Helping Children And Youth Cope With Stress
Children and youth often struggle with how to cope with stress. Youth can be particularly overwhelmed when their stress is connected to a traumatic eventlike a natural disaster, family loss, school shootings, or community violence. Parents, caregivers, and educators can take steps to provide stability and support that help young people feel better.
Eat Regularly And Dont Skip Meals
If stress is an appetite-killer, try eating smaller amounts of food more often during the day. Give yourself permission to eat. When youre stressed, its easy to put meals off or even skip them altogether however, your energy levels will suffer as a result, and you might even end up overeating when you do finally eat.
An Empaths Sensitivity Is A Gift But In Order To Fully Develop And Manage It They Need To Learn How To Stop Absorbing Other Peoples Stresses
Physical empaths are people whose bodies are so porous they seem to catch from others their illnesses, fatigue, and emotional symptoms.
I call these empathic illnesses as the symptoms do not belong to the person.
As a psychiatrist and empath when I took a close look at the history of my highly sensitive patients I discovered that they didnt have the defenses that others have to screen things out. Knowing this significantly changed their treatment. My job became teaching them to center and protect themselves, set healthy boundaries, and let go of the energy they picked up from others.
Discovering that you are a physical empath can be a revelation. Rest assured: You are not crazy. You are not a malingerer or hypochondriac. You are not imagining things, though your doctor might treat you like a nuisance. Similar to the special needs of relationship empaths , if you absorb other peoples symptoms you need to be fierce about self-care practices.
To determine if you are a physical empath take the following quiz from my book on the power of surrender.
Quiz: Am I a Physical Empath?Ask yourself:
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Examples For A Stress Response Menu:
- Close your eyes and take five deep breaths
- Drink a large glass of water
- Play with your dog
- Shout at the sky
The more the activity from your Stress Response Menu can match your personal goals, the better.
In other words, if youâre trying to build muscle, some push-ups might be the perfect de-stressor.
Just make sure itâs something you wonât dread doing.
A combination of a âde-stressorâ and a âreward.â
This is important, as Coach Justin mentions that many of his clients only reward themselves with food. The self-love they practice only takes place in the kitchen.
Our menu above will help us develop some more options, not solely based on food.
Smile Like You Mean It
Dont roll your eyes the next time someone advises you to grin and bear it. In times of tension, keeping a smile on your face especially a genuine smile thats formed by the muscles around your eyes as well as your mouth reduces your bodys stress responses, even if you dont feel happy. Smiling also helps lower heart rates faster once your stressful situation ends.
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What Happens To My Body When I Experience Stress
People react differently to stress. Some common symptoms of stress include sleeping problems, sweating or a change in appetite.6,7
Symptoms like these are triggered by a rush of stress hormones in your body which, when released, allow you to deal with pressures or threats. This is known as the ‘fight or flight’ response.
Hormones called adrenaline and noradrenaline raise your blood pressure, increase your heart rate and increase the rate at which you perspire. This prepares your body for an emergency response.8 These hormones can also reduce blood flow to your skin and reduce your stomach activity. Cortisol, another stress hormone, releases fat and sugar into your system to boost your energy.9
As a result, you may experience headaches, muscle tension, pain, nausea, indigestion and dizziness. You may also breathe more quickly, have palpitations or suffer from various aches and pains. In the long-term, you may be putting yourself at risk from heart attacks and stroke.10
Pause When Cravings Hit And Check In With Yourself
Most emotional eaters feel powerless over their food cravings. When the urge to eat hits, its all you can think about. You feel an almost unbearable tension that demands to be fed, right now! Because youve tried to resist in the past and failed, you believe that your willpower just isnt up to snuff. But the truth is that you have more power over your cravings than you think.
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There Is Hope With Cedric
The good news is that no matter how long youve been struggling and feeling anxious or overwhelmed or insecure or believing that you have to compromise yourself for others in order for them to like you or want to be around you, the solution is really simple and it will, absolutely, lead to better relationships with the people in your life than you ever thought possible.
The solution also solves the problem of emotional eating, binge eating or eating disorders and brings you naturally to a healthy, normal, sexy weight for your body without dieting or rigorous exercise programs.
Life will be better than you ever imagined and youll feel a sense of peace and confidence you only dreamed of before often within 8-10 individual counselling sessions a couple of months on our web based program and/or attendance at one of our 3 day life training events.
Regardless of what has happened in the past in your life or how many different programs, diets, or even surgical options youve tried, the solution is simple and fast and you can be successful in your goals to never stress about food again, stop emotional eating, binging or any form of eating disorder and feel confident in yourself and in your body in just a few short months with this program.
Work On Your Coping Skills
Every time you eat in response to stress, its just a reminder that you cant cope with your emotions. When the urge to stress-eat strikes, try asking yourself, Whats the worst thing that will happen if I dont eat?
Yes, your stress level might rise a bit for a minute, but the feeling will pass, and its probably not nearly as bad as you thought it would be. Practice tolerating your emotions or finding other ways to deal with your stress.
If you feel the need to eat, try hard, crunchy foods they help relieve stress by putting tight jaw muscles to work. Try snacking on a handful of almonds, soy nuts, or baby carrots.
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How To Tell If Its Emotional Vs Physical Hunger
There are few telltale signs that can help you distinguish emotional hunger or stress eating from true, physical hunger:
- Emotional stress eating usually comes on suddenly. You start feeling stressed or tense, and wham! Youre craving takeout nachos. On the other hand, physical hunger tends to come on gradually. Youre starting to feel hungry, but you can wait to eat which gives you some time to choose wisely and satisfy that hunger with something thats good for you.
- Stress eating usually causes a craving for a food thats sugary, fatty, high calorie, and usually very specific. The craving isnt just for chocolate, but a slice of triple-layer fudge cake from Freds Diner on 6th. In contrast, when youre physically hungry, food in general sounds good to you. Youre willing to consider several options that will satisfy your physical hunger, which means youre more likely to make a better choice.
- Once your physical hunger is satisfied and your stomach is comfortably full, its a signal that youve had enough, and you tend to stop eating. But when emotions are the driver, its easy to ignore what your stomach is telling you, and you wind up eating way too much in order to make yourself feel better.
- Stress eating might lift your mood momentarily, but shame and guilt often move in just as quickly. When you finish a meal thats satisfied your physical hunger, you dont usually feel guilty afterward.
To Make The Most Of Your Stress Response Menu:
#1) Make the activities short and easy.
You should feel confident that you can do every item on your list. So avoid activities that will take longer than 10 minutes to complete.
Also, set yourself up for success by hacking your Batcave:
- If youâre going to journal when stressed, keep your diary open on your work desk.
- If youâre going to drink water before any emotional eating, keep your full glass near you.
- If youâre going to take a short walk, keep your kicks near the door.
Donât set yourself up for failure by picking overly complicated or burdensome activities.
#2) Place your Stress Response Menu somewhere visible.
Once you make your list, print it out and place it in your kitchen or pantry .
You could also write out a couple of your favorite activities and attach them to your refrigerator.
If itâs right in front of you, itâll be harder to ignore .
Just please donât write it and then stick the list in the junk drawer that opens to another dimension.
You never can find anything in that drawer.
#3)Track your usage of the Stress Response Menu.
This will help us in two ways:
For the first point, Coach Justin has his clients keep a âJar of Awesome.â
Every time they have a small win in the day, like taking five deep breaths instead of chugging soda, they place a marble or small token in a jar. After a while, the jar will have a decent amount of marbles or âsmall winsâ in it.
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How Does Stress Affect Your Appetite
Studies show that women with high chronic stress levels tend to engage in emotional eating. In addition to psychological responses to stress, there may also be physiological responses. During a stressful event, the body releases cortisol, a hormone that helps the body protect itself. However, if cortisol levels are elevated for a prolonged period of time, such as during repeated and constant stressors, this can lead to increased food consumption, fat storage and weight gain.
Emotional Stress Eating: Why You Do It And How To Stop
Is emotional stress eating your way of soothing yourself when you feel anxious or upset? Or perhaps you are addicted to foods and stress makes the desire for those foods even stronger?
A little emotional eating is natural and not something to worry about. But when you find yourself reaching for sweets and too much food too often, it can wreak havoc with your health and weight goals.
The concern is not necessarily that you indulge or overindulge on occasion, but whether it is happening often enough to sabotage your healthy eating plan, your well-being and your weight. It is a matter of whether you feel in control of what goes in your mouth or not.
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How Do I Stop Mindless Eating
After documenting what sets off our stress eating, we need to formulate a plan on what to do when our anxiety rises.
That means itâs time to builda Stress Response Menu!
Our Stress Response Menu will be a list of actions or activities you can do to de-stress outside of eating.
Ideally, youâll do them before an eating episode, but they can be done during or after the fact too.
In other words, if you only realized you were stress eating when your hand reaches the bottom of the Doritos bag, no problem, you can do your stress response activity right then.
The purpose of the Stress Response Menu is to reward yourself with a small moment of self-love, whenever your anxiety levels are too much.
Tip : Practice The 4 As Of Stress Management
While stress is an automatic response from your nervous system, some stressors arise at predictable times: your commute to work, a meeting with your boss, or family gatherings, for example. When handling such predictable stressors, you can either change the situation or change your reaction. When deciding which option to choose in any given scenario, its helpful to think of the four As: avoid, alter, adapt, or accept.
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How Can I Better Cope With Emotional Stress
There are many techniques that can be tried to help you better manage your emotional stress. Try one or more of the following:
Take some time to relax: Take some time to care for yourself. Even if you can devote only five to 15 minutes a few times a day to relax, take a break from reality. What activity helps you relax? Some ideas include:
- Read a book.
- Take a walk. Practice yoga.
- Listen to music, sing along to a song or dance to music.
- Enjoy a soothing bath.
- Sit in silence with your eyes closed.
- Light a scented candle.
Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness is learning how to focus your attention and become more aware. You can learn to feel the physical changes in your body that happen in response to your changing emotions. Understanding this mind-body connection is the first step in learning how to better manage your stress and how emotions affect your body. Mindfulness can also help you focus your mind on the immediate what can I do to bring my mind and body to a place of calmness. If you can figure out what helps you feel more calm and relaxed in that moment, you know youve figured out one of your stress triggers and what works to manage it.
Distract your mind and focus on something else: Focus your mind on something other than whats causing your stress. Do something fun. Watch a funny movie, play a game, engage in a favorite hobby . Volunteer for an activity to help others. Do something with people you enjoy.
Warning Signs And Risk Factors For First Responders And Recovery Workers
First responders and recovery workers include:
- Fire fighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians, 911 operators, and other fire, emergency, and medical personnel
- Military service men and women
- Staff and volunteers serving with disaster-relief organizations, including sheltering, animal rescue, food service, and crisis counseling
First responders and recovery workers are not only physically and emotionally tested during an emergency, but they also may have loved ones in the area for whom they are concerned. They also are often the last to seek help for work-related stress.
Warnings signs of stress in responders and recovery workers may include:
- Experiencing a rapid heart rate, palpitations, muscle tensions, headaches, and tremors
- Feeling fear or terror in life-threatening situations or perceived danger, as well as anger and frustration
- Being disoriented or confused, having difficulty solving problems, and making decisions
- Engaging in problematic or risky behaviors, such as taking unnecessary risks, failing to use personal protective equipment, or refusing to follow orders or leave the scene
- Becoming irritable or hostile in social situations, resorting to blaming, and failing to support teammates
First responders and recovery workers most at risk for emotional distress include those who have experienced:
Get information in SAMHSA publications on helping first responders and recovery workers:
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Warning Signs And Risk Factors For Emotional Distress
Learn about the common warning signs and risk factors for emotional distress that children, adults, and first responders often experience.
It is common to feel stress symptoms before or after a crisis. Natural and human-caused disasters can have a devastating impact on peoples lives because they sometimes cause physical injury, damage to property, or the loss of a home or place of employment. Anyone who sees or experiences this can be affected in some way. Most stress symptoms are temporary and will resolve on their own in a fairly short amount of time. However, for some people, particularly children and teens, these symptoms may last for weeks or even months and may influence their relationships with families and friends. Common warning signs of emotional distress include:
- Eating or sleeping too much or too little
- Pulling away from people and things
- Having low or no energy
- Having unexplained aches and pains, such as constant stomachaches or headaches
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
- Excessive smoking, drinking, or using drugs, including prescription medications
- Worrying a lot of the time feeling guilty but not sure why
- Thinking of hurting or killing yourself or someone else
- Having difficulty readjusting to home or work life
Determine Why Youre Emotional Eating
What is it that plagues you? It may seem the root of your problem is the desire to stress eat. But, I propose that there is a driver beneath those cravings.
Pause for a moment and pay attention to the thoughts that run continuously in your mind :
- What worries make your stomach churn?
- Which anxieties make your heart race?
- What thoughts run through your mind as you lay in bed at night?
These are the deeper source of your unhappiness and what ultimately causes you to look through the pantry like a mom whos running late and lost her keys.
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