Learn To Give Yourself A Break
When working on forming healthy habits and reducing your stress levels, its important to note that you will face challenges and break from your routine from time to time. When you accept the fact that you cant feel like meditating, journaling, or working out every single day of your life, you will not be critical of yourself when that happens.
Even if you go two or three weeks without doing any stress-relieving activities you promised yourself you would, dont be hard on yourself. Let rough periods come and go and make sure to return to your routine when you feel well again.
Stress And The Adolescent Brain: A Perfect Storm
As alluded to above, the brain is a major target of the glucocorticoids andthese hormones are known to be potent modulators of many neurobiological processes,including neuronal plasticity .In adults, chronic exposure to stress results in smaller and structurally lesscomplex hippocampal and prefrontal cortical neurons. These morphological changes arealso paralleled by decreases in spatial learning and attention shifting, cognitiveabilities reliant upon an intact hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, respectively.Neurons in the amygdala, conversely, show stress-induced growth in adulthood, alongwith increased amygdala-dependent fear learning . Importantly, these effects of stress on the adult brainare reversible, such that if animals are allowed to recover from the stressors forat least 10 days, then these parameters revert to their pre-stress levels .
What Can Parents Do
As parents, we all want to do what’s best for our children. There are so many things we can do to help reduce a child’s anxiety while building a better parent-child relationship.
- Be aware of your childs behaviors and emotions.
- Build trust with your child.
- Be available and open to talk with your child when he or she is ready.
- Encourage the expression of feelings.
- Teach and model good emotional responses.
- Encourage your child to tell you if he or she feels overwhelmed.
- Encourage healthy and diverse friendships.
- Encourage physical activity, good nutrition, and rest.
- Teach your child to problem solve.
- Remind your child of his or her ability to get through tough times, particularly with the love and support of family and friends.
- Keep your child aware of anticipated family changes.
- Monitor television programs that could worry your child and pay attention to the use of computer games, movies, and the Internet.
- Use encouragement and natural consequences when poor decisions are made.
- Help your child select appropriate extracurricular activities and limit overscheduling.
- Make your child aware of the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol before experimentation begins.
- Monitor your own stress level. Take care of yourself.
- Contact your childs teacher with any concerns and make him or her part of the team available to assist your child.
- Seek the assistance of a physician, school psychologist, school counselor, or school social worker if stress continues to be a concern.
Don’t Miss: How To Limit Stress In Your Life
Category : Problem Solving
Identify and Then Tackle the Problem
Sometimes, when you identify the source of stress, it can feel overwhelming. You may feel unable to address the problem. To get past that feeling, divide it into smaller pieces and manage one piece at a time. For example, you can make lists and timelines, and then identify a strategy from your plan to address each part of the problem.
Avoid What Stresses You Out Whenever Possible
Life is hard enough without having to deal with things that can be avoided. Bypass, rather than confront, problems when it is safe and wise to do so. Avoiding people, places, and things that trigger emotions can be an act of tremendous strength.
Instead of devoting energy to worrying about things you cant change, channel your energy differently. Focus on problems that can be fixed!
Teen Stress: Symptoms And Causes
American teens are way too stressed. In 2015, the Emotion Revolution Survey, a study of 22,000 high school students, asked teenagers how they felt in school. Three-quarters of the kids had negative responses. The three most common adjectives they used were stressed, tired, and bored.
A certain amount of stress is normal. Its a common emotional, psychological, and physical reaction to the ups and downs of daily life. Teenagers often feel stress due to the myriad of changes. These are both internal and external that come with growing up. And todays fast-paced, technology-saturated climate doesnt help.
In small doses, stress can help us get things done. However, if stress goes on long enough or gets bad enough, it can lead to health conditions that require professional treatment. Thats why its essential for teens to learn how to manage their stress.
First, lets look at exactly how stress works.
Also Check: How To De Stress Yourself Instantly
Keep A Mood Tracker And Spot Your Stressors
An activity you can do both in a mobile app and with a traditional notebook is mood tracking.
Note what you felt like every single day in a month. You should assign different colors to different moods and mark each day with the color that matches the mood you were in for the good part of that day. Heres an example:
You will go through an array of them in a single day. That said, tracking your mood shifts daily helps you notice patterns in your emotional state. You shed light on the issues or events that cause you to go through rough patches when you do. You can then brace yourself for them to feel the least amount of stress possible and learn to avoid stressors.
How To Help Teenagers Embrace Stress
Stretching beyond familiar limits doesnt always feel good, but growing and learning the keys to school and much of life cant happen any other way.
- Read in app
Send any friend a story
As a subscriber, you have 10 gift articles to give each month. Anyone can read what you share.
Give this article
By Lisa Damour
Now that the school year is in full swing, many young people are feeling the weight of academic demands. But how much strain students experience may depend less on their workloads and more on how they think about the very nature of stress.
Stress doesnt deserve its bad rap. Psychologists agree that while chronic or traumatic stress can be toxic, garden-variety stress such as the kind that comes with taking a big test is typically a normal and healthy part of life. In a 2013 article in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology on stress mind-sets, the researchers Alia J. Crum, Peter Salovey and Shawn Achor noted that the human stress response, in and of itself, can put the brain and body in an optimal position to perform.
But the conventional wisdom is that stress does harm and so, accordingly, we should aim to reduce, prevent or avoid it. Not surprisingly, this negative slant on stress can shape parenting and also leave teenagers feeling stressed about being stressed.
Recommended Reading: How To Stop Chest Pain From Stress
Flight Or Fight Response And Teens
When a person is facing a perceived or imminent threat or is extremely stressed, the automatic flight or fight response is triggered. This response plays a vital role in how we deal with stress: it prepares the body to either fight the threat or flee from it.
When the flight or fight mode is activated, the amygdala sends a distress signal to the hypothalamus, which is the communication center of the brain. The hypothalamus sends a response to the adrenal glands through the automatic nervous system, activating the sympathetic nervous system .
The adrenal glands suddenly release adrenaline into the blood, which, in turn, releases blood sugar, sending energy to all parts of the body. When this happens, the individuals heart rate increases, pupils dilate, the body starts to shake, and the skin is flushed or becomes pale. The person stays in this state for 20 to 60 minutes, before coming back to a normal, relaxed state.
Teenagers experience this response to stress as adults do, and it is normal as long as the response doesnt extend to long periods. Small doses of the flight-and-fight response are essential and helpful. That response is what helps you duck in time from getting hit by a ball or move out of the way of an oncoming vehicle just in time!
Keep reading to know how to identify if the teenager is stressed.
Teenage Stress Statistics And Facts
Did you know that more than 25% of adolescents experience extreme stress during the school year? A study by the American Psychological Association found out that over 31% of teenagers feel depressed or sad because of stress.
- 59% of teens said that time management was a significant stressor.
- 40% of teens reported feeling irritable and angry because of stress.
- 35% of them could not sleep at night, while 23% had lost their appetite because of stress.
- Many teenagers also experienced physical changes 36% felt tired or fatigues, while 32% had headaches, and 21% had an upset stomach or indigestion.
- For girls, appearance was a significant source of stress, with 68%of girls feeling that way. Only 55% of boys surveyed thought their appearance was a stressor.
- Video games was the number one activity for beating stress, and browsing the internet was the second.
- 28% of teens played sports, and 37% exercised to manage stress better.
While these numbers may seem like teens are under a lot of pressure, some experts disagree. Michael Bradley, a Pennsylvania psychologist, says that teenagers get stressed when someone demands them to do something they do not want to do .
Keep in mind that nothing can eliminate stress. You can only manage it better to prevent it from taking over your life. The sooner your teenagers learn how to deal with stress, the better they will become at handling it in their adult life.
Read Also: How To Not Stress About Life
Do Hobbies That Inspire You
How you spend your free time affects your overall mental well-being.
You probably have hobbies that dont contribute much to your inner happiness. Examples may be binging Netflix or scrolling your Instagram feed for hours on end. The two activities arent harmful in and of themselves, but they are addictive. They make you lose hours and days of your life that you could have otherwise spent on something that truly inspires you and makes you happy to be alive.
The hobbies that are inspiring usually:
- Demand active use of your brain and skills
- Result in a finished product or improvement of skills
- Bring about a sense of achievement
Examples can be knitting, reviewing films, photography, or writing short stories, but your hobby doesnt have to revolve around creative pursuits. It can be fixing furniture or refurbishing old cars. As long as you draw personal satisfaction out of performing the activity and can see you are developing skills through it, you should devote your time to it.
Reflect on activities that make you happy and pursue them through extracurriculars if its possible. Joining the right school club for you is a great opportunity to hone your talent and meet people who share your interests.
When you spend time on activities that fulfill and inspire you, you are satisfied with yourself and life in general. Besides reducing your stress levels, doing what you love and knowing what you love to do also helps you choose a career you want to pursue after high school.
Recognize And Prepare For Stressful Periods
If you make sure to reflect on your mood and your progress, you should be able to recognize when a stressful period is approaching. Even without tracking your mood, increased schoolwork or a potential row with a friend are sure signs you will be going through more stress than usual.
When you feel the first signs of a stressful period, take immediate action. Brace yourself emotionally for anything that may be coming your way. Do activities that relax you, eat healthy foods, and spend time with someone that lifts your mood.
You cant be stress-free every single day of your life, but the trick is to accept it and actively work toward managing stress.
You May Like: Can Stress Cause Neck Pain
Stress Reduction For Teenagerswhy It Matters That You Do Stress
Taking care of yourself and working actively on reducing your stress levels is as important as doing your school homeworkif not more.
Even though stress is a regular human emotion, going through acute stress frequently isnt healthy.
Untreated stress and anxiety can lead to many short-term and long-term consequences. Teens can develop depression and other mental health disorders, which could lead them to:
- Mess up their eating and sleeping habits
- Stop doing the activities they love
- Start skipping classes
- Cut off any human contact
- Drop out of high school
- Resort to self-harm
- Attempt suicide
When you recognize your stress levels are higher than what is considered healthy, you should seek help to prevent harming your mental health further.
Doing stress-relieving activities helps you lead a happy and healthy life, and it also significantly reduces the risk of developing clinical anxiety and other mental health disorders.
Stress Management Tips For Teenagers
Teenagers often feel stress due to the myriad of changes in their lives.
Its common to feel stressed and anxious. But too much of it can be a cause for worry, and also affect ones health. The most common reason for stress in teens is about their future and the hormonal changes in their bodies. Other sources of stress could be school pressure, negative thoughts, health issues, peer pressure, parents separation, family expectations, financial problems, betrayal from friends, and relationships.
Here are some stress-buster tips for teenagers that they can include in their lives.
Read Also: When You Feel Stressed For No Reason
What Are Some Effects Of Stress
Turning On The Rest And Digest Response
The sympathetic nervous system activates the stress response. The parasympathetic nervous system does the opposite. When the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, the heart rate drops, blood pressure falls, and the breath becomes slower and deeper. Therefore, this is also known as the rest-and-digest or relaxation response.
Only one of the two systems can be activated at any given time. Thus, learning how to activate the rest-and-digest system is the key to de-stressing.
Furthermore, the parasympathetic nervous system counteracts all the negative effects of the sympathetic nervous system. Consequently, it improves energy, helps you sleep better, increase immunity, lowers blood pressure, and stabilizes blood sugar.
Don’t Miss: Can You Get Workers Comp For Stress
Contact Stepping Stone Pediatric For Healthy Lifestyle Choices
While stress is a normal part of life, its more important to equip your child with the right tools for dealing with it. By effectively managing and dealing with their stress, your teen will have a more positive outlook on their well-being and life.
Contact Stepping Stone Pediatrics in the Kennesaw and Acworth today to learn more about solutions for managing teenage stress by calling 770-515-9000.
Teens Stress And How Parents Can Help
Teen stress is an important health issue. The early teen years are marked by rapid changes physical, cognitive, and emotional. Young people may also face other challenges, including changing relationships with peers, new demands at school, family tensions, or safety issues in their communities. The ways in which teens cope with these stressors can have significant short-and long-term consequences on their physical and emotional health.
Read Also: Does Stress Cause Eczema Flare Ups
What Triggers Teen Anxiety
Remote learning and isolated lockdowns have become new causes for anxiety and depression in teenagers today, with COVID-19 shaking up their routine and replacing it with uncertainty. In one New York Times article, a teenager described pandemic isolation as suffocating, and a recent study of 3,300 high school students showed that nearly one-third of teens felt unhappy or depressed since the start of the pandemic. After all, research shows that adolescents rely on their friendships to manage anxiety and maintain a sense of self-worth. And while some teens turn to their screens to engage with their peers, social media might be making things even worse. Recent studies have shown a correlation between depression in teens and excessive use of screens, including a rise in suicidal thoughts. Genetics and more common environmental factors also play a role in teenage anxiety, with triggers ranging from hormones to academic expectations to peer pressure.
Stress Due To Family Problems
Anything that affects the family impacts the teenager directly. Unreasonable expectations by parents, marital discord between parents, sickness of a family member, or strained relationship between siblings are all the factors that can affect a teenager.
Sibling rivalry is yet another family problem that can stress the teenager. Differences between siblings are normal, but if it goes up a few notches and turns into war, it can be stressful for both the parties involved. Teenagers may develop feelings of jealousy and hatred for their younger siblings who get more attention from the parents. Avoid taking sides with the kids to prevent such a situation.
Read Also: How Does Stress Make You Feel