How a teenager can deal with stress?

Picture of a stress out teen.

Have you ever kicked a chair that you stumbled over?

Or have you been so sick of your homework that you just threw all your books down?

Then you have experienced how stress can trigger foolish actions that you later regret.

Are there better ways to beat stress than by kicking and smashing?

Yes, but first you need to know something about stress.

The author of Teenage Stress book says:
Broadly defined, stress is what happens to the body when it is exposed to anything—nervous tension, disease, cold, heat, injury, and so on,”

In “anything” they include even good things.

“Some of your happiest moments can also be your most stressful,” they say.

How does stress affect you?

You know what happens when you get nervous and frightened: heart pounds, palms sweat, hands shake, face blushes, stomach gets knotted up, and mouth dries up.

A lot of things take place in your body to cause these effects.

Glands begin dumping powerful hormones, such as cortisone and adrenaline, into your bloodstream.

Your liver adds more sugar to your blood.

All of this stimulates heart contractions, constricts blood vessels, increases blood pressure, and causes muscle tension.

Why teenagers are stress targets?

Picture of teen suffering from stress.

Teenagers are naturally exposed to much stress.

Puberty causes your body to undergo a number of changes.

And we live in an ever-changing world.

Adults, though, may gloss over this, saying, ‘You are young, you are free from care, you should be happy.’

But perhaps they have forgotten what it is like to be young.

After all, you do have worries—about your appearance, sex, health, parents, friends, teachers, grades, money, the world situation, death.

Why, being young is probably the most stressful time of your life!

But do not panic.

There is hope.

For one thing, a little bit of stress can be good for you.

How?

Consider the matter of taking a test.

According to experts, a little stress keeps your mind alert and your juices flowing, writes Judith Kelman in the youth magazine Seventeen.

Concert pianist André-Michel Schub, a winner of the prestigious Van Cliburn Competition, was once quoted as saying:

Every performer feels some degree of stage fright. . . . It’s a way of having extra energy and extra intensity, of focusing so you communicate better.”

So stress should not be avoided at all costs.

Moreover, youths are usually equipped with a good supply of energy and a hopeful attitude to counteract pressures.

 “Young people . . . are able . . . to recover from the ill effects of excessive stress more rapidly than older people,” say the authors of Teenage Stress.

Twenty-three year old Vincenza from New York is an example of this.

She tells:

When I was in my teens, my mom died of cancer. Eighteen months later, my dad suddenly died of a heart attack. I was left alone with my two younger brothers. Then I met this guy and became his girlfriend. But after a couple of months we broke up. Sometimes I wondered, ‘Should I kill myself, or go crazy, or end up in a madhouse?’” Could Vincenza survive this most stressful situation? Says she: “Now when I think of it, I can’t believe I lived through it. But I did! And I learned a lot.”

Hence, one can ever really get rid of all stress.

 “We are always in stress,” writes the author of Child stress! “When there is no more, we are dead.” 

What will you do, then?

Learn to handle it.

You need to do that because excessive stress can make you physically ill and emotionally depressed.

It can create mental confusion and spur you to say and do things that you will regret.

It can cause wear and tear on your mind and body.

Here, then, are some ways to handle stress:

How to cope with stress?

Picture of a happy teen.

1. Reduce irritants.

A dripping tap, a creaking door, a wobbling table can cause irritation.

Small irritants add to your total load of stress.

Do something about them.

Get things tightened, oiled, and repaired.

Have within reach things that are often needed.

Organize.

Experts say we spend 20 to 30 percent of our time just looking for things.

Rearrange, tidy up, and decorate.

Make it comfortable.

Do not become a perfectionist, though.

Perfectionism is a stressful burden for anyone to bear.



2. Organize and limit your activities. 

There’s a saying that if you try to catch two hares at the same time, you will miss both of them.

List what you have to do each day, and do one thing at a time.

Work out a schedule with your parents about when and how to care for duties at home.

Then do these willingly and cheerfully.

Do not join in reckless, stressful activities that bring you into situations that cause you anguish and fright.

It might be exciting for the moment but destructive in the end.


3. Lessen fear of failure. 

School tests can really put stress on anybody.

You can lessen fear of failure, though, if you prepare well, get everything in order the day before, go to bed early, and sleep well.

Do not take stimulants.

They might put you on edge—not give you one.

Relax, but do your best.

Remember, one test seldom makes or breaks a person for life.

If you fail, there will be other chances.

Do not give up.


4. Talk to somebody. 

Steam boilers need escape valves.

We humans even more so.

When you feel anxiety and concern all bottled up in you, you should talk to somebody—a friend, a parent, a brother, or a sister.

Sometimes you need to talk with somebody who can help you apply the right principles in life, such as an elderly person.

So let us repeat: You cannot eliminate stress. But you can learn to lessen it and control it. 

Then stress will never beat you.

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