Why Are Our Kids So Stressed & Anxious?

Have you noticed that over the last several years the number of children and young people affected by symptoms of anxiety, depression, stress, headaches, stomach aches and other medically unexplained symptoms is growing at an alarming pace? I’ve certainly been surprised at the increasing numbers of young people I see in my practice.

Whether or not you are a parent, this upward trend is worrying because we have to conclude that this is a reflection on us, on our society and culture.

So why is this happening and what can we do about it?

To address the first question we need to see how the macro affects the micro. As we look around we see a world that appears to be in crisis. From financial and economic systems, to cultures and weather patterns, we see disharmony, collapse and massive uncertainty. The ‘energy’ of life feels amplified and intense, and emotions are running high as the drama of life unfolds.

On the micro level, young people feel pressure about life, pressure to conform, fit in, succeed and achieve, while trying to balance a strong internal drive to be and experience themselves. Young people are opening up, feeling more than ever; they are sensitive, intuitive and display great wisdom and knowingness.

It is this conflict, the outer world of mass consciousness versus the inner experience and need to flow, that is leading to the dramatic increases in young people experiencing anxiety, depression, stress and other medically unexplained symptoms.

What can we do? As parents, grandparents, teachers and concerned members of the community, we need to recognize and support our children’s need to experience themselves, not who we say they are or who they should be. We need to honor and respect what they feel — and encourage them to feel. We need to invite them to really trust themselves, so they can develop the skills of being self-directed and self-corrected in life. As they do this, they will develop their capacity to flow with their internal wisdom, their core essence and in doing so alleviate the pain and discomfort that comes from battling themselves in an attempt to fit in with this crazy world of ours.

For young people struggling with anxiety, depression, stress and other symptoms: Please know it is not inevitable, it’s not something that is happening to you, it’s an experience you are having that you can change. Embrace the simple notion that your real job as a human being is to experience yourself in each and every moment, to follow your passion and embrace your feelings.

Despite the pressure to fit in, to be liked, to say and do the ‘right’ thing, the road to health, happiness and fulfillment — which is your default ‘factory’ setting — is to trust yourself, be true to deeper feelings and allow yourself to be present in each moment. Meet life in the now with all of who you are.

If you or a young person you know needs more support and guidance to alleviate anxiety, depression, stress or other medically unexplained symptoms, my free webinar on how to eliminate anxiety is available here, my free webinar on overcoming depression is available here; or if you would like to ask me any questions about symptoms, circumstances, worries or concerns drop me a message here and we can have a chat. 

Warm blessings

*photo courtesy of Leslee Jo Photography


One thought on “Why Are Our Kids So Stressed & Anxious?

  1. Donna Slee

    Hi Kyle
    I’m really concerned about my 10yr old daughter, Emily, who appears to suffer from anxiety and often complains of feeling permanently sick. This started about two years ago when we moved house. At that time she wouldn’t eat, became very clingy to me and wouldn’t go to sleep on her own. Things have improved slightly but she continues to complain of the feeling of sickness throughout the day and cannot be left alone in her bedroom to sleep. Her diet is quite restricted and she will pick at her food. She also, complains that she often feels very anxious and this seems to get worse at night.
    Two years ago when this started she didn’t want to go back to school, even though she loved it before. She did attend school regularly but becomes very anxious at the start of each new academic year.

    She is a bright, sensitive, academic little girl but I feel this anxiety is holding her back. She remains clingy to me and my partner feels her unwillingness to try new things or spend more time with him gets worse when I am around.

    I am worried that the new school term is around the corner and I can see that her anxiety levels are increasing. I really don’t know what to do to help her and wondered if you had any strategies for her and myself or a clinician who could work with her to overcome these issues. Emily is a mature 10year old who, I think would respond to someone in a one to one situation.

    I hope you can help
    Donna Slee


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