Stress - Teens

What is stress?

The effect of an event on your mind and body; these effects can be both helpful and harmful. The stressors are any situations and experiences that cause stress.

These can be physical, social, emotional, spiritual or environmental.

How do you know when you’re teen is stressed?

Look for these signs:

  • Unusual lack of energy
  • Appetite change
  • Headaches
  • Sleep problems
  • Poor concentration
  • Worrying/anxiety
  • Frustration
  • Mood swings
  • Have your teen complete the stress index checklist (external link)

Signs of stress overload

  • Increased physical illness (headaches, stomach aches, muscle pains, chronic fatigue)
  • “Shutting down” and withdrawal from people and activities
  • Increased anger or irritability, or lashing out at others
  • Increased tearfulness and feelings of hopelessness
  • Chronic feelings of nervousness and worry
  • Difficulty sleeping or eating
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Possibly suicidal feelings

Healthy coping can help your teen deal with stress

Some strategies are:

  1. Change your thinking
    • Look at things more positively
    • See problems as opportunities
    • Be realistic in your expectations
    • Challenge negative thoughts
    • Keep a sense of humour
  2. Look at your teens lifestyle habits
  3. Change stressful situations
    • Help them to communicate their needs and concerns, let them talk when they are ready
    • Learn stress and time management skills, teach your teen
    • Develop and practise a problem-solving process with your teen
    • Possibly leave a situation, let your teen know this is okay
  4. Teach your teen how to replace alarm with relaxation.
    Strategies are:
    • Take a deep breath when you get bad news
    • Give yourself time to react
    • Count to ten before responding
    • Write down your thoughts or talk to someone, journaling is a great exercise for teens
    • Keep it in perspective
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