Our bodies react to different changes in life. Stress is caused from a number of things. Stress is actually a good thing, as it helps to balance out our lives. The problem many people face with stress is when they allow it to overtake their lives to the point where it starts to impact them emotionally, physically, mentally, and socially. Teens are under more stress than many of us realize. The challenges they face a not easy and their bodies are not designed to deal with the high amounts of stress that they are often exposed to. In order to help your teen cope with stress, you need to learn what some of the common stresses are:
- Schoolwork and academic pressure to succeed
- Making tough future decisions like where to go to college and a career to choose
- Pressure to fit in. Should they compromise their standards to fit in with other kids?
- Peer pressure to try alcohol, drugs, and sexual intercourse
- Constant comparison to others
- Adapting to changes like growth spurts, acne, and other developments
- Pressure to wear certain clothing styles and to have money to spend with their friends
- Family pressure
- Too many extra curricular activities
Handling stress is not an easy thing, but it is important for teens to learn how to properly handle it or they can suffer from depression, anxiety, and other physical and emotional problems. Here are 5 tips to help your teen cope with stress:
Tip # 1 – Daily relaxation time
To help your teen, teach them how to relax. Deep breathing techniques are a great way to get through the stresses that come when a hard test is placed before them or when they are trying to solve a problem. Teach your teen to take 5 minutes or 30 seconds to just sit and breathe and focus. Reassuring thoughts like “I can do this” will help them get through some of the challenges that they face.
Tip # 2 – Exercise
Daily exercise is important to anyone, especially teens. Make sure they are enrolled in a gym class at school. You also need to spend time exercising with them. You don’t need to be a drill sergeant, simply asking them to go on a walk with you is a great way to get some exercise and it’s a nice time to talk to your child and bond with them. Play basketball, jump on the trampoline, go swimming, find some fun activities to do that involve moving your body.
Tip # 3 – Love and support
It is much easier for a teen to work through stressful situations if they know they have people that love and support them. Be there for your teen. Let them know how much you love them. Listen to them when they talk. Offer suggestions if they ask for them. Teach them well and they will remember the advice you have given them when they are put in difficult situations. Teach them discernment so they know what to do when they are faced with challenges.
Tip # 4 – Acceptance
Make sure your teen knows they are loved and accepted. Don’t put unrealistic expectations on them. Sure you want them to succeed, but acknowledging them for working hard and doing their best will encourage them to continue trying harder. It will build up their self-esteem, which is critical during their teen years.
Tip # 5 – Goal setting
A simple way to help your teen is to focus on setting goals with them. For example, if they have a ton of homework, help them divide it out into manageable chunks. Set small goals so they get a feeling of accomplishment and pride when they are able to overcome them. It’s a simple way to boost their self-esteem.