dominique Schweinhardt, MA, LPCC, LPP

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Jennifer Luttman, LPC, ACS

Jennifer Luttman, LPC, ACS

Colorado
(719) 345-2424

Get Matched to the Right Provider

Complete this questionnaire to discover service providers that match your requirements! No need to provide contact information.


Get Matched


Practice Breathing Exercises

One effective breathing exercise you can teach your teen is called "Box Breathing." This technique is used often by athletes and military professionals to calm down quickly. Here's how it works:

First, find a comfortable and quiet place to sit or lie down. Then, slowly inhale through the nose for a count of four, filling the lungs with air. Hold this breath for another count of four, allowing the oxygen to circulate throughout the body. 

Next, exhale slowly through the mouth for a count of four, releasing all the air from the lungs. Finally, hold this empty breath for a count of four. 

This completes one cycle of Box Breathing. Encourage your teen to repeat this cycle five to ten times whenever they're feeling anxious. This can help slow down their heart rate, focus their mind, and reduce feelings of anxiety. 



Be Active

One excellent physical activity that can help reduce anxiety is jogging or running.

Encourage your teen to start with a manageable distance, perhaps around the neighborhood or at a nearby park.

If they're new to running, they might begin with a mix of walking and jogging, gradually increasing the amount of time spent jogging as their stamina improves.

As they run, their body will begin to produce endorphins - these are the brain's natural 'feel-good' hormones, which can significantly decrease feelings of anxiety.

Running also provides a great opportunity for your teen to spend some time outdoors, further enhancing the mood-lifting benefits of this exercise.

Over time, they may find that running becomes a healthy and enjoyable way to manage their anxiety levels.


Face Fears Head On

For instance, if your teen is anxious about public speaking, you might encourage them to join a local debate club or sign up for a class presentation.

This gives them a chance to face their fear in a controlled and supportive environment.

Initially, it might be challenging, but with each presentation, they will learn to manage their anxiety better.

They'll start understanding that the fear of public speaking is common and that the perceived threat is often much greater than the actual one.

This exercise allows them to gradually confront and overcome their fear, building resilience and confidence along the way.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy often employs such exposure exercises to help individuals cope better with their anxieties. 


Fight Negative Self-Talk

One approach to combat negative self-talk is to practice cognitive reframing, a psychological technique that involves identifying and then disputing irrational or maladaptive thoughts.

For example, if your teen often thinks, "I'm going to fail this test," help them challenge this thought.

Ask them to consider the evidence supporting this belief and the evidence against it. They might realize they've actually been preparing well for the test and have succeeded in past exams.

Then, encourage them to reframe the negative thought into a positive one, such as "I've prepared well for this test, and I can succeed."

Over time, this exercise can help your teen shift their mindset, reduce their anxiety, and foster a more positive self-perception. 



Journaling/Free Writing

Journaling or free writing can be a therapeutic exercise for your teen. For instance, suggest they spend 15 minutes each day writing about their thoughts and feelings without worrying about grammar or punctuation.

They could write about a situation that made them feel anxious, describing the event, their reaction, and how they handled it.

Over time, this practice can help them identify triggers for their anxiety and notice patterns in their reactions.

The act of writing can itself be calming, as it provides an outlet for expressing emotions that might be difficult to articulate verbally.


Meditation

Introducing your teen to the practice of mindfulness meditation can be a powerful tool in managing anxiety.

For instance, guide them through a basic 10-minute mindfulness exercise where they sit quietly in a comfortable position, close their eyes, and focus on their breathing.

Encourage them to notice the sensation of breath entering and leaving their body, and if their mind begins to wander, gently bring their attention back to their breath without judgement.

This practice is about cultivating awareness of the present moment, rather than attempting to clear the mind of all thoughts.

Regularly practicing mindfulness meditation can help your teen develop better focus, reduce stress levels, and cultivate a sense of inner calmness that can help manage anxiety over time.

It is a skill that requires patience and practice, but with time, it can become a vital part of their mental wellness toolkit.


Get Matched to the Right Provider

Complete this questionnaire to discover service providers that match your requirements! No need to provide contact information.


Get Matched


Conclusion

There are numerous exercises that can aid teenagers in managing anxiety effectively. Breathing exercises and physical activity provide immediate relief by reducing stress hormones and releasing endorphins.

Confronting fears head-on and combating negative self-talk helps in reshaping thought patterns and building resilience.

Journaling or free writing offers a safe outlet to express feelings and understand emotions better.

And lastly, meditation promotes mindfulness and focus, contributing to overall mental well-being.

By incorporating these practices into their daily routine, teenagers can not only manage their anxiety but also develop valuable coping mechanisms that will serve them well throughout life.

 

×
Stay Informed

When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.

Related Posts

 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
April 15th, 2024

overcomers counseling logo

Explore local counseling and psychiatry services to find the tailored support you require. Embark on a journey towards resilience and become an Overcomer with the right professional assistance by your side!

Contact Us

5585 Erindale Dr. Ste 204
Colorado Springs, CO 80918 mailing
(719) 345-2424 office
(719) 888-5022 text
(855) 719-2549 fax

Business Hours (Provider's hours may vary)

 Sunday   Closed
 Monday   8:00am - 5:00pm
 Tuesday   8:00am - 5:00pm
 Wednesday    8:00am - 5:00pm
 Thursday   8:00am - 5:00pm
 Friday   8:00am - 5:00pm
 Saturday  Closed