Renee Jain founded GoZen!, an online platform for kids that focuses on mental health. She spoke with TFK about how to manage anxiety.
“Turn worry into strength.” It’s normal to feel worried. The key is to turn it into strength. “It’s about processing the worry, not ignoring it,” Jain says.
There may be advantages to feelings you view as bad. Say you’re overwhelmed because you have a big test coming up. Or maybe you want to perform well at a recital. Worry can actually help you focus. Have you ever gotten butterflies in your stomach? “That’s your worry helping you rise to the challenge,” Jain says. “It can motivate you.”
“Bring back the dominos.” Sometimes, anxiety has a domino effect: We think of the worst-case scenario for how things could turn out, and this makes us even more anxious. Try instead to practice accurate thinking. “Anxiety is notoriously inaccurate. It causes us to imagine things that will likely not happen,” Jain says. “Let’s bring the dominoes back and come to a place of accuracy.”
“It’s not permanent.” Remember, every problem eventually comes to an end. You’ll feel better. In the meantime, Jain says, “focus on things you love and the parts of your life that are okay.”