PSYCHOLOGY 101: Stress in Teenagers

Being a growing teenager is not an easy thing to do, especially not in today’s date. With deadlines nearing and assignments piling up, it is entirely rational to be stressed. Stress can be any change that causes physical, emotional, or psychological strain. It is your body’s response to anything that requires your attention. Experiencing stress is normal. Everyone experiences it to some degree. The way you respond to stress makes a significant impact on your overall well-being. However, today, we will be discussing psychological & emotional stress rather than physical.

Usually, emotional and psychological stress creates physical signs, such as tense muscles, exhaustion, trouble sleeping, chronic headaches, an upset stomach, appetite change, and a weakened immune system. When stress becomes chronic and long-term, it has detrimental effects on our health. 

There are also psychological signs of stress such as being agitated or irritated easily, procrastinating more, constant anxiety, feeling like you have lost control, withdrawal from social situations, low self-esteem, feeling worthless, feelings of sadness, and forgetfulness. These are just a few of the signs. 

The best thing to do if you are feeling stressed is to tackle the situation, avoid taking more stress and SLEEP. As I have the worst sleeping schedule known to man, it’s hypocritical of me to say this, but sleep is vital. You need sleep. Mental sanity is a priority. Getting a bad grade might be disappointing, but being in a state of despair is worse.

Avoid all-nighters. Cramming will not help before your big test. Instead, study before you go to bed and wake up earlier if necessary.

Having tools and strategies is definitely a key to managing stress, everyone has different ways of managing stress. Coping mechanisms are fundamental to your well being, unhealthy coping mechanisms often lead to more stress and even drastic psychological disorders such as depression. 

Today, teens are expected to know what we want to do, where we want to go to school, and which field we would like to work in, with expectations that they need to succeed and be good at everything. Spending much time on our phones, and nearly all of it staring at a screen. 

Healthy coping mechanisms include being able to identify unhealthy coping mechanisms. These can include social withdrawal, over-sleeping, overeating, mindlessly watching shows without caring about what you’re watching, abusing (any) medication, smoking, vaping, drugs, alcohol, or taking the stress out on others.

Healthy coping mechanisms include being physically active, building healthy relationships, changing your attitude, and developing a plan to use when stressed.

Talking to someone about it helps, whether it’s a peer, friend, teacher, parents, or school counselor. Working with people to talk it out is always a healthy thing to do. Please note, we have an excellent school counselor here at KIS and will be happy to help. Opening up can lift some weight off your shoulders and help in thinking of ways of healthy coping mechanisms

-Angel Chand

Works Cited

“21 Incredible Mental Health Tips From A Neuropsychology Student.” InspireMore, 26 Feb. 2020, http://www.inspiremore.com/the-brain-coach-mental-health-tips/amp/.

Elizabeth Scott, MS. “How Is Stress Affecting My Health?” Verywell Mind, 3 Aug. 2020, http://www.verywellmind.com/stress-and-health-3145086.

“How to Help Children and Teens Manage Their Stress.” American Psychological Association, American Psychological Association, http://www.apa.org/topics/children-teens-stress.

“Stress: How to Manage It: Ben – Support for Life.” Ben, 17 Mar. 2019, ben.org.uk/ben-blog/managing-stress/.

“Teen Stress Rivals That of Adults.” Monitor on Psychology, American Psychological Association, http://www.apa.org/monitor/2014/04/teen-stress.

“Teenage Stress.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 8 Dec. 2015, http://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/how-parent-teen/201512/teenage-stress.

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