SIGNS YOUR TEEN IS STRESSED OUT!
Headaches and Stomachaches
Stress often leads to physical health complaints. Frequent headaches, stomach-aches, and other somatic concerns may be a sign of stress.
Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep can be a sign of stress. And it can be a vicious cycle. An overtired teen is less likely to be able to tolerate stress. Some stressed out teens sleep too much. A teen who always wants to go back to bed after school or one who tries to sleep all day on the weekends may be trying to escape her stress.
Sometimes stress-related problems stem from school related issues. At other times, academic problems result because a teen is stressed out. If your teen’s grades have declined, or if your teen’s attendance is poor, consider whether the change may be stress-related.
Although teens can be moody by nature, a stressed out teen is likely to more irritable than usual. A teen who becomes irritable over small inconveniences frequently may be feeling overwhelmed by life’s challenges.
Changes in Socialization
Stress is likely to change a teen’s social habits. Social isolation can be a sign your teen is struggling. Spending more time in her room or a lack of interest in talking to friends could mean your teen is having difficulties.
Teens who are stressed out are also more likely to get colds and other minor illnesses. They may miss school or social events often due to illness.
Negative Changes in Behavior
Behavior problems often result when a teen is stressed out. You may see increased behavior problems ranging from skipping school to talking back. Don’t excuse negative behavior just because it’s stress-related, however.
When teens have a lot on their mind, it’s hard for them to concentrate on their work. They may become easily distracted in class and might have increased difficulty staying on task while completing their homework.
You’ll often hear stressed out teens use a lot of negative talk. For example, a teen may say things like, “No one likes me,” or “Nothing ever seems to go right.” Although it’s normal for teens to make these comments sometimes, if you’re hearing them too often, it’s likely a sign of stress.
General Sense of Worry
Stressed teens often worry about anything and everything. They may worry about all the possible bad things that could happen or they may worry about how others will perceive them. If your teen has been expressing more worry than usual, it could be due to stress.
Taken from: 10 Signs Your Teen is Stressed Out
By: Amy Morton, LCSW
August 14, 2019
3 Ways to Help Your Teen Cope With Stress
1. Have a conversation:
When the tone is calm, here are some suggestions for starting a conversation:
One strategy is to try to engage in some positive self-talk—in front of your teen—the next time you encounter a stressful situation. The situation could be as simple as being stuck in traffic or feeling overwhelmed with an event at home.
In these moments, say to yourself in front of your teen, “I am feeling really stressed out now. But there is nothing I can do to change this situation. I just have to try to stay calm until this moment passes.” Or, if you are in a situation in which you do have control, engage in active problem solving in front of your teen. The purpose of these approaches is to encourage open dialogue and create a relationship in which your teen feels safe expressing and exploring his feelings with you.
3. Encourage stress-relief strategies.Here are some specific coping strategies you might recommend to your teen after having a conversation:
How to Help a Stressed Out Teen
Does your teenager seem to be stressed out about everything? They are not alone. Social media, school violence, bullying, and demanding academic requirements are having a negative impact on the well-being of our youth. Teenagers are the most anxious and stressed group in our society.
The good news is there are simple ways that teens can both reduce their stress and reach their goals. MINDFULNESS has been a proven tool in helping teens manage stress. It can often help them to navigate the ups and downs of adolescence.
Here are four ways that MINDFULNESS can help your stressed out teen:
1. Be less self-critical
The teenage brain is under construction. As it is not fully developed, it tends to be more prone to stress, worry, and fear. Most teens frequently feel that there is something wrong with them. They feel completely overwhelmed with their thoughts and their negative perceptions about themselves. Mindfulness practices reduce brain activation in the areas that control stress, fear, and anxiety. As a result, teens become much less critical about themselves.
2. Improve focus and concentration
Meeting the demands of society that teens are living in today is creating a generation of distracted adolescents. Staying focused and sustaining attention would be a challenge for anyone. In today’s world, however, it is a bigger challenge for any teen due to our social media culture. Learning simple tools to help with improving concentration and attention can help them cope with this difficulty. Mindfulness breathing techniques are an easy and proven tool that assists teens to stay on task and even improve their test results.
3. Understand and deal with their feelings & emotions
The emotional life of teens often feels like a roller coaster out of control. Adolescents have a limited capacity when it comes to impulse control and regulating their emotions. The part of the brain that is in charge of rational thinking is not fully developed until they are 25 years old. This limitation makes them more prone to impulsive behavior, taking risks, and difficulty in making good decisions. Understanding their emotions, their feelings, and the nature of their impulses is a valuable tool for mental well-being. In mindfulness practices, the person gets to experience and understand the full spectrum of their emotions. Creating changes in self-perception of emotions can help teens slow down and achieve a better balance.
4. Become more compassionate and kind
Statistics indicate that our youth are being less kind to others than previous generations. They are attending schools with more bullying and more violence. These factors are putting our teens at more risk of low confidence, anxiety, and depression. Research has found that compassion can help youth deal better with these challenges. Mindfulness teaches self-compassion and kindness towards others. It also boosts oxytocin in the body. This hormone protects against depression, improving trauma recovery, and reducing the behavior of self-harm. The more your teens learn and practice self-compassion, the more they will be kind to themselves and others.
Mindfulness can teach stressed out teens how to break from negative thinking and learn a new way to manage their emotions. Learning how to stay aware of and focused on the present moment is a great stress reduction skill.
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