As a teen therapist, young adult counselor, and family therapist, life provides experiences I can draw from to help in my practice of teen therapy. One such experience happened one Saturday when my five-year daughter insisted, “Dad I want to learn how to ride my bike.” As we practiced in the driveway, I gave her a few easy tips: Look straight, hands on the handlebars and pedal fast.
I am sure she didn’t listen to me the first few times. But as she starting getting the hang of it she caught on to what I was saying.
I helped her back on the bike again and again. I reflected on the difficulty of starting something new. Or the challenge of starting over with something you haven’t done in a while.
How to Manage Anticipation Anxiety
As a teen therapist, I have worked with teens who are experiencing the anxiety and stress than can come about due to starting something new. It can be overwhelming for teens to start high school, go back to school in person (after being virtual), or meet new friends.
I encourage teens and families to look straight, put your hands on the handlebars and pedal fast. This will help you to overcome the fear and anxiety of starting new things. Keep getting on that bike and persist through the stress of learning a new way.
Look straight ahead. Identify the aim and goal of starting something new. If it’s your first year in high school? What are you excited about? Who do you hope to meet? If it is school, what are you going to learn do this year?
Identify the primary goal for this new change. By identifying this you can manage doubts. Doubts will come up when you start to question yourself or want to quit.
Put your hands on the handlebars. We cannot control many things but there are many things we can. There is a connection between physical routines and mental attitudes. When you are dealing with the stress of new challenges your habits matter.
Finding small things difficult prevents us from taking on bigger challenges. So if you don't make your bed or wake up on time, larger challenges seem impossible. Finding time to do the small things. This will establish strong routines. Strong routines determine success.
Control what you can and understand what you can’t. Know the difference. This will help you reduce your stress.
Below are three suggestions in helping to manage and overcome the stress and anxiety that can arise due to engaging in a new experience.
1. Keep Your Focus & Don't Let Go
I found it fascinating watching my daughter learning to ride her bike. Anytime she got nervous she’d let go of the handlebars.
Some teens, young adults, and even us older adults, when faced with challenging circumstances, the first thing we reflexively think about is "letting go". The challenge may feel too big for us to handle and we want to let go and go back to what is familiar.
Instead of letting go and giving up on our goals, I encourage the teens and families I work with in teen therapy and family counseling, to let go instead of those small habits and routines that get in our way of accomplishing our goals. Continue to control what you can and your stress level goes down and you can continue towards your goal.
2. Pedal Fast and Keep the Momentum Going
Find a flow or consistent energy level in the new task, new routine or new environment. When you are riding a bike the moment you stop pedaling you lose forward momentum and wobble out of balance. Daily habits and healthy rituals continue to help you with forward momentum.
When balancing motivation and energy level, what comes first? Will motivation come from doing nothing?
Start to do the small positive habits well everyday. You will find the motivation to push through the anxiety of the new.
3. Embrace the Fear of Failure for the Chance of Success
Starting something new causes stress in the anticipation of failure. Anticipatory anxiety stands in the way of learning and growth. This can prevent you from becoming a better version of yourself. Pushing through is difficult but possible.
Get back on that bike and keep going. You will fall, you will have scrapes and bruises but you will find that you can do things you’ve never done before. You will overcome challenges that you once found insurmountable.
Like Christopher Robin once told Pooh, “Always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”
Katy Teen & Family Counseling: Specialists in Providing Therapy for Teens With Anxiety
At Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we have seen the impact that rising rates of teen anxiety has had on a teenagers self-esteem and relationships with others. Our teen counselors can help.
If your teen is struggling and you are ready to start teen counseling, you can follow these three simple steps:
Contact Katy Teen & Family Counseling, PLLC.
Meet with one of our caring teen therapists.
Take that first step in helping your teen overcome the obstacles of today clearing a path for a bright tomorrow.
Other Teen Therapy, Family Counseling, & Young Adult Therapy Services Offered at Katy Teen & Family Counseling
At Katy Teen & Family Counseling, we have therapists who also provide marriage counseling and couples therapy. The family system in all it's parts helps to make a happy, successful teen. If you are interested in starting marriage counseling or couples therapy, give us a call today.
At our Katy, Tx location, we also provide other teen therapy, young adult counseling, and family therapy services. We have a variety of approaches that are supported by research and shown to be effective:
Peak performance (optimal academic brain performance)
Peak performance (optimal athletic brain performance)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR Therapy)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
About the Author
Emiliano Herrera is a Licensed Clinical Worker. He specializes in teen therapy, young adult counseling, & family counseling. Emiliano also provides couples therapy & marriage counseling. He has provided therapy to teens, young adults, families, & couples since 2007.
Emiliano is relational in his approach to therapy. He wants to help his clients feel welcomed, accepted, and supported. Through this relational approach, Emiliano uses those counseling approaches that are supported by research and shown to be effective.
Providing therapy services for teens, young adults, families, and couples in the Katy, Tx and Houston area. Call or email today.