Dealing with Stress
At any age, stress can take a toll on your mind and body. For most, stress is caused by an event or situation that is considered dangerous, difficult, or unpleasant. If it is not dealt with properly, long term stress can cause physical and mental damage. Coping mechanisms, if taught early, can be a helpful ally in battling stress and conquering stressful situations.
For teens and young adults, stressful situations can be present in everyday life. Some common things that can cause stress are demanding school schedules, drama with friends, low self-esteem, changing bodies, high expectations, and family problems. Most young people encounter one or several of these situations on a daily basis. After a while the weight can start to take an affect and they can become overloaded with stress.
Fortunately, stress is manageable, especially if the proper coping techniques are taught early. One way to help manage stress is to exercise and eat healthy. Exercise reduces the stress hormone levels in the body and causes the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural mood lifters. In fact, exercise actually helps you relax. Doing some sort of moderate physical activity every day can ease stress or even prevent it. Healthy eating goes hand and hand with exercise. The healthier you eat, the better you feel. Keeping the body well-nourished and balanced is especially important during stressful times.
Another way to cope with stress, especially with school, is to prioritize. If you have a heavy work load, do the biggest most difficult projects, or the projects that are due sooner, first. This way, you will have peace of mind knowing that they are completed. The smaller and easier tasks will be a piece of cake after the more difficult tasks are off your plate. Also, if a project or assignment seems overwhelming, break it into smaller pieces. For example, if you have a large paper to write, give yourself the time and take it paragraph by paragraph. Treat each paragraph like it’s a separate assignment. This way, the thought of writing large paper won’t seem so daunting.
Last but certainly not least, the best way to deal with stress is to talk to someone. Stress is common and many people can relate and sympathize. Talk to a person who is close to you, someone who you can open up to and be honest with, like a parent, a teacher, or even a best friend. Voicing your stresses and frustrations can help you get them off your chest. Sometimes a long chat with your closest friend can do wonders for your mood and stress level. Situations that are seemingly stressful might not be so bad once you know you have support and you’re not alone.
Stress can be dangerous, especially for teens and young adults who are not sure how to manage it. It’s important to recognize when a situation is beginning to weigh on you and make it a priority to do something about it.