Stress Management

Michaela Horst

Stress:

1) Pressure or tension exerted on a material object

2) A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances

Causes of Teen Stress

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Homework/School

  • Grades/GPA
  • Tests
  • Finals week


Parents/Family

  • Expectations
  • Pressure to do well
  • Not achieving/ blowing it


Social Life

  • Friends
  • Relationships
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Shows


Time

  • No time
  • Deadlines
  • Lack of sleep
  • Multitasking
  • Too much going on
  • Unprepared


Sports

  • Try outs

Positive ways to Manage stress

Parents can help their teen in these ways:

  • Monitor if stress is affecting their teen's health, behavior, thoughts, or feelings
  • Listen carefully to teens and watch for overloading
  • Learn and model stress management skills
  • Support involvement in sports and other pro-social activities

Teens can decrease stress with the following behaviors and techniques:

  • Exercise and eat regularly
  • Avoid excess caffeine intake 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 about yourself 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