- Gonzalo Laje
Mastering the Art of Teenage Zen
The teenage years are a time of transformation and can also be incredibly stressful. Stress is an unavoidable part of life and can be especially difficult for young people to manage. As teens navigate the complexities of growing up, they face a range of internal and external changes that can contribute to heightened stress levels. To make matters more complicated, recent global events, including the ongoing pandemic, have only added to the challenges faced by teenagers today. Managing stress levels in teenagers can be challenging, especially in a world full of distractions. The added pressures of social media, academic demands, and the ongoing pandemic have led to an alarming trend: 81% of Gen Z teens report experiencing heightened stress. But fear not! There is hope! In this blog post, we'll delve into some effective techniques for managing stress in teenagers and explore ways to help them lead a more balanced and fulfilling life.
Unchecked stress can have many consequences on mental and physical health, and can reduce the overall quality of life. To counter this, it is crucial that teens develop effective stress management skills that they can use throughout their lives. This way, they can learn to navigate the challenges of adolescence, and beyond, with greater resilience and well-being.
Excessive stress for teens can result in anxiety, aggression, withdrawal, physical illness, and poor coping mechanisms like substance abuse. This is because stress triggers a hormonal response in the body that prepares us to react to danger, called the “fight or flight” response. The fight or flight response results in increased heart rate, faster breathing, and a release of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Other symptoms of stress might include:
Exhaustion and difficulty sleeping
Irritability and heightened emotions/reactions
Procrastination and/or neglecting responsibilities
Withdrawing from friends and family
Weakened immune system
Difficulties focusing and concentrating
Did you know that the same process that triggers the stress response can also turn it off? It's true! When a stressful situation is resolved, the body can switch into a state of relaxation and calm. This relaxation response results in a decrease in heart rate, slower breathing, and a sense of well-being. With the right stress management techniques, teens can learn how to activate this response and feel more in control, even in the face of challenges. By practicing relaxation and calm, teenagers can develop a positive relationship with stress and manage it in a healthy and effective manner. Below are some techniques that could help!
Deep Breathing (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYQsRBNYdPk)
Progressive muscle Relaxation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86HUcX8ZtAk&t=244s)
Exercising and moving your body (Benefits: https://trystressmanagement.com/category/exercise-workout-fitness/?gclid=CjwKCAiA3KefBhByEiwAi2LDHFq4_hCGKKRJtfybNRgpPderzXLsPf_OtCWu469D3s35yTTLSSXpfhoCzdEQAvD_BwE)
Avoiding excess caffeine as this may increase anxiety and stress
Developing assertiveness skills (Exercises for assertiveness: https://positivepsychology.com/assertiveness-training/)
Establishing a supportive circle of friends who assist you in managing stress in a healthy manner.
Getting enough sleep and establishing a sleep routine (Understanding sleep and stress: https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2013/sleep)
If you are worried about your teens stress, WBMA is here to help. Call us at (301) 576-6044 or email us at email@example.com to schedule a consult today.
Clinical Psychology Doctoral Extern