Folks, it’s that time of year again! After a long hot summer, school is back in session. For some parents, the returning school year may signify a break from an exhausting summer schedule. For others, it may be a bittersweet ending to much needed quality family time. Regardless, a new school year is upon us, so I wanted to take the time to address an issue that has been at the forefront of my mind all summer long.  

Once the 2022-2023 school year ended, I reflected on how I can be more effective in my role as the Community Liaison and Youth Event Coordinator for NPC. After some thought, I concluded that much of my effort needs to focus on the growing mental health crisis amongst our youth. National and local data trends have confirmed we have a growing crisis on our hands. In addition, my experience on the ground has validated what the numbers have borne out. The turmoil amongst our youth is palpable. The million-dollar questions are what is causing this crisis and what do we do about it?  

Realistically speaking, this is a multifaceted issue, but I believe I know where we can get the most bang for our buck. I posit that possibly the most effective way to alleviate mental health struggles for your child this upcoming school year is to reform the use of their smartphone, particularly their social media use. I’ve had this supposition for years and it was only deepened when I heard Dr. Twenge speak earlier this year.  Dr. Jean Twenge is one of foremost researchers on the topic of how smart phones affect our teens. We had the privilege of hosting an exclusive lecture by Dr. Twenge this past March. She presented her main findings from her book “iGen” along with other research she’s done on the topic.    

She explained that clinical level depression doubled between 2011 and 2019 among U.S. 12- to 17-year-olds [3]. In her opinion, that stark rise can mainly be attributed to the fact that 2012 is the first year when the majority of Americans became smart phone owners. This sharp decline in teens’ mental health has persisted despite changes in our culture, economy, politics, and various other factors. Teen mental health decline has been the one constant over this past decade. In this short video listed below, Dr. Twenge gives a succinct analysis of the issue during a TED talk. I highly encourage you to take a moment to watch, so you can better understand how we got here. 

I want to be clear, there are a multitude of things that can affect our teen’s mental health. Adverse childhood experiences, substance misuse, poor physical health, social obstacles, just to name a few. The bottom line is being a teenager is hard, which is why we should not exacerbate their struggles. Instead, we should try to protect them from the harmful effects that smartphones can cause. I believe smartphone use is a detrimental catalyst to any issues our teens are struggling with independent of their online activity.  

For example, one theory that I’ve heard floated for the origin of this crisis is that our teens are under severe academic pressure. I was sympathetic to this theory but upon further investigation I fear this is another misdiagnosis of the root cause. Dr. Twenge debunked this theory in a Substack article she wrote entitled, “Academic Pressure Cannot Explain the Mental Illness Epidemic.” She explained that according to Monitoring the Future Survey, which has gathered self-reported data from students since the 90’s, students are spending significantly less time on homework than previous generations. Moreover, competition for grades amongst students is also at an all-time low.  

Still skeptical? Take a look at this chart below.  

This chart examines the depression rates of students by gender and academic achievement. High achievers are categorized by students who maintain an overall grade average of an A- and above. Check out how there appears to be normal fluctuations up until the year of 2012 and then depression rates amongst all groups begin to skyrocket. Dr. Twenge eloquently summarizes this trend in her Substack article when she writes, “Of course, many factors can cause depression, and academic pressure may certainly be the cause of some cases. But we’re not trying to explain all cases of depression; we’re trying to explain why teen depression increased so much after 2012. Given that homework time has declined (and was never high to begin with compared to screen media time), given that teen-reported academic pressure has primarily declined over this time, and that teens under more academic pressure are actually less likely to be depressed, the evidence I’m able to find in the Monitoring the Future study contradicts the academic pressure hypothesis. [1]” 

I chose to highlight the academic pressure hypothesis specifically because it fits well within the “Back-to-school” theme of this article. Yet, this is just one area of many that needs deeper exploration into how smart phones can exacerbate the issues that our teens face. We NEED to give our children a fighting chance and this is one area where I believe we can get effective results. So, what can you do? Fortunately, Dr. Twenge has three simple rules that she recommends all parents implement to drastically reduce the potential harm of smartphone use.  

  1. No phones or tablets in the bedroom at night. (If they need an alarm clock, have them use an actual alarm clock.) 
  1. No using devices within an hour of bedtime. (Being on your phone before you go to sleep can have a large impact on your quality of sleep which is an important factor for depression.) 
  1. Limit device time to less than two hours of leisure time a day. (This does not include homework.) 

These may seem like miniscule changes, but they can go a long way. If you would like more information on why monitoring smartphone use is important for your child’s development, I encourage you to check out more articles that Dr. Twenge has written. Here’s to a great school year! 

[1] https://jonathanhaidt.substack.com/p/academic-pressure-social-media 

[2] https://time.com/5555737/smartphone-mental-health-teens/ 

[3] https://time.com/collection/person-of-the-week-podcast/6307832/jean-twenge-interview-person-of-the-week/ 

[4] iGen: The Smartphone Generation | Jean Twenge | TEDxLagunaBlancaSchool 

[5] https://www.jeantwenge.com/writing/ 

On Wednesday March 22nd, NPC hosted a Youth Leadership Summit at the Northern Virginia 4-H Educational & Conference Center in Front Royal. This conference featured dozens of students from Warren, Page, and Shenandoah County. This event was once an annual tradition organized by the Warren Coalition, PACA, and FYI. However, due to the pandemic and other factors the annual conference was temporarily halted.  

Plans to reinstate the event began to be formulated in the late summer of 2022. The goal was to put on a conference that would inspire and empower student leaders who were already doing great work in their communities. Research has shown that peer-led movements are often highly effective and engaging. Administrators from each of the seven high schools, in the counties previously mentioned, chose up to 10 students whose leadership qualities stood out amongst their peers. The desired requirements for our leaders were as followed: 

  • committed to staying drug- & alcohol-free 
  • demonstrates leadership amongst peers 
  • participates in extracurricular activities (sports, clubs, theater, etc.) 
  • is in good academic/behavioral standing 
  • displays a willingness to step outside their comfort zone 

The curriculum for the conference was designed to help students sharpen their leadership traits and expand their perspectives. This was an opportunity to get our future leaders in one place and equip them with new skills and knowledge to implement the positive changes they wish to see.  The agenda items included three breakout sessions, a keynote address, and a variety of notable guest speakers which are outlined in more detail below. 

Breakout Session Overview 

Topic 1: Examining the Origins of Substance Misuse and How it Manifests in Our Communities  

Presenter: Sgt. Micah Grandstaff  

Discussion: Sgt. Micah serves on the Page County Drug Task Force/Virginia State Police and is on the front lines of substance misuse prevention regarding law enforcement. Micah presented on the drugs and trends he sees in his daily work. More importantly, he highlighted the cycle and connection between trauma, addiction, and criminal activity. He posits that healthy individuals and strong communities could be law enforcement’s greatest ally in the battle against substance misuse. 

Topic 2: Leadership, Resiliency, and Reasons We Rise! 

Presenter: Dr. Julia Garcia 

Discussion: Through a series of inspirational stories and hands-on team building exercises, Julia Garcia’s interactive workshop offered a vast array of learning opportunities for young leaders. Her workshop consisted of highly engaging activities and group discussions to work together to enrich connections, foster leadership, and build resiliency amongst participants. Her objective was to empower students to feel fearless in their fight for positive change in their respective communities. 

Topic 3: Ways Youth Can Make an Impact: Y Street (Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth) 

Presenter: Mackenzie Minton, Ashley Coulson, Sophia Sebeck, Hannah Robbins Bruce.  
Discussion: Student leaders from Shenandoah County presented on the work they do with the organization Y Street and ways they make an impact on their communities. Y Street is the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth’s award-winning volunteer initiative for high school students. Since 2004, more than 9,000 Virginia teens have been trained to engage their local communities with strategies for obesity prevention and by advocating for tobacco prevention policies. 

Keynote Address

The keynote speaker for the conference was Dr. Julia Garcia, who also led one of the breakout sessions. By age 20, Julia had already set out on her mission to create safe spaces for students to feel seen, heard and be truly connected. After losing people close to her from drugs and violence, Garcia was determined to be the voice she wished she had growing up. Her grasp of such a wide range of social economic challenges, whether they be manifested by childhood, hopelessness, self-esteem, or assault, is staggering. Dr. Garcia’s message centered around the following three components. 
IMPACT– Create a critical space for campuses to build and celebrate their community! 

EMPOWER– Challenge students to recognize their unique power, purpose, and strength in their stories. 

VALUE– Empower students to value their individual and collective voices. 

Special Guests 

The conference started with opening remarks from Chief Sager (Shenandoah County), Sheriff Cubbage (Page County), and Captain Crystal Cline (Warren County). We were grateful to have law enforcement representatives from all three counties that were in attendance. Each official gave personalized remarks on their view of leadership and life lessons they’ve learned over the years. 

The conference ended with closing remarks from Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates Todd Gilbert. We were particularly excited that Speaker Gilbert could make it because it showed our student leaders that they had support on all levels. Also, Speaker Gilbert graduated from Central High School, which had students in attendance. It was amazing for them to hear advice from someone who came from a similar background. 

All in all, the event was a great success! Many students and administrators gave positive reviews. We are excited to keep the momentum going and continue to foster leadership in our communities! 

When we conducted recovery interviews last September, we asked our interviewees what they would say to someone who wants to achieve recovery from a substance use disorder but thinks they can’t do it. While many of the recovery tips were in the individual videos and stories, we thought it would be helpful to consolidate them into one article. Because there was a lot of overlap between what was said, we are paraphrasing these as general tips, rather than giving credit to any one particular individual.

  1. Find what works for you. Every person interviewed had a different story of recovery. Some experienced what they considered a miraculous healing and quit cold turkey. Others went through Medication-Assisted Recovery. Some used Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous, while others turned to a church family or a local peer support specialist. There was no right or wrong path. The journeys were as unique as each individual.
  2. Build a support system. Recovery isn’t something you can do on your own—or at least, most people cannot—because doing so increases your sense of isolation. Addiction feeds off of loneliness and isolation, our interviewees insisted. Know that it is okay to ask for help, and reach out to others. Let them know that you want to try to overcome your SUD. Tell them how they can help. Be honest and straightforward when you are struggling. You can find support from family, friends, church groups, doctors, peer support specialists, Narcotics Anonymous/Alcoholics Anonymous, a sponsor, and others.
  3. Expect to change your life. You may have to completely change what you were doing. Part of recovery is identifying your triggers and avoiding those things. That journey may take a while. For some people, it might be the people they are with, while for others, it is the places they go. For some, it could be both. Situations can be a trigger. A job could be a trigger. Being honest about the root of those can be difficult, but figuring it out is critical to your recovery. This is an area where therapy/counseling can help. It is also necessary for you to be clear with others about what your triggers are. You might be surprised at the support you receive!
  4. Keep going, it gets better. Folks told us that there will be times when it seems like it will never end, and that turning point will never come. But it does. Every one of them promised that it does come. Be strong, they said, because your new life is worth it. Which brings us to our last point.
  5. It’s worth it. YOU are worth it. The rebuilt relationships with loved ones, the rediscovered joy in the simple things of life such as hiking or reading, are priceless. Recovery is hard, but it rewards you with gifts you never thought possible.

If you want to begin your journey of recovery, check out our resources page and remember: you are not alone. In addition to professional counselors, there are many people with lived experiences can provide you with recovery tips and support. We are all here to help you.

Well, at the time I’m writing this, it’s the beginning of February which means I’m a little late finishing the “obligatory article” on New Year’s resolutions. In some ways, I find it strange that we often stockpile our desired goals and ambitions, only to launch them all at once like a spectacular conclusion of a fireworks show. Similar to a fireworks show, all our desires culminate in a productive first few weeks of the new year followed by a precipitous decline in willpower ending somewhere between self-loathing and denial. In the past, I’ve struggled with the pressures surrounding New Year’s resolutions which caused self-induced anxiety and an unhealthy lack of self-worth. However, I’ve made some changes this year that have greatly reduced those issues. I’d like to share some of those personal discoveries I’ve made in addition to simple evidence-based ways to build new habits. Let’s dive into science first! 

Over the past couple of years, I’ve read approximately a half dozen books on habits. All of them have been helpful in some manner but sometimes the science can be overwhelming. I often thought to myself while reading, “I should have paid closer attention in my college psychology classes.” With that being said, I’d like to spare you of the graduate level concepts and vernacular. 

In my pursuit of healthy habit building, I recently stumbled upon neuroscientist Andrew Huberman. I like Huberman’s work because he seems to understand that part of a scientist’s job should be to communicate their findings effectively. He’s a leading expert in his field and more than capable of scholarship, however, he’s fantastic at showing how the science of habit building plays out in daily life. If you are interested, this video is a great crash course for habit building. Huberman outlines effective ways to build and break habits based on his research. I would highly recommend that you give it a listen but first I’d like to share a concept of Huberman’s that has been working for me lately.  

Limbic Friction

Huberman describes limbic friction as the energy needed to overcome anxiety, procrastination and/or fatigue. In the past, this concept has often been described as “willpower.” I never liked that term because it seemed to have character implications. When I failed at building new habits, I told myself that I was mentally weak because my willpower wasn’t strong enough to change. That line of thinking would usually cause me to make drastic changes like waking up earlier, working past exhaustion, and neglecting others.  

In contrast to that, limbic friction is a calculation of what level of energy you will need to break or form a new habit. Various habits will require different amounts of energy depending on who you are and how tedious or intimidating you find those habits. It sounds like a simple insight, but if you were having trouble with burnout or failure to start new habits, this concept can be very helpful to understand, especially when coupled with this next concept.  

Huberman explains that when you are attempting to build new daily habits, it is best to dissect your day in 3 different phases. 

Phase 1: The first 0-8 hours after waking 
Phase 2: The next 9-15 hours after waking 
Phase 3: The last 16-24 hours after waking 

With these phases in mind, you can arrange when you perform new habits in accordance with their limbic friction. Here’s how Huberman recommends building your daily schedule.  

Phase 1: Your brain and body are more action and focus oriented in Phase 1 due to elevated dopamine, adrenaline and cortisol levels. It’s easier to overcome limbic friction. Note: We are also more prone to distraction and reflexive multitasking at this time. Don’t succumb to that. These should be the habits that require energy and focus. Setting a window for completion (e.g., 45 min of focused reading, work, etc. in Phase 1) rather than a precise start and stop time lends flexibility to your schedule. For example, you might elect to exercise or write or study “after waking but before noon,” meaning it can be done at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. but definitely in Phase 1. Of course, if you can do it at the same time each day, great, but setting a broader window of opportunity can help given busy lives. [1] 
Phase 2: Leverage your naturally higher serotonin levels and lower adrenaline, and engage in habits that don’t require you to overcome much limbic friction. This is an excellent time for behaviors and thinking that can be completed with less focus. The sort that involves creative exploration is perfect: writing fiction, rough drafts, writing music, play of any kind, experimentation. Or lower-focus requirement physical pursuits. [1] 

Phase 3: This is when we reset our ability to overcome limbic friction by, you guessed it, resting and sleeping. Avoid bright lights, sleep in a cool, dark room, and explore supplementation if needed. [1] 

With this new model, you can map out a path to success in a way that’s customizable and most conducive to your lifestyle. It’s a simple process but realizing where to place your hardest habits throughout your day can make a huge difference in your progress! It’s been a game changer for me these past few weeks and this new year feels a bit different than the rest. 

Personal Discoveries

Moreover, I’ve implemented a few tactics of my own in conjunction with Huberman’s methods.  

Sharing: Many of the books I’ve read encouraged me to share my goals in an effort to make myself more accountable. This was always a bit frightening to me because it required a level of vulnerability. I didn’t want those around me to potentially see me fail at a goal that I made public. So, I seldom shared any of my goals. However, after sharing some of my goals, I’ve received nothing but support and words of motivation from those around me. It has drastically improved my accountability but not in a way that brings me pressure. Now I’m genuinely excited to display my progress. 

Reasonable: For the very first time, I’ve established reasonable goals for myself. I used to shoot for the moon and be disappointed when I came up short. I know I’m capable of reaching great heights, but I was too grand in my goals. Instead of saying, “I want to be a millionaire” it’s probably more reasonable to say, “I want to be debt free.” If you can accomplish that, you are putting yourself in a better position to reach your ultimate goal. 

No Timelines: I’ve refrained from putting hard deadlines on the new goals and habits I’d like to achieve. It allows me to focus more on the process and less on the destination. This has reduced my anxiety because I always feel like I’m moving towards my destination and not like I’m late getting there.  

Self-improvement can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Simple tweaks to your mindset and how you operate can go a long way. For more information on healthy lifestyle choices, don’t hesitate to read our other articles. 

[1] https://hubermanlab.com/build-or-break-habits-using-science-based-tools/ 

Even for people working in prevention, deciding when to talk about the dangers of various drugs and alcohol can be a challenge. When Delta-8 first became a topic for prevention professionals, there was concern that any efforts to warn families might also promote the substance. The truth, however, is that kids are usually far more aware of things than we give them credit for, at far younger ages than we want to admit. (In the case of Delta-8, a few quick searches on Tik Tok revealed that the kids were well aware of its existence.) If it is that hard for professionals to know when to start a conversation, how can parents know at what age they should talk to their kids about drugs and alcohol?

For parents, it can be both more difficult and easier to make the determination about when to have those tough conversations with your children. Easier because you know your child and their struggles, and you know how to broach topics with them. More difficult because you aren’t with your child every moment of every day, and they likely have already been exposed to substances—they may even be using them. Most of us, quite frankly, don’t like to think about that possibility.

As you are working your way through when and how to address the dangers of drugs and alcohol with your child, here are a few things to consider.

Father sitting with his preschool son.
When children are young, you don’t need to scare them with information about drugs and alcohol. Instead, talk about the importance of taking care of their bodies and making healthy choices.

It doesn’t have to be about the substances.

Research has shown that kids respond best to positive messages rather than negative. It is certainly important for you to know and understand the risks that drugs and alcohol pose to a developing child, but not every conversation has to center around the negative. It shouldn’t, in fact, because most people (and especially kids and teens!) have trouble thinking that danger applies to them.

Instead, focus your early conversations about the positives. For example, making the healthy choice means you:

  • Can do your best in school and in sports.
  • Feel well instead of hung over or sick.
  • Are always available to help a friend in need.
  • Can feel proud of your choices.

Make it age-appropriate.

It is never too early to start talking to your kids about the dangers drugs and alcohol pose. (Okay, maybe talking to a newborn about it might be taking that idea too far, but it would be great practice for you!) Of course, that does not mean that the message you give to a preschooler should be the same as the one you give to a teenager. Messages for young children should be simple. For example: “We want only good things in our bodies so we can grow up to be healthy.” As they age, start letting them know things like, “Drugs and alcohol will make you sick. Your brain is still growing, and the chemicals in drugs and alcohol will hurt it.” 

The older your kids get, the more specific your information should be. You can share that vapes contain as much nicotine as an entire pack of cigarettes. Remind them that the vaping companies exist to make money, and the more people vape, the more money the companies make. Let them know that vapes contain dangerous chemicals and metals.

Mom and son sitting on couch, having a discussion about drugs and alcohol
Teens are less likely to use drugs and alcohol if they know their parents do not approve. It is important that you let your kids know where you stand, even if the conversation is uncomfortable. As parents, we must do all we can to protect the health of our children.

It’s okay if you have to look it up.

Eventually, your kids may want specific, scientific answers. It is entirely fair to admit you don’t know the answer when they challenge you. Go do some research together (or do it separately) and have a conversation about what you discover. Make sure you talk about looking at who has written or funded the research—again, vape companies exist to make money, so their articles and videos are not going to list the risks of vaping (unless there is a government mandate to do so).

As you research, you might find that the product is just too new, and there is not enough research about its effects. You can still go back to the question, “Is this the best choice for your health?” and continue to discuss the possible effects of it. For example, in the case of vaping, discuss whether it is truly safe to inhale chemicals and metals and risk becoming addicted to nicotine.

Teaching children about self-care and helping them build resilience through loving interactions and household responsibilities are key to them making healthy choices in regard to drugs and alcohol.

Self-care and resilience matter.

Many children begin using drugs and alcohol when faced with Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) or overwhelming situations, such as being left alone a lot, sexual abuse, divorce, domestic violence, bullying, or death of a loved one. One of the best things we can do for our children when they are young is teach them to take good care of themselves and their bodies, and help them develop resilience. Having a strong foundation in both will provide them with the inner strength and coping skills they need to get through tough times.

Wellness and resilience are topics that are far too deep to be covered in this article, but here are a few basics to start with:

  1. Make healthy choices: eat right, drink enough water, and get enough sleep.
  2. Make one choice to be drug- and alcohol-free, because that helps to keep you healthy and gives you the best chance of having your best future.
  3. Life will throw us challenges. When tough times come, it is important to ask for help, talk out our problems with a trusted adult, and continue to take care of our health.

Read more about wellness on our website, or listen to our podcast Positive Vibes from the Valley on the eight dimensions of wellness. We also have several articles about building resilience.

Through the Trauma-Informed classes taught by our friends at the Warren Coalition, and the “Moving from Anxiety to Optimal Wellbeing Workshop” by Dr. L Read Sulik we offered in the spring of 2021, we gathered some helpful hints on dealing with anxiety and stress that we would like to pass on to you.

You might wonder why a group of organizations interested in preventing drug and alcohol misuse and supporting treatment and recovery would be writing about coping mechanisms. It is because when you haven’t learned how to deal with stress, trauma, and anxiety, you are more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol to help you cope—and that can lead to substance misuse. The majority of people with substance use disorders have a history of emotional and/or physical pain.

Tips for Coping

Some of these tips might surprise you, because might not have thought of them as coping mechanisms. Whether they are new to you or not, we hope you find them helpful:  

A photo of a woman concentrating on her breathing. Slow, deep breaths can help relieve stress.
Slow, deep breaths inhibit stress-producing hormones.
  1. Breathe. Slowly trace your monitor with your finger. Breathe in as you go up one side, out as you go along the top. Breathe in as you go down the other side, out as you go along the bottom. There is a lot of scientific evidence about what happens during this process. One of the most concise explanations comes from Sue Doucette on Healthfully: “Deep breathing relieves stress and anxiety due to its physiological effect on the nervous system. Breathing slowly and mindfully activates the hypothalamus, connected to the pituitary gland in the brain, to send out neurohormones that inhibit stress-producing hormones and trigger a relaxation response in the body.” In other words, slow, deep breaths disrupt stress-producing hormones, causing you to relax.
  2. Ground yourself. Anxiety often overtakes us when we are focusing on future things that are out of our control. Focus on the here and now. Start describing your room aloud. It is best to be detailed, because that will really re-focus your mind. “I see a calendar” doesn’t take as much thought as “I see a calendar. It says May. It has a field of red flowers in the photo. A collie is standing in the middle. The paper is glossy, and there is glare on the photo from my lamp.” Move onto your next sense. Touch the keyboard, your phone, your chair, the rug, your shirt, your dog—whatever it is, concentrate on how it feels. Breathe in. What do you smell? Close your eyes and listen. What do you hear? Now remind yourself that in this moment, you are safe. Why does this work? Because it helps us to get out of our heads and into the physical, present moment.
  3. Take care of yourself. By now, you’ve probably heard the phrase “self-care isn’t selfish.” If you have a hard time with that, consider the fact that it is harder to deal with stress if you are not well-rested, or if you are dehydrated or malnourished, or if your body is in poor health due to a lack of exercise. If your stress levels are high, that puts a larger strain on your already-taxed body and mind, and it makes it more likely that you will reach for some sort of substance to help dull the pain. Make sure you are eating right, drinking enough water, and getting enough sleep.
  4. Change your pattern of thought. We all have those moments when we start to spiral in our thoughts, focusing on the negative until that’s all that is all we can think about. Although you may want to be left alone at this point, try to counter your instinct. Reach out to someone who can help you look at possibilities, someone who sees the obstacles and is determined to find another way. If you have trouble listening to others when you are spiraling, you can try to focus on something positive—anything—for a minute. Count your blessings, or stare at a flower and focus on the details that make it beautiful. Prayer and/or meditation can be helpful in this effort as well.
  5. Connect with others. Loneliness, or even the possibility of loneliness, is one of the biggest drivers of anxiety. We all have different levels of relationships, and each type needs to be nurtured. Make the effort to reach out to family and close friends on a regular basis. Give yourself permission to go off on a tangent at a work meeting or chat with someone briefly in the hallway. Say yes when a group invites you to go to lunch. Go to that church event or community festival. Look people in the eye and say hello. (Yes introverts, this includes you too. Don’t overdo it, but you still need connections too!)
A graphic showing a changing mind, to demonstrate that changing your mindset can help you deal with stress and anxiety.
The coping tips in this article can help you deal with stress and anxiety.

Some of these things might seem like basic skills, but they are key foundational steps of dealing with stress and anxiety. They are part of building a resilient person. Develop them in yourself and teach them to your children, and you may find it easier to navigate the next round of life’s challenges.

Dr. Rob Anda of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Dr. Vincent Felitti of Kaiser Permanente conducted a study of 17,300 mostly middle-class white Americans between 1995-1997.  The study sought to ascertain if adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) contributed to long-term negative health outcomes in adulthood.   

The survey asked 10 questions that focused on traumas experienced in childhood.  These questions were arranged in three clusters around abuse, neglect, and family challenges.