The teenage years can be an extremely stressful period in one’s life. Young one’s are trying to figure out who they are and where they fit in. Relationships, school work, and hormones can make this period in one’s life extremely overwhelming. As a parent, it is not abnormal to feel like you are in a constant power struggle with your teen. When they are stressed they may exhibit irritable behavior or be seemingly impossible to deal with. However, as a parent it is important that you don’t instigate the conflicts. Common stress triggers in teens includes:
- Academic stress
- Social stress
- Family issues
- Significant life changes
- Traumatic events
- World events
If one or multiple of these things is contributing to your teen’s stress, you should work to address the root of the problem. There are things you can to do help support your teen and give them ways to manage their stress.
When addressing stress in your teen, it is important to recognize that stress impacts one from many angles. With stress one may experience changes in different areas. These changes can include:
- Emotional changes: Your teen might appear agitated, anxious, and/or depressed. Pay attention to changes in behavior.
- Physical changes: Teens under stress are likely to get sick more often and complain of headaches, stomachaches, and other aches and pains.
- Behavioral changes: Look for changes in eating or sleeping habits, and avoidance of normal daily activities.
- Cognitive changes: You might notice decreased concentration, forgetfulness, and/or the appearance of carelessness.
Simmering Down the Stress
Successfully managing stress looks different on an individual basis. There are specific ways that you can encourage your teen to practice stress management to hopefully decrease their struggles. Some stress management techniques include:
- Exercise and eat regularly
- Get enough sleep and have a good sleep routine
- Avoid excess caffeine which can increase feelings of anxiety and agitation
- Avoid illegal drugs, alcohol, and tobacco
- Learn relaxation exercises (abdominal breathing and muscle relaxation techniques)
- Develop assertiveness training skills. For example, state feelings in polite, firm, and not overly aggressive or passive ways: (“I feel angry when you yell at me.” “Please stop yelling.”)
- Rehearse and practice situations which cause stress. One example is taking a speech class if talking in front of a class makes you anxious
- Learn practical coping skills. For example, break a large task into smaller, more attainable tasks
- Decrease negative self-talk: challenge negative thoughts – with alternative, neutral, or positive thoughts. “My life will never get better” can be transformed into “I may feel hopeless now, but my life will probably get better if I work at it and get some help.”
- Learn to feel good about doing a competent or “good enough” job rather than demanding perfection from yourself and others
- Take a break from stressful situations. Activities like listening to music, talking to a friend, drawing, writing, or spending time with a pet can reduce stress
- Build a network of friends who help you cope in a positive way
Solstice East can help
Solstice East is a residential treatment center for teen girls ages 14-18 struggling with behavior and emotional issues such as those that can stem from peer-relationship struggles. This program focuses on helping young women heal, recover, and integrate healthy habits into their lives. Students will learn to build healthy relationships, cope with emotions, and effectively communicate. Solstice East gives young women the skills and confidence they need to lead happy and healthy lives. We can help your family today!
Contact us at (855) 672-7058.