Positive outlook helps teens tackle anxiety

London: Training teens to develop a positive outlook might help them tackle anxiety effectively as adults, according to a new research.

"For example, I might wave at someone I recently met on the other side of the street," says experimental psychologist Jennifer Lau from Oxford University, who led the study.

"If they don`t wave back, I might think they didn`t remember me - or alternatively, I might think they`re snubbing me. People with anxiety are more likely to assume the latter interpretation," Lau said.

"These negative thoughts are believed to drive and maintain their feelings of low mood and anxiety," said Lau, reports the journal Child Psychiatry and Human Development.

"If you can change that negative style of thinking, perhaps you can change mood of anxious teenagers," says Lau, according to an Oxford statement.

"Of course, it`s normal for teenagers to be worried about exams, friends, social acceptance, and about the future generally," says Lau.

"In some extreme cases, kids avoid going to school because they are anxious. This is not just being a little bit worried," she says.

Thirty-six healthy teenagers from schools in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire took part in the study, and were randomly allocated to receive training to boost positive or negative readings of scenarios.

Those who received positive training tended to endorse positive readings of the ambiguous scenarios, while those who received the negative training were more likely to view the scenarios more negatively.


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