Teenagers Are As Stressed As Adults: Stress Management For Teens

Teenagers Are As Stressed As Adults: Stress Management For Teens

Prolonged stress can lead to physical and mental illness.  Stress is here to stay, and there are simple and effective ways to build resilience to stress. Teens are as stressed as adults. Not only are they coping with school, being teased or bullied, pressured into destructive behaviors, activities that take up time; they also feel and react to the tension in the home. Frequent moves, breakups, divorce, death, and trauma are other causes of stress for teenagers.  Being a teenager has also been a challenge in the United States. Parents are stressed as well, and it is easy to not notice the stress in your teen or to shrug it off.  Teens today are faced with what every generation faces, in addition to national security threats, wondering if Earth will be here in ten years, and having more knowledge and perceptiveness about what is happening around them. They learn about adult things much younger, but aren’t emotionally or cognitively mature enough to know how to cope with it. Many people think, oh it’s just hormones, but your teen may be overwhelmed or even clinically depressed.  Stress is a fact of life, and some stress is good for us. If you notice your teen experiencing stress or any of these symptoms, consider getting them help with stress management:

Somatic complaints, such as headaches, muscle tension or stomachaches, sweating, concentration-attention problems, memory problems, grades drop, boredom, anger-irritability, easily agitated, aggression, nightmares, depressed mood, fearful, withdrawn, scattered-disorganized, insomnia, over-sleeping, or some other change in their behavior that is out of character for them.

If you are not seeing signs of stress, get them stress management to prevent them from becoming overwhelmed.  Prevention is key, as it will make them resilient to stress and much healthier and happier teens through adulthood.  Teens can be taught methods adults use to manage stress, such as deep breathing and meditation.

I’ll skip the history and get to the main points. Meditation has been used for a very long time, and it is incredibly powerful.  It involves deep breathing or diaphragmatic breathing and some form of concentration or visualization.  The deep breathing is like when watching babies breathe when their bellies expand. This is how we should breathe, but we tend to take short and shallow breaths more from the chest area. I am not sure what religion this comes from, and it doesn’t matter, but the idea is that we all are given a certain amount of breaths each lifetime, and when we run out, well you guessed it, we die.  Makes a good argument to take longer and deeper breaths doesn’t it?  This type of breathing and various versions are also often used in exercise such as yoga, tai chi and qi gong.  What is most important for you to know is that we all should be doing this. Everyone has some stress if not too much. Even people who own their own islands and have staff to cook for them, do their hair, style them and tell them how to work out will have some kind of stress. We tend to sometimes create it, as it’s become a part of our way of living, at least in the US.

Anxious people need to be doing some form of breathing and or meditation daily.  Over time the central nervous system adjusts to help you maintain a sense of calmness. It’s cumulative in a good way, much like too much stress weakens the immune system making us sick. In sum, even if your teen isn’t appearing stressed out, consider helping them build resilience to stress with stress management.  Learning to meditate can also help teens be less entitled and become more compassionate, something that is desperately needed these days.  So pay attention and take your teen to a professional to make them resilient to stress.



Dr. Umfer is a licensed clinical psychologist and forensic psychologist in Tampa Florida. She specializes in weight loss and forensic evaluations, such as sex offender risk assessments, psychological evaluations for substance abuse, competency, fitness for duty, immigration etc. She has certifications in fitness and nutrition, clinical hypnotherapy and as a meditation instructor. She identifies herself as a Forensic Evaluator and Weight Liberator and strives to help clients become "Umferized" aka empowered and fulfilled.

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