Dealing with Stress – Part -1: What are you Stressing About?December 27, 2017
5 Fun things to do in Chennai!December 27, 2017
Dealing with Stress – Part -2: What can Stress do to you?
Stress and Anxiety issues are common in teens. This Blog will guide you through fighting and preventing stress to make a healthy environment for students to study and grow up in. Stress has various issues with teens.
Why do we Stress?
To understand the effects of stress completely, we have to understand stress itself. What is stress? And why do we feel it the way we do?
First of all, we should understand that stress is not always a bad thing. Stress helps us identify and tackle the problems that we face in our lives. When our brain feels a conflict or danger, we feel stressed. For Example: Consider that you are in the wild and you have spotted a Lion charging at you. The stress you feel at the moment could save your life. The Stress Hormones start rushing in and you use every last bit of energy that your body can produce to try to out run the lion (or your slow running friend at the least) to save your life.
However, unless you are Steve Irwin, who poked crocodiles with a stick for living (May he rest in peace), the chances of you running away from a wild cat is close to none. We deal with modern stress. As teens, especially, we get anxious about the math test at the end of the week. As we are built to run away from the hypothetical lion, which in this case is the math test, we do all that we can to avoid it. But when we realize that it is not really possible to do so, our ancestral hormones are confused – ‘Why aren’t you running away from the “lion”?!?’
This is the reason we have an uncomfortable, annoying and awful feeling when we are stressed.
What does Stress do to you?
Stress, if ignored can have serious issues on your mind and body. One of the most common effects of stress is depression.
A recent study shows that over 30% of teens have mild to severe depression and about 9% of teens have severe depression and about 6% of teens have had suicidal thoughts.
These numbers seem shocking. But getting stressed and dealing with them are more common than you think. We are here to help manage stress more efficiently and in a more healthy way.
Other effects of stress may include:
• Alcohol / Drug use
• Acting out Sexually
• Panic Attack
• Stomach and Headaches
• Bed Wetting
• Worrying about the Future
• Little or No appetite
• Feeling unloved
• Irregular Menstrual Cycles
Coping with Stress:
Now that we know what stress can do to your child, as parents and teachers, we are in a position to help them deal with stress and create a positive atmosphere for them to grow up in.
Adults can help children and teens with stress in many ways. Two important ways are creating a low-stress environment and helping them develop positive coping skills.
The following can help develop a low-stress environment:
- Acknowledge your child’s feelings. Reassure them by telling them that you can understand why they would feel the way they do.
- Let your child know that mistakes are learning experiences.
- Be supportive, and listen to your child’s concerns. Guide them to solve their own problems instead of solving their problems yourself. This develops enormous problem solving skills. But make sure that you are available to them when they need your help.
- Do not over-schedule your child with too many classes and activities.
- Find ways to have your children contribute to the family.
- Consider what your child desires (not just yours).
It is important to help children develop positive coping skills, as these skills are often carried into adult life. You can help by:
- Providing a good example. Keep calm and express your anger in appropriate ways.
- Encouraging rational thinking. Be sure your children think about consequences of their actions.
- Providing them with some control. Allow your children to make choices within your family. Discuss with them before making a big decision like moving, etc.
- Talking openly. When appropriate, talk about your stressful day. Encourage them to talk about what is bothering them.
- Finding a physical activity and/or hobby that they enjoy and encouraging them to participate.
- Encouraging them to eat healthy foods and emphasizing the importance of a healthy lifestyle.