Stop Worrying: What Are You Worried About?
What worries you? What you see in the mirror? What you hear in the cafeteria? The catastrophes you watch on TV? Whatever it is, we guarantee there are hundreds of thousands of girls everywhere who confront those same fears every day and want to stop worrying, too. Whatever it is that makes you feel uncertain and doubt yourself probably made your mother react the same way when she was your age. Science has shown that fear is hardwired deep into our brains. During our teenage years, it can manifest itself in many ways: depression, eating disorders, drugs, casual sex, not to mention many restless nights. What differentiates us from one another are the situations that activate our individual alarms of danger. Take your pick. An outbreak of acne? A fight with your best friend? Doing well in school? Fulfilling your parents expectations? Psychologists report that as teenagers we have at least as many things we worry about as we did as toddlers. When we get older, we don't just stop worrying about our old fears, we just replace them. Goblins at six...a date for the junior prom at 16. With the passing years, a dread of monsters or kidnappers morphs into worrying about SAT scores and being thin enough. And it comes as no surprise that girls worry far more than boys, which automatically makes it tougher for girls to stop worrying. In fact, the only thing boys worry about more than girls is succeeding in their physical activities. According to a new study commissioned by Girls Inc., we are facing increasing pressure to please at ever younger ages making it near impossible to stop worrying. Seventy-six percent of girls in grades 9 to 12 "worry about their appearance." And over half of the girls in third to fifth grade said they are worried about their ability to look "skinny" and "dress right." While there were no gender differences in worries about school, getting along with parents, and what to do when you are older, when it came to personal problems, romantic relationships, being liked by other kids, and being concerned about what kind of person they are, it was the girls who "won" the worrying contest by a landslide. You have a lot on your mind and it's hard to stop worrying. Most of the issues that occupy your thoughts are not easily solved. Although sometimes it might feel like a battle to not become fixated on looks, thinness and sexuality, you must work hard to rein in those thoughts and stop worrying. It's certainly not worth losing yourself trying to gain approval from friends, grown-ups and the messages sent over an overheated media. Just remember that fear is universal and it's okay to stop worrying. It touches everyone. Talk about what's bothering you. Write in a journal. Exercise. Breathe. Put those worrisome thoughts in perspective, and you will take control and begin to stop worrying.
Learn about life as a teenage girl and read helpful information at BeingGirl.com.