Diffusion: Dealing with Teen Stress Safely
Overwhelmed with stress? Tired but anxious? Frustrated and angry at life and don’t know what to do about it? This article will provide steps you can take to deal with and diffuse your teen stress safely, as well as show you preventative measures to take to avoid future teen stress overload.
The first thing you should always do is to remove yourself from the situation if you are in danger. Teen stress is your body’s defense mechanism turning on to help you react to danger. You should feel a heightened physical and emotional response when confronted with a stressful situation. But once the immediate danger has passed, your body should automatically relax. This relaxation response is something that you can further enhance by nourishing your body and mind by consistently doing the following:
- Sleep regularly for at least 10 hours a night
- Eat properly and exercise daily
- Cut the caffeine (it increases stressful feelings)
- Always avoid drugs, tobacco and alcohol
- Finding your own personal and safe way to unwind (hiking, exercising, eating a favorite healthy treat, doing a craft, playing games, working on a puzzle, etc.)
Other teen stress diffusers include
- Relaxation breathing: Take two minutes to breathe slowly in and out, relax your body with each breath, conclude breathing and stand and stretch.
- Listen to relaxing music
- Write in your journal the day’s events. Be detailed as your journal can be a sounding board for your frustrations.
- Pray or read inspirational words
- Do something for someone else
Teen Stress Prevention
Finally, some preventative skills can help you avoid or at least deal with future teen stress. Learning how to cope with what you are dealing with can help you throughout your life.
- Practice how you will react in a stressful situation.
- Learn how to break large tasks into manageable chunks.
- Prioritize your schedule, get rid of things that are causing undue stress.
- Set realistic goals for yourself.
- Think positively about yourself, do something that makes you feel great about who you are (make something, take a new class, learn a new skill, etc.).
- Learn to react politely but firmly.
- Talk with family or friends. Learn to trust others so you can go to them when frustrated. Listen to your friends as well.
- Change your scene every now and again. Take a vacation or make some new friends who help you feel good about yourself.
- Learn to forgive and forget past wrongs.
- Prepare early for events (tests, sports, etc.).
- Make time for yourself and enjoy life.
- Feel proud of what you have done and can do!
Practicing these tips and techniques should help you better manage the stress in you life.
Dealing with Teen Stress Sources:
- Safeyouth.org: Anger Management Worksheet for Teens [online].
- American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Helping Teenagers with Stress, [online].
- Wholistic Stress Control Institute, “What is Stress,” [online].
- Center for Adolescent Health, John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, “Confronting Teen Stress, Meeting the Challenge in Baltimore City,” [pdf online].