Dialling down anxiety in teens: Our method

This article reveals a revolutionary approach to reducing anxiety, helping teenagers cope better with school and life’s challenges. 


Emotion-based school absenteeism is a huge problem for many secondary schools in the UK at the moment and as a parent to children with autism, anxiety has featured heavily in my own children’s school life. 

The parents view

It’s hard to know how to help your teen with generalised anxiety or school anxiety and to fully understand the nature of the triggers. With passion in this area in mind, we’ve designed a program specifically for teens, where we take a diet approach to dialling down worry, anxiety and feelings of sadness. 

Why nutrition - Isn't it all in the mind?

Where mind and body end and start is a philosophical question, but the physical body has a huge part to play in how we feel in ourselves.  

Much of how we feel, is created or governed by our ‘molecules of emotion’, our neurotransmitters. which range from dopamine (feeling more confident and social), serotonin (more content, less depressed), GABA (less anxious) and adrenalin (a stress hormone). Most of us adult females are also very aware of how sex hormones can all play complete havoc with our confidence, feelings of being loved and anxiety. 

Both hormones and these emotion molecules are highly physiological and can have a huge impact on how we feel. Diet and nutrition are everything in how the body manages and produces these molecules. So whilst anxiety is an emotion - dialling down unnecessary triggers can be hugely impactful. 

Teen not listening to you?

You’ve probably already tried getting your teen to eat less sugar and bread but found that your teen isn’t interested in following your loving advice. No real surprises there.  

Whilst parents tend to worry about the general and often visual impact of a terrible diet on hormones, spots, anxiety and energy levels/motivation, we’ve found that applying techniques we also use to help adults lose weight, can be adapted to work really well for teenagers. Because it takes time to make a new habit, the program consists of 4 sessions, where your teen will problem-solve the challenges and mindset together with the practitioner, cementing the new habits for a lifetime. 

How to get the teen motivated in our experience 

Teens rarely share their parent's concerns about their health, and their goals don’t match up with their parents. Not eating foods which are designed to be highly pleasurable requires a bit of self-discipline in the first few weeks, which is never going to work without a sense of a goal that the teen themselves desire. Pleasurable foods and cravings as a consequence of the wrong diet are the usual sabotages and can send your teen spiralling into a cycle of cravings - processed sugary foods - low mood - comfort eating and more processed sugary foods. 

Teaching your child to say no to themselves 

If you’ve not taught your teen self-discipline skills yet - now is the time to do it. There’s a ton of research out there that tells us that people who are able to wait for a return of their efforts have better life outcomes, in marriage, and career. To put it simply, if you’ve never taught your child the ability to judge whether it’s a good or bad time to do XYZ, they’ll have a hard time judging what's good for them and this is a critical life skill.

Our method

We take a mindset coaching step-by-step approach (the how-to) instead of following a complex and boring program (simply the instructions). By changing things incrementally, and making sure they are properly implemented into new lifestyle habits, they will stick and be naturally built on. 

With our coaching techniques, we help teens explore their own goals and find their motivation for success. Contact us on our profile, and book your teen anxiety discovery call now. Read our client's fascinating real-life stories on how they got unstuck with their weight loss. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Nutritionist Resource are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London W1H & NW6
Written by Linda Albinsson, Advanced Gut Health Nutrition Clinic
London W1H & NW6

Linda Albinsson is a highly experienced and qualified nutritionist specialising in areas of the microbiome, gut health, inflammatory conditions (skin, cardiovascular, pain and joint) and others

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