2 hours ago
Anxiety isn’t all bad. Anxiety is communication, a stress response from our brain, made to help us handle difficult, dangerous, or even exciting situations.
Your heart races, your breathing gets faster, and a stress cocktail of hormones made to make you better, faster, stronger, and sharper than what you’re up against floods your body.
Girls come into my office talking about how they “have anxiety” like they have a cancer diagnosis. I respond, “of course you do! What do you think your anxiety is there for?”
There are certainly times when chemical or hormonal issues, like Thyroid issues, affect our baseline anxiety without any connection to the world around it. More often than not though, our girl’s anxiety has been talking to them for a long time, been ignored, and by the time here in my office, has reached a place where it’s no long helpful or has become disruptive to their functioning.
I tell my girls that we need stress responses to help power through difficult assignments, to get excited about something, take important risks like making new friends, to compete in sports, or stay safe in dangerous situations.
We also don’t often take into account that some girls and boys are just shy. Temperament is set a birth, and some kids are just going to need more time to get used to new situations. And, that same hesitancy, can be a character strength when it comes to thinking through important decisions, and being the kid who looks before they leap. They key is for them to know themselves, and be able to manage the initial “danger” response that comes up when they try to take a test, talk to new people, or do something out of their comfort zone.
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