Teens face some of the most emotional upheaval and strain than they have at any other time in their life to date including teen stress. Teen stress is something that can get out of hand if not managed correctly. Read on to learn to handle teen stress.
Teen stress can include a variety of different causes including school, extra curricular activities, friends, family as well as learning to manage all of the above. Teens are at a time in their life when school is getting more and more difficult and it counts more than ever toward their futures of going to college, a trade school or getting a job. Many teens also have to work while they are still in high school or just going to college, which is another added stress. Teen stress can easily make its way into even more difficult problems the teen must face like depression and anxiety if left untreated.
What is teen stress?
Teen stress occurs at least once or often with just about every teen, just as it does once they reach adulthood. Many teens who experience heavy loads of stress also deal with anxiety and can develop eating disorders as well as self mutilation tendencies like burning and cutting themselves as a way to cope with all of the anxiety and stress. Many teens also let the stress become too much because they don’t know how to handle it and it manifests its way in the form of teen violence. Teens who become violent or develop other negative behaviors like underage drinking, drug use, smoking and promiscuity will have even worse conditions to learn to handle. The best way to avoid any of these problems is to handle teen stress straight on and to take preventative measures to ensure the teen is able to cope with their teen stress. By learning to cope with teen stress, the teen will also be more emotionally equipped to handle stress once they reach adulthood, which can often be even more stressful of a time. There are a variety of healthy ways for teens to handle teen stress rather than developing emotional issues like teen eating disorders, violent tendencies or drug and alcohol use. Keeping this in mind, let’s look at some of these healthy ideas for managing teen stress.
How to handle teen stress:
- Write in a journal. Writing down your thoughts in a journal or in the form of poetry or music is a great stress reliever. It is a way you can get down all of your thoughts and feelings without allowing the stress, anger, sadness and other feelings to take over your continuous thoughts.
- Play sports, dancing or some other type of physical activity. During exercise the body releases endorphins that are great at helping to manage stress by not allowing the negative feelings associated with stress to weigh down the feelings of endorphins.
- Meditate or try an activity like yoga. This is a similar concept to doing something physical. Meditating and yoga encourage you to focus on your breathing. This is a great way to focus only on your breathing rather than the unnecessary stresses in life.
- Focus on only what you can actively control. Books like Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff are dedicated to the idea of only worrying about what you can actively handle. Don’t stress over what you cannot control. If the situation is not yours to manipulate or control, don’t stress over it. It will only make it worse, and there is nothing you can do about it anyway.
- Practice time management. Along with this concept, it is important to not bite off more than you can chew, which basically means do not take on more responsibilities than you handle. If you are struggling to fit everything you have to do in your day, it is a good idea to sit down and prioritize. Focus on what needs to get done first. Do not waste time with tasks that are unimportant or do not need to be done right away.
- Don’t procrastinate. This is something that many adults and teens alike deal with when it comes to work, school and other responsibilities. My getting tasks done early, they do not cause unwarranted stress until you finally get around to doing them. The stress is eliminated immediately.
- Keep good relationships with friends and family. It is always helpful in stress management to have friends and family members you know to lean on when times are tough. Sharing that load of stress with someone else is a great way to alleviate teen stress.
Tips for parents on how to help their child handle teen stress issues:
Parents who know there teens are facing stressful issues should do their part in helping their child learn to cope. Set a good example by practicing your own time management skills. Encourage your teen to become active as a healthy way to burn off the negative feelings associated with teen stress. Also step in to help them out from time to time. It is important for your teen they know they have someone to count on. That is not to say you should do entire tasks for them, however. They need to learn how to not expect others to take care of their own responsibilities, yet, it is a good idea for them to understand that if the stress does become too overwhelming they have someone to go to for advice or help.