The decline of resiliency and what it means for your kids (and you)

The decline of resiliency and what it means for your kids (and you)

Time magazine recently ran a cover story titled “Anxiety, Depression and the American Adolescent: Why the Kids Are Not Alright,” which indicated 30% of girls and 20% of boys have had an anxiety disorder — that’s 6.3 million kids. Another three million have had a major depressive episode in the past year.

The article asserts “adolescents today have a reputation for being more fragile, less resilient and more overwhelmed than their parents were when they were growing up.” And researchers are starting to think it’s not just the epidemic of helicopter parenting causing this alarming rise and declining rates of resiliency.

What is going on?

The article, available here to Time magazine subscribers, gives a better idea of how the “post 9/11 generation” is faring and how their inability to escape problems is due to their constant access to social media and its “immediate feedback loop.” As one expert in the article says, “If you wanted to create an environment to churn out really angsty people, we’ve done it.”

So, what can we do about it?

How can we help our children and ourselves create more resiliency in this very angsty world? How do we learn to deal with the stress, the constant bombardment of a fast-moving society? One way is to learn how to be more resilient in the face of it all.

Resiliency is simply “the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens” (shout out to Merriam-Webster). Sometimes we are so beset with all the stuff coming at us, it feels like an electric current is coursing through our bodies. That stress, over long periods of time, builds up and causes lots of problems:

  • trouble sleeping
  • high levels of anxiety or symptoms of panic
  • feelings of overwhelm and fear
  • gastrointestinal distress
  • trouble eating or eating too much
  • difficulty turning off our thoughts and/or relaxing
  • and many more.

How does it work?

At Aspire — as resiliency specialists — we help you dig deep and find your grit, connect to the lessons learned from difficult circumstances, and find your inner light, motivation and hope. “Resiliency” is what we’ve been doing all along, and now we are affirmatively putting it out there.

We help you find the good in yourself and build on that. We help you learn how to get up again, hold your head high, and move on in your life with a deepened sense of purpose and understanding.

One way we do this is by teaching you about your nervous system and how it responds to stress and trauma. Once you learn about the normal functioning of your nervous system, we can help you learn how to work with what’s happening in your body (not only in your mind and emotionally).

By turning toward what is happening in our bodies, we can often move through it more quickly and easily. We can return our bodies, minds, and emotions back into balance.

What to learn more? Give us a call – we’d love to talk with you about it.

Learn more about how Aspire Counseling is engaging with Wake County Public Schools with training in the Community Resiliency Model.


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