Anxiety by Age: Symptoms and Coping Skills

Anxiety doesn’t discriminate by age. However, anxiety symptoms can differ as we age. Things that caused us stress as a child aren’t necessarily going to trigger the same anxious behavior as an adult.

Let’s discuss the physical symptoms of anxiety for children, teens, young adults, and adults. Plus, the coping skills to help with anxiety by age group.

What Causes Anxiety in Children?

Regardless of age, all cases of anxiety have some things in common. They might be genetically linked to anxiety. Yet, research suggests that only 30% of anxiety disorders are inherited. The rest are environmental factors.

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We often look at our childhood with rose-colored glasses. We may even tell our children, “We’d give anything to be a child again.” This tendency to sugarcoat the past can have two negative effects.

For one, you’re lying to yourself. Sure, the pressures of life and work are immense. Children with anxiety feel these same pressures to succeed by going to school and taking academic tests.

However, you’re putting unneeded pressure onto the child. You’re telling them they have it easy when they’re perceiving things as hard. So, they feel belittled and inferior.

On top of that, children are expected to perform in an environment where they’re learning how to create social ties. They must navigate issues we don’t understand anymore like missing teeth, wetting their pants, competing in sports, or being accepted.

For children, there are a lot of unknowns. They don’t know who their friends are or the subjects they are learning in school.

In reality, they don’t know themselves. That’s enough for anyone to experience an anxiety attack. However, children aren’t equipped with coping skills for anxiety. So, they may act more irrational than teens and adults with anxiety do.

Physical Symptoms of Anxiety in Children

Not understanding the life you’re living can be frustrating. For a child with no coping mechanisms, they tend to act out.

Many physical symptoms of anxiety in children involve intense and attention-seeking behaviors.

Some of their reactions may include:

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  • Bursts of Irritability
  • Crying, Clingy Behavior
  • Fidgetiness, Lack of Concentration
  • Loud Outbursts
  • Playing with Food or Refusing to Eat
  • New Phobias
  • Upset Stomach, Faking Illness

Unfortunately, some children develop anxiety due to a traumatic event. These tragic incidents can be anything from a death in the family to an assault. In turn, the physical symptoms might be a bit different.

Some anxious children may exhibit symptoms like:

  • Withdrawal
  • Panic Attacks
  • Depression
  • Frequent Crying
  • Trouble Sleeping
  • Intense Fears and Phobias
  • Questions about the Future

If your kid has experienced childhood trauma, please get them professional help. About one-third of children have an anxiety disorder, and it can follow them through the rest of their existence.

A traumatic event can alter the course of anyone’s life. These symptoms can show up in any age group who has experienced a life-altering event.

Coping Skills with Anxiety for Children

Now, as any parent can attest, children have a lot of energy. Sometimes their excitement for life is confused for hyperactivity. Try tweaking their diet first.

Cut down on the sugars and artificial ingredients. Research shows a link between food coloring additives and hyperactivity. You don’t want to misdiagnose your children with anxiety when it’s really their diet.

It’s easy to get upset with a child when they act out. However, they’re acting out for a reason. The key to teaching them coping skills is to find some of your own first. Then, lead by example.

1. Talk to Your Child

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Understand where they’re coming from. Ask them why they’re behaving the way that they are.

Your kid might be in a situation that is triggering an anxiety attack. It’s our job as parents to remove them from that scenario.

Once you understand the trigger, you might find out about a traumatic event that requires intervention. Always keep an open dialogue with your child.

2. Plan for Plan B

You know your child better than anyone. If you’re aware there’s going to be a situation that might cause them stress, plan for it.

Try forewarning your little one and come up with coping mechanisms to handle the situation. Make sure to come up with an exit strategy if you notice the physical symptoms of anxiety popping up.

3. Don’t Be Mad At Them

Don’t punish your child for being anxious. They’re under enough stress. The fear of letting you down will only compound the pressure they’re under.

What Causes Anxiety in Teens?

Being a teen is a lot of fun. It can also be a turbulent age. Teenagers are on the precipice of being an adult. With newfound freedom near, teens will foray into many unknowns.

Stressors in a teen’s life include:

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  • College Admissions
  • SATs and Grades
  • Dating
  • Sexual Reproductive Organ Growth
  • Sweat and Odors
  • Family Issues
  • Peer Pressure to Drink and Do Drugs
  • Getting a Driver’s License
  • Friends
  • Bullying
  • Social Media
  • Social Phobia

Anxiety in teenagers is typically caused by hormones. Teenage boys and girls are getting an influx of hormones that they never had before.

These hormones are making them think and feel things that are new and exciting. Unfortunately for us parents, sometimes they get a little eager to explore these new options without weighing the consequences.

School becomes a balancing act between social time, dating, and grades. It’s easy for teens to lose focus on the big picture, like learning real life skills, getting an education, and attending college. They’re more concerned about creating social ties and fitting in.

Teenage people with anxiety are under a constant microscope in the age of social media. Bullying now continues outside the confines of school grounds.

With smartphones, embarrassing pictures can make the cafeteria rounds with just the tap of a finger. These are some of the challenges teens with anxiety face.

Physical Symptoms of Anxiety in Teens

Teens are a tough egg to crack. They hold their emotions very close to the chest.

You also can’t tell by looking at them because their physical traits are always changing. Puberty causes hair growth and loss, unusual odors, and skin problems.

Some physical symptoms of anxiety in teens include:

  • Change in Clothing/Style
  • Withdrawal from Friends/Activities
  • Mood Swings
  • Negative, Racing Thoughts
  • Listens to Same Sad Songs
  • Panic Attacks
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Trouble Sleeping
  • Worrying About the Future

You don’t want to overload your child with questions if they’re experimenting with new tastes in music or clothing. It’s important they express themselves to define who they will become.

Pay attention and look for warning signs. Gauge other behaviors before confronting your child. However, never be afraid to ask upfront about their mental health.

There’s a delicate balance between negligent and pushy. You know your child. You can find that balance.

Coping Skills with Anxiety for Teens

Coping skills for teens aren’t going to be much different than that of children. You should always maintain an open dialogue with your loved ones. However, there is still a more targeted approach you can take to ensure your child has happy teenage memories.

1. Get Them Involved in Extracurricular Activities

It’s important to keep your teen’s eye on the prize. Try to get them involved in extracurricular activities that they can be passionate about. Hopefully, that desire will drive them to stay out of trouble and earn a college scholarship.

2. Cut Down on Social Media

Limit their screen time. Being connected all the time isn’t healthy for anyone, especially a mind that is still developing.

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Research shows that social media platforms are designed to trigger dopamine in the brain. Each time we receive a notification, it’s like a rat in a test getting a sugar cube.

We get hooked and will incessantly refresh to get that like. With such a fragile and developing mind, too much social media can set your teen up for a lifetime of anxiety.

3. Deep Breathing

It’s ideal to foster good habits into your children when they’re young. Practice deep-breathing techniques with your teen.

Deep-breathing is a helpful way to regain your center when an anxiety attack starts to percolate. It’s a way to reel in racing thoughts and slow down heart rate.

What Causes Anxiety in Young Adults?

Young adults finally taste the freedom they’ve been longing for. However, many college-bound people and recent college grads feel adulting isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

Being a young adult means that your parent’s purse chains have less slag. You’re on the brink of doing it all on your own. That’s a big deal.

However, young adults have to balance a harder school course load and make a living. Recent grads then need to start looking for a job to pay back their student loans.

Unfortunately, the paychecks you get from starting at the bottom are barely enough to pay rent and loans. How are they going to afford going out to brunch on Sunday?

Then, there’s the relationship front. Many young adults are dealing with the fall out of their first love or are feeling the pressures to find their soulmate.

There’s a lot of gray area in between these two poles that can cause anxiety, such as:

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  • Dating Profiles
  • Binge Drinking and Drugs at Dates/Parties
  • Affording Dates
  • Sexual Compatibility
  • Insecurities Over Looks and Past Relationships
  • Introducing People to Loved Ones
  • Inviting Someone Over Your Place

There are so many triggers for anxiety that go into dating, working, and graduating college. The can be a recipe for a panic attack for a young adult with an anxiety disorder. Here’s what to look out to cope with anxiety more effectively.

Physical Symptoms of Anxiety in Young Adults

Physical symptoms of anxiety in young adults don’t differ much from teens with anxiety. They’re not too far apart in age, and many of the stress they endure overlap.

The major difference is the shift in hormones. Young adults won’t be laden with acne and poor hygiene. So, you can notice more physical complaints in a young adult with anxiety.

Some physical symptoms specific to young adults include:

  • Hair Loss/Graying
  • Teeth Grinding/Dental Problems
  • Back, Neck Pain
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Mood Swings
  • Trouble Sleeping

As a young adult, some anxious behaviors might have a cumulative physical effect. For instance, years of grinding your teeth in crowded areas might cause a tooth to crack.

Tensing up in your seat all day can wear down your back and neck. Shifting your stress focus from school to work can cause hair loss and change in appetite.

Young adults with stress can help navigate these problems with better coping mechanisms.

Coping Skills with Anxiety for Young Adults

Young adults are more independent than teens and children. So, they’re going to have to do a lot more work without your intervention. That doesn’t mean you can’t help.

1. Hang Out With Them

It’s normal for teens with anxiety to push their parents away. Young adults won’t care as much. They’re nervous about the future and want their parents to reassure them that things will be okay.

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Hanging out with their parents opens a door of communication that was never there before. Young adults finally see their parents as human. They might finally listen to them about coping with anxiety.

2. Talk to a Professional

It’s hard for a child to profess if they feel comfortable with their therapist. They just go to whoever parents choose for them. If anxiety lingers into young adulthood, it’s time they found someone they’re comfortable talking to.

Finding the right professional can make all the difference for creating a treatment plan for anxiety symptoms. Young adults need to find someone they’re okay with confiding in. Then, they’ll be more apt to comply with the therapist’s professional advice.

3. All-Natural Supplements

More than ever, young adults are looking for all-natural alternatives for coping with anxiety. Instead of opting for over-the-counter medications, young adults might find relief with non-habit-forming supplements.

Tranquility Labs’ Tranquilene contains GABA. GABA is a chemical messenger that helps calm the central nervous system.

Tranquilene also contains other botanicals known to lower stress, such as ashwagandha, Brahmi, and passionflower. These all-natural ingredients decrease cortisol in the bloodstream, which will lessen the likelihood of a panic attack.

What Causes Anxiety in Adults?

It’s more like what doesn’t cause anxiety in adults? There are a lot of everyday factors that may cause adults to experience anxiety symptoms.

Some of these pressures include:

  • Relationship Issues
  • Money Problems
  • Stressful Job
  • Rent or Mortgage
  • Troubled Children
  • Infertility
  • Ailing Parent
  • Disappointments
  • Unfulfilled expectations
  • Disease or Illness
  • Bucket List Achievements
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As an adult, we’re starting to come to grips with reality. Life isn’t promised forever. We start to wonder about our impact on this world and the legacy we’re going to leave behind. However, working to achieve these feats can be paralyzing and instill mind-numbing fear.

Plus, we have to deal with bills, work, and children. All of these keep the world going but are roadblocks in achieving things that fulfill us as humans.

For adults, it’s more important than ever to strike a work-life balance. Yet, adults have the least amount of time to make that happen.

Physical Symptoms of Anxiety Adults

Adults experience many of the same physical symptoms of anxiety as young adults, teens, and children. However, they’re at higher risk of long-term stress-causing physical issues.

Some physical symptoms of anxiety in adults include:

  • Nausea/Upset Stomach
  • Insomnia
  • Mood Swings/Irritability
  • Loss of Focus/Concentration
  • Stomach Problems/GI Issues
  • Binge-Eating/Suppressed Appetite
  • Inflammation/Skin Issues
  • Increased Illnesses
  • Depression
  • Panic Attacks
  • Growth of Phobias

Some of us regress as we age. We start to tap into our fears that we had as a child. Perhaps you skydived as a teenager and now you can’t look over a 10-foot balcony? Maybe you used to swim in the pool as a kid and now are deathly afraid of water?

Then there are the physical changes. As young adults and teens, our immune system was strong enough to fight off inflammation from anxious binge-eating and other harmful activities like alcohol abuse. Adults might start to notice skin problems and stomach issues caused by these decisions.

Coping Skills with Anxiety for Young Adults

While loved ones can support an adult with an anxiety disorder, the adult with anxiety must take the reins on their mental health. They have to learn effective coping skills with anxiety and integrate them into the responses.

1. Remove the Stress

Adults have more free will than any other age bracket. You can move into a new community or change careers. You can also create healthy boundaries and remove toxic friends and family members from your inner circle.

Being an adult means you don’t have to deal with the drama anymore. If others are making you anxious, then say good-bye. Surround yourself with people who prop you up, not tear you down.

2. Self-Care Time

Being an adult means being pulled in many directions. Sometimes you have to learn to say “no.” Carve out some me-time.

If you don’t take care of yourself, you will start to feel used and resentful. People and activities that once brought you joy will end up bringing you anxiety. Tending to yourself first allows you to keep the anxiety symptoms in check.

3. Get Some Quality Rest

Chronic stress ruins everything, including our hormone production. When we’re under immense stress, our body continually produces cortisol. In turn, we remain in a constant state of stress.

When the cortisol machine keeps pumping out the stress hormone, our sleep hormone, melatonin, pays the price. So, we lose out on sleep that our body needs. Ultimately, insomnia just adds more stress onto the plate.

Use an all-natural sleep-aid like Sleep Fast Spray. It’s a natural liquid melatonin sleep aid along with a calming blend of herbal extracts to help you catch some zzzs.

Anxiety Disorder Can Happen to Anyone

All age groups are prone to anxiety. We just need to learn the right coping skills with anxiety to match the situations causing us stress. The physical symptoms for anxiety will change by age group. Be sure you handle each case of anxiety in your life with the tailored care it deserves.

Key Takeaways:

  • Anxiety happens in all age groups.
  • Children and teens with anxiety should limit social media use and focus on finding new interests to enjoy.
  • Young adults with anxiety should hang out with their parents and find a therapist they like.
  • Adults with anxiety need self-care to care for others.
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