When confronted with uncertainty, it is natural to seek some reassurance that our solution is reasonable, rational, “makes sense,” or otherwise good enough. We all seek out the type of reassurance that works well to calm a doubt, allay a worry, solidify a plan of action, or guide a decision.
One of the most frustrating aspects of changing behavior is that we can logically know what we need to do in order to change, yet we don’t take different actions when the opportunity arises. Everyone wants to know: what’s happening in that moment? Why is it that we can know better, yet still not make the choice to do better?
“The conscious mind is a self-healing mind,” says psychiatrist and philosopher Roger Walsh. He is right. Just look at fear for example. The message of fear is, “Flee.” Our first impulse is to follow this instruction. So we think and act in an attempt to escape the fear.
Most teens report feeling stressed out every so often, but for teens who chronically worry, the sense of being one step away from disaster never really goes away. Minor troubles are often blown out of proportion, leading to heightened anxiety and sometimes all-out panic attacks. Yet when parents try to coax teens to let go of their fears, their efforts are often met with resistance.
How do we get through to teens to stop the cycle of chronic worrying and anxiety?