Let’s start with a positive thought: It IS possible to change behaviors! However, just because it’s January doesn’t mean we’ve got a better chance to actually make it happen. We like fresh starts, we like new beginnings, we like to think that a new day, a new month, a new year or a new decade will make it easier for us to get past the old habits and take on the new.
But statistics tell us that those calendar-based motivations only last about two weeks, four tops. (So if your January 1 resolutions have already chugged off course, you’re not alone!) What we need is not a better time to start, but a better way to start.
And that’s the trick: the better way is to resolve for progress, not perfection.
Of course, they want a new phone! But you’re the adult with the wallet and the wisdom. So don’t be afraid to throw in some “healthy” gifts along with The Most Wanted. Teens who battle anxiety, whether on an average level – such as sweaty palms before an oral presentation or butterflies before a date – or as a full-blown clinical disorder complete with panic attacks – can benefit from any of these gift ideas that double as stress-busters and can help them calm down:
1. Put Your Worries Here: A Creative Journal for Teens with Anxiety. This innovative book provides “therapy that doesn’t look like therapy!” 100 engaging prompts give teens fun but effective ways to manage anxiety in the moment. (Trace your toes! Shred your anxious thoughts! Break up with your anxiety!) Wrap this up with gel pens and watch them relax and smile.
2. Running shoes – or a basketball, yoga mat, or other athletic equipment that resonates with your teen. Or, a gym membership! Physical exercise consistently ranks as one of the top methods for dissipating stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol and starting the flow of calming endorphins…
It’s not just something to do on Thanksgiving. Daily gratitude practice can lower anxiety, raise serotonin (a calming chemical) in your brain, and increase your overall feeling of peace. When we think about the good stuff, we feel happier!
Gratitude means focusing on what you have instead of what you don’t have. Start simple: Did you wake up this morning? Nice. Can you breathe? Ah. Can you read these words? Wonderful. Life, breath, and a functioning brain – three huge gifts and you’ve just gotten started!
On Thanksgiving or any other day we can help each other find gratitude. Try working it…
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Lisa is available for speaking engagements, trainings and workshops, conferences, and consulting. Please contact her to discuss how she can best fit your needs.