As a teen, anxiety can mess with you. Like how she feared eating M&Ms wrong could get her pregnant.


OMG, remember the pressures of being a teen? Solome, from this TEDx talk about teen anxiety, certainly does.


Who hasn't played fun little games with their candy, right? But she took it a bit further:

She often felt that she "had to follow through on the compulsions, if I was not to face the consequences, whether they were real or imagined."

And in this case her anxious mind told her that the consequence was pregnancy...from eating M&Ms out of order.

While Solome's story might be a bit quirky (and, as she later reveals, evidence of obsessive compulsive disorder), she wasn't alone in being a teenager dealing with the weight of the world and a whole lot of anxiety.

Being a teen is stressful.

Getting good grades, trying to have relationships, dealing with home situations, body image issues, worrying about the future and whether or not you're the kind of person who even has one. Welcome to the life of the average teenager.

What are adults really doing to help teens with this?

Maybe we tell them to calm down, we offer perspective by telling them to just wait until they're adults and they have "real" problems, or we avoid talking about it because we aren't sure how to help them.

And how is that approach working out?


So, what should we do to help them deal with their anxiety for real?

Pretty much what you'd want a friend or mentor to help you with if you were struggling. Things like:

  • Lend a listening, nonjudgmental, ear.
  • Try to remember what it was like to be a teen, but without projecting your own experiences.
  • Don't tell them how to fix it, but help guide them into devising their own plan for anxiety relief.
  • Help them facilitate and stick to the plan they devise, whether it involves exercise, therapy, meditation, etc.
  • Let them know their worth to you is NOT based on their achievements OR their missteps. Seriously. Sometimes you have to explicitly say those exact kinds of words, even if they sound all "after-school special."

And above all, let them know that what they're feeling is NORMAL, and there are a bunch of other people their age feeling it, too.

Solome finally got the help she needed when she confided in her dad and he would drive her to therapy. Then she went on to found her own organization for teens dealing with anxiety.

There is NO shame in asking for help if the pressures become too much.

Need a mood boost to help you sail through the weekend? Here are 10 moments that brought joy to our hearts and a smile to our faces this week. Enjoy!

1. How much does this sweet little boy adore his baby sister? So darn much.

Oh, to be loved with this much enthusiasm! The sheer adoration on his face. What a lucky little sister.

2. Teens raise thousands for their senior trip, then donate it to their community instead.

When it came time for Islesboro Central School's Class of 2021 to pick the destination for their senior class trip, the students began eyeing a trip to Greece or maybe even South Korea. But in the end, they decided to donate $5,000 they'd raised for the trip to help out their community members struggling in the wake of the pandemic instead.

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