You are sitting there calmly working on homework when BAM! It hits you - stress. Pretty much everyone from babies up to seniors experience different levels of stress throughout their lives. But teen stress is an often-overlooked type of stress and this article will help you understand more about why a teen experiences stress.
What are some of the triggers, or stressors as they are called, that make us feel stressed? There is a myriad of situations but a few common ones include:
- Worries over school and homework
- Relationship changes
- Family demands
- Health concerns
- Physical danger
These stressors can cause problems when they are constant. For example you could:
- Lose sleep
- Perform poorly in school
- React aggressively
- Become overwhelmed
- Become physically altered with bloodshot baggy eyes, swollen feet, aching back and increased blood pressure.
These can lead to further emotional or physical problems such as depression or health concerns that compound as you get older. But stress is not in itself a bad thing all of the time. In fact, did you know that your body has a natural response mechanism to help you deal with stress? It's called the fight or flight response. Your body reacts to the stress triggers, or stressors, by powering up some specific hormones and the nervous system. The hormones increase your breathing, heart, blood, and metabolism. You muscles then are taunt and ready for action and your vision even improves. Sweat glands chug into overdrive and many times you'll notice an overdose of sweat in stressful situations. As mentioned before, this is the flight or fight reaction and can be incredibly helpful to you in an immediate stressful spot. All the above can help you react with increased speed and agility, in effect your body goes into pressure mode and you can perform better. Good stress can help you hit that home run, slam on the brakes to avoid an accident or remember all your lines in the school play.
However when stress is long-term, or your body overreacts to the situation, this stress response can be a bad thing. Why? Because if your body keeps going into pressure mode, it can tax your extra reserves of hormones and overworks your body.
Other articles in this category provide stress statistics, warning signs of teen stress for parents, stress prevention helps, tips for handling stress in a way that can help you avoid future health problems related to teen stress, the difference between anxiety and stress, where to get help for overwhelming or depression-causing stress and ideas for reacting to the various stressors in your life. Parents can learn how to help their teenagers discover how to cope with their stress. Teenagers who understand stress, what causes it, and how to deal with gain valuable lessons to help them deal with their stress throughout their life.
What is Teen Stress Sources:
- Medline Plus:Health Topics Teens Health [online].
- Confronting Teen Stress: Meeting the Challenge in Baltimore City [pdf file, online].