The Impact of Social Media on Teen Anxiety: Exploring the Connection

Social media has become an integral part of daily life for many teenagers. While social media platforms offer new opportunities for connection and self-expression, there is growing concern about the impact of social media on teen mental health. In particular, there is a link between social media use and increased levels of anxiety in teenagers.

The connection between social media and teen anxiety:

  • Social Media and the Pressure to be Perfect

Social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat are often curated highlight reels of people’s lives, featuring perfectly filtered photos and posts that showcase the best parts of their day. While these images can be inspirational and aspirational, they can also create unrealistic expectations for teenagers. When teens compare their own lives to the carefully curated lives of others, they may feel like they are falling short or that they aren’t good enough. This constant pressure to be perfect can lead to increased levels of anxiety and stress.

  • Social Media and Cyberbullying

Another way that social media can contribute to teen anxiety is through cyberbullying. Cyberbullying involves using technology to harass, intimidate, or humiliate someone. Social media platforms can provide a platform for cyberbullying, and it can be difficult for teens to escape the constant barrage of hurtful messages and comments. The anonymity of social media can also embolden bullies to say things they wouldn’t say in person, making cyberbullying particularly insidious.

  • Social Media and Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

Teens often feel pressure to stay connected and up-to-date with their social media feeds. The fear of missing out (FOMO) can drive teens to check their phones constantly, even when they are supposed to be studying, sleeping, or spending time with friends and family. This constant need to stay connected can create feelings of anxiety and stress, as teens worry about what they might be missing out on.

Managing Social Media and Teen Anxiety

While social media can contribute to teen anxiety, it is important to note that it is not inherently bad. Social media can be a valuable tool for connection and self-expression when used in moderation. Here are some tips for managing social media and teen anxiety:

  1. Encourage teens to take breaks from social media. Suggest that they set aside time each day to unplug and do something else.
  2. Help teens curate their social media feeds to focus on positive and uplifting content.
  3. Talk to teens about the importance of digital citizenship and encourage them to speak up if they see someone being bullied or harassed online.
  4. Encourage teens to talk to a trusted adult if they are feeling anxious or stressed.
  5. Set boundaries around social media use, such as turning off phones during meals or before bedtime.

Social media can have a significant impact on teen anxiety, but it is not the only factor. Parents, caregivers, and educators can help teens manage their social media use and provide support when needed. By promoting healthy habits around social media use, we can help teens develop a healthy relationship with technology and reduce their levels of anxiety and stress.

Hope Rising brings hope to classrooms, helps students build healthy habits, and manage outside stressors. My Best Me.

Impact of Emotional Intelligence on Young Adults

Emotional intelligence is a vital skill that allows individuals to recognize, understand, and manage their own emotions and those of others. It is a crucial life skill that has a significant impact on the mental and emotional well-being of young adults.

Impacts of emotional intelligence on young adults

  1. Improved Mental Health: Emotional intelligence helps young adults to better understand and manage their emotions, which can significantly improve their mental health. It enables them to recognize negative emotions and respond appropriately, reducing the likelihood of mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression.
  2. Better Interpersonal Relationships: Young adults with emotional intelligence are more likely to build healthy and positive relationships with others. They are able to understand and empathize with others’ emotions, communicate effectively, and resolve conflicts peacefully, leading to more fulfilling and supportive relationships.
  3. Increased Self-Awareness: Emotional intelligence helps young adults develop a deeper understanding of themselves, their strengths, and their weaknesses. It enables them to identify their emotions and thoughts, leading to greater self-awareness and a better sense of purpose and direction in life.
  4. Improved Decision-Making: Emotional intelligence helps young adults make more rational and informed decisions. They are better able to consider the impact of their emotions on their decision-making process, leading to more thoughtful and effective decision-making.
  5. Greater Resilience: Emotional intelligence helps young adults build resilience and cope with stress and adversity. They are better able to manage their emotions in difficult situations, bounce back from setbacks, and maintain a positive outlook on life.

Emotional intelligence has a significant impact on the mental and emotional well-being of young adults. It enables them to build healthy relationships, develop self-awareness, make better decisions, and build resilience. As such, it is a crucial life skill that can significantly improve the quality of life for young adults. By developing emotional intelligence, young adults can better navigate life’s challenges and build a more fulfilling and satisfying life. My Best Me curriculum is a great tool to help teach emotional intelligence in the classroom. (learn more)

How to Talk to Children About School Shootings

At the epicenter of school shootings, lives have been forever changed and trauma has become part of those communities. The effects of these shootings can also be felt far beyond the epicenter. They have brought on a lot of stress and anxiety for American parents. It is no surprise that the stress and anxiety that adults feel are also felt by children. 

It is important to realize that children are very much aware of current events AND most schools are having “active shooter drills”. This topic is highly visible to children and we need to help them manage their feelings around this topic. 

How can you talk to children about school shootings?

  1. Start the conversation: The hardest part is starting the conversation. You may feel the desire to avoid this topic but in reality, discussing school shootings can help children feel less anxious. Ask your child what they already know about school shootings then allow them to guide the conversation and ask questions.
  1. Normalize the feelings: It is important to normalize the feelings they are having. It is completely normal for them to feel anxious, sad, and/or scared. Allow them to explore those feelings in a safe place. 
  1. Talk about safety: Let your child know that school shootings are actually very rare. Reiterate that schools have taken appropriate measures to help children stay safe. Without getting graphic, ask them what plans are in place to keep them safe at school. They may answer fire drills, active shooter drills, tornado drills, etc. 
  1. Connect with the community for support: Anxiety and fear can make children more reclusive and less sociable. Remind your children of the people within your community that helps keep them safe. Teachers, coaches, cross guard, police, camp counselors, etc. These are the people within the community that are there to keep them safe.  

Restoring Hope

Hope is the belief that tomorrow will be better than today and that you have the power to make it so.”

During times of high stress, anxiety, and/or adversity students may lack hope. Lack of hope can affect willpower which in turn can make it hard for children to self-regulate. The outcome can be explosive outbursts and impulsive actions. 

Dr. Chan Hellman, Ph.D. has studied hope extensively and believes it is the key to social-emotional well-being. Hope is a way of thinking and CAN be taught.  

What he has found to be the three key components to hope. 

  1. Set goals
  2. Identify Pathways: the ability to identify pathways toward goals (problem solve) and Find ways around obstacles.
  3. Cultivate willpower: the ability to sustain motivation to continue on the pathway in order to achieve that set goal.

In increasing numbers, educators in classrooms nationwide are seeing more and more children exposed to adversity, stress, and trauma. The impact of this trauma on the learning environment is felt throughout the hallways of schools as students struggle with academic performance, disruptive behaviors, and emotional insecurity.

Hope is the answer for the students, classroom, district, and communities. 

(READ MORE on the science of Hope)

How to Help Children Transition into Summer

4 Ways To Help Children Transition To Summer

  1. Make a summer vacation list: “Summer Bucket List”(free printable)

Get everyone together and write a list of things you all want to do over the summer, giving everyone a chance to communicate what they are most excited about. This is a great time to promote positive communication AND get everyone excited about what’s to come. Your summer list can be filled with things as simple as movie night, picnic in the park, drive-in movie, camping, making popsicles, etc. 

2. Maintain routine 

Schools are out and that may mean less structure to the day for some. That being said, it is important to keep a little routine and maintain a lite version of your school year routine. This can help make it easier to adapt to changes. 

3. Balance activity and down time

For some, summertime can be filled with trips and summer camps BUT don’t feel the pressure to keep busy. Summer is a great time to slow down and enjoy the downtime. 

4. Staying Connected 

Staying connected is one of the most important parts of transitioning into summer. Children thrive in social interaction and being with friends. Before year’s end try to gather classmate contact information and try to make plans for the summer. You can coordinate a class outing mid-summer. Nurturing social interaction and connection will help your child thrive when they return to school. 

How to stay connected over summer:

  • Make sure to collect contact information before school ends
  • Plan a multi-family field trip (with classmates)
  • Keep your eye out for local events 
  • Plan meetups and get-togethers
  • Send a postcard if you are traveling
Scholarship application tips

Where do I Start with College Scholarship Applications?

Where do I Start with College Scholarship Applications?

There are many things to consider when seeking a scholarship to aid in college expenses.  If the task seems too great, here are answers to a few questions to get you started.

  1. When do I start? The best time to apply for scholarships is between your student’s junior and senior year. Begin your search and applications that summer if you can. Any earlier and you may not have enough GPA history.  If you’ve already passed this window, don’t give up!  There are many scholarships with other deadlines that might still apply to you.
  2. Where should I apply? Don’t limit your scholarship applications to only private organizations. The federal government, individual schools, and many states offer scholarships as well.  If your student has school preference(s), call that college’s financial aid department to find out about available scholarships.  They can assist you in grants or other financial aid applications for that school.
  3. How many scholarships should I apply for? Apply for as many as you can within the deadline requirements. Some awards may not have the same high dollar appeal as others; however, those smaller scholarship amounts add up and are often less competitive or go unnoticed. For example, the Federal Employee Education and Assistance fund (FEEA) offers more than 450 scholarships each year ranging from $250 to $7,500.
  4. Where can I find scholarships to apply for? Here are a few scholarship search engines to use to find additional scholarship opportunities: com,, and
  5. What about the application? Don’t forget to carefully read over your application paying attention to instructions, questions and the deadline before filling it out. After completing it, proof the application checking for errors. Make sure you have understood and answered the questions as written. If an essay was required, proof that carefully, too! Asking a school counselor or another set of eyes to read it over is often a good idea. Don’t get your application thrown out on a technicality or careless typos and grammar mistakes. Also, send it in to be received well within the deadline.

Want to know some of the most important advice? Simply get the process started! Don’t wait, don’t hesitate. Start looking now for scholarship opportunities for you. Good luck with chipping away at the bursar bill!