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People ask me all the time – how do I decrease anxiety? What can I do to be more calm? Peaceful? How can I help my kids?

There are very good answers to these questions (and I share them in previous posts) but I can tell you the worst possible thing you can do. And it’s the thing anxious people want to do the most.

Avoid anxiety-producing situations.

I was sitting with a teenager today who is doing not much of anything this summer. No job. No camps. No plans with friends. She is sitting at home dreading school to start and calls summer her time to “recharge.” Instead of recharging, what she is really doing is avoiding anxiety. She doesn’t have to see anyone. She doesn’t have to do school work. She doesn’t have to feel uncomfortable but where will this recharging leave her at the end of the summer?

More anxious than when she started.

Anxiety will only get better if you put yourself in anxiety-producing situations and overcome them. It will only improve if you stretch yourself just a little each day until you can cope with situations. Will anxiety go away completely? Probably not. Will it get better if you push through? Yes.

If you have a kid at home right now claiming to be “recharging” while withdrawing from all stressful situations, it may be time for a little push. You may feel resistance at first but by the time school starts, your child will be much better suited for the year ahead.

Hope this helps!

Please share your feedback on Twitter. What is your child struggling with the most? What do you want to know more about? Other suggestions? Let me know! Just send a tweet to @allisoneLPC

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