So, you think you know your teen very well. But think again, is your child communicating with you as he/she used to? Are you worried that your teenager is stressed out lately? Have you ever wondered how stress, a very normal reaction of our body to challenges, can potentially be damaging to your teenager — emotionally and mentally? Stress in teenagers is very common and often overlooked. This lifestyle killer has been known to affect almost every teen, with more than 20 percent suffering from anxiety disorders.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), the most stressed generation are the 16-33 year olds.
However, teenagers top the list as the most stressed with unimaginable effects on their physical and mental health. Teenagers experience stress everyday given their chaotic routines. The factor of stress differs from person to person. Some may benefit from learning stress management during the situation, but some may not be able to cope at all eventually breaking their confidence.
SIGNS OF STRESS IN TEENAGERS
If your child has chronic stress, he/she may develop changes in their behavior with-
- temper tantrums
- crying a lot
- irrational behavior
- withdrawal from social activities etc.
Stress is known to affect physical health adversely by producing unwanted hormonal changes with “fight, flight or freeze” responses that includes-
- loss of appetite
- drop in the immunity
- stomach pains
- fluctuations in weight
- irregular period etc.
HOW TO HELP YOUR TEEN COPE WITH STRESS?
Parents play a vital role in a teenager’s life. Your influence has a magnetic effect over your child’s mindset. The way you respond pretty much shapes up the primary outline of your child’s opinion at a subconscious level. A positive approach is essential in such cases. Discuss the issues in detail to recognize the cause of stress. It doesn’t matter even if the talk goes on for just ten minutes. As long as you are aware of the routine and happenings around him/her, will keep you strongly connected to each other. Staying connected with your child’s reality might help your child cope with stress.
Let your child engage in his/her preferred hobby. Divert your child’s mind with something they are good at , something that uplifts their spirit , a stress-buster. Keeping their mind occupied will benefit them by staying away from the constant stress lingering in their head.
Explain the negative impact of stress on the body. Tell your teenager to take it easy. Excessive stress leads to an increase in the production of stress hormones such as cortisol. Chronic stress in teenagers is associated with long-term damaging effects to mental and physical health. Hence, the need to curb stress at its initial stage is crucial.
Teach your teen to engage in motivating self talk- This will surely help them practice healthy thoughts and channel the negative energy.
HEALTHY LIFESTYLE & POSITIVE THINKING IS THE KEY
Drowned in homework, social media, projects, activities and social events, there is a major chance of your child being sleep deprived. As stated by the APA, a nine hour undistrubed sleep along with a cut back on watching television, internet is mandatory for adolescent children. Despite the relaxation techniques and methods to improve your child’s situation, if not much of a difference is being seen, you can consider speaking to a counsellor for additional help. Therapy is considered one of the most effective and reliable way to reduce stress and cope with the stressful environment.
Support him/her with oodles of love and attention. Always remember to model and practice the behavior yourself for your teen to follow suit. Nothing works better than being a great role model and setting an extraordinary example.
Read More: Is your teen showing signs of depression?