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Managing the Impact Our Anxiety Has on Our Family

Did you know that when you are anxious it can lead your child to exhibit similar behaviors through their life? It can even lead your child to developing an anxiety disorder of their own. A study has shown a strong correlation between parental modeling and anxiety in their offspring, which should make it is a serious concern for all parents struggling with anxiety.

anxiety quote

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, more than 18% of the US population over the age of eighteen suffer from anxiety disorders, making it the number one mental health complaint in the country. That means that forty million of us every year are struggling with severe psychological and emotional symptoms.

Unfortunately, that statistic doesn’t exist in a vacuum. As the first study shows, our family is just as hurt by our anxiety as we are. Perhaps even more so because, as they are helpless to stop our acting out when we go over the edge. So it is up to us to mitigate the damage created by our anxiety. To this end, I have brought together some actions you can start to take manage your anxiety.

Be Open About Your Struggle

The first step is to admit to your family that you are struggling, so talking to them while being open and honest is very important. Giving them an understanding of your struggles with anxiety can away some of the fear they may be feeling and helps them keep you accountable for your actions. Tell them:

  • How you are feeling,
  • What they can do to help you
  • What you are doing to manage your anxiety

impact of anxiety on our family

Get Professional Help

If you are having trouble maintaining your day-to-day tasks, it is critical that you get professional help. Whether that help is medication combined with therapy or simply behavioral therapy, seeing someone who is trained to be objective can greatly help you manage your anxiety. A good therapist will also help to alleviate some of your anxieties and help isolate more serious problems.

Take Time To Work On Your Marriage

Between child-raising and the usual stresses of life, our focus on our marriages can be the first thing to go by the wayside. But your partner is one of your major supports, as well as the person who can help you the most in a time of crisis. Take time to nurture your marriage, even when it feels overwhelming to do so.

Don’t Be Afraid To Take Me Time

Parental guilt is so common these days. We see these organic, handcrafted, gourmet cookie platters on Pinterest made by mommy bloggers who knit all of their children’s clothes with the naturally preserved wool from their pet sheep and think that we are failing. So we overcompensate and run ourselves ragged.

Take a deep breath and have some me time without the guilt. You are doing fine and you would be amazed at how much something as simple as a glass of wine or a day out of the house alone can do for your mental health.

Learning how to face and begin managing our anxiety is difficult task. But for the sake of your spouse, your children, and especially for your own sake, you need to make the effort to start controlling your anxious mind.

Tyler Jacobson

Tyler Jacobson

Tyler Jacobson is a father, husband, and writer, with experience as a content writer and outreach coordinator for HelpYourTeenNow. Tyler has offered honest advice and humor to struggling parents and teens. Tyler has researched and written on education problems, disorders, the world of social media, addiction, and pressing issues with raising a teen today. Follow Tyler on:
Twitter | Linkedin | Google +

9 comments

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  • It’s interesting that you shared this. My husband has suffered from anxiety all of his life. He watched his mom suffer from it his entire life. Now, one of our children has anxiety that sometimes rocks our house to the core. It is so connected. It can be hard journey. Your tips are right on point!

  • Such a great reminder that most of what we teach our kids is caught and not taught. For me, it was figuring out what made me feel better when anxiety hit. Things like taking time for a yoga class or meditation, a hot shower, or a walk around the block worked wonders. x

  • This is such an insightful post! It’s quite fragile indeed because though our family needs to be there for everyone, certain emotions can be quite infectious. I hope more people can get to read your post!

  • I have noticed that my behaviors do have a large impact on my daughter. I feel guilty about passing down things like social anxiety but it is what it is, I have it and she is starting to show signs. I don’t think it is something I have a great handle on just yet, but i need to try for her sake.

  • My husband has been counseling someone who has severe anxiety. It has complicated many of her relationships. These are all good tips for anyone who experiences anxiety.

  • I totally understand how parental anxiety can result in anxiety in children as well. After all, kids pick up so much from watching their parents’ behavior. I try to keep anxiety at bay by exercising regularly and finding time to unwind.

  • What an empowering article! I also love the other article you linked to within this one! Not taking that ME time can lead to even more anxiety and that isn’t good for anyone. It’s better to be “selfish” now than make things worse later. And no it’s NOT selfish to have me time.

  • Anxiety is thankfully not something I REALLY deal with, and if I ever have it, I know how to help myself without anyone knowing I am really feeling that way at all. Exercise helps a TON, which is why I do it on the daily!

  • “Did you know that when you are anxious it can lead your child to exhibit similar behaviors through their life?” –> I did not know that, but I’m not surprised by it. Children pick up many things from their parents.

    The “clothes knitted from wool from their pet sheep” line made me LOL, too. There are a lot of ‘mommy blogger’ things out there on Pinterest that definitely look picture-perfect!

About Author

Tyler Jacobson

Tyler Jacobson

Tyler Jacobson is a father, husband, and writer, with experience as a content writer and outreach coordinator for HelpYourTeenNow. Tyler has offered honest advice and humor to struggling parents and teens. Tyler has researched and written on education problems, disorders, the world of social media, addiction, and pressing issues with raising a teen today. Follow Tyler on:
Twitter | Linkedin | Google +