The sudden loss of interest in the activities one used to enjoy, drop in school performance, lack of interactions, wanting to be left alone most of the time, getting angry often even on very small things, indulging in age-inappropriate activities, etc are some of the signs of stress among the teenagers. Teenage is the time when a child undergoes a lot of transitions both physically and mentally along with the changes in their friends’ group and surroundings. They rely more on their friends and social media rather than their parents for all sorts of information and guidance. Teens at this age are influenced most by their peers and in order to belong in a group, they conform to the group norms and indulge in many activities without knowing the repercussions of those. If they are able to meet the demands of their peers all is well. But if things don’t go the way they expected there is a very high chance they might lose their friends, which in itself is a very stressful condition.
These and many more things can lead to stress in teens that goes unnoticed most of the time. Therefore it’s very important to understand and notice even the slightest change in the behaviour of the teen and accordingly helps them get through it.
What is Stress?
How one’s body responds to failure, uncertainty, pressure, threat, trauma, neglect, abuse or simply change can be termed as stress. These changes can arise from feelings, situations, and people. For example appearing for an examination, interacting with new people, changing places, going to a new school, losing friends, not being able to conform to group norms, competition, neglect by peers and not being able to adjust to the social surroundings all these and many more can be sources of stress for the teen.
Name a change that has happened to you or that will happen to
What are Stressors?
They are activators of stress. They are so intense that they create a state of overload. They evoke incompatible tendencies in us such as tendencies both to approach and to avoid some object or activity. They are uncontrollable-beyond our limits of control.
Some examples of stressors:
- Changing school
- Taking a test or exam
- Interacting with new people
- Public speaking
- Divorce or separation of parents
- Moving to a new place
- Being sick
- Winning an award
- Participating in events
A stressor for me is__________
Is All Stress Bad? The Answer is NO.
Stress is necessary for better survival and is an inevitable part of life. Most people define stress as worry, tension, and pressure, but the good news is that all stress isn’t bad.
Stress is of two types Positive(Eu-stress) which is challenging, happy, and exciting. Having Eu-stress is not a bad thing: without it, life would be dull as it motivates us to face the situation. For example, right before a race s/he always feels a little nervous. This stress helps them to be alert, focused, and prepared for the event. We need this stress in our lives as it pushes us to do better and take on opportunities. Examples of Eustress: Receiving awards, learning a new hobby, participating in competitions, making new friends, going on an adventure, etc.
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The other kind of stress is Negative(Distress) which is unpleasant, destructive, and upsetting. Distress evokes negative feelings when the stressor is interpreted as a threat and harm that one cannot overcome. For example, if s/he has to make a presentation in front of the class, if they are scared of public speaking and unable to avoid the situation it will be anxiety-provoking for them and will become a source of negative stress.
Examples of Distress: Being bullied, arguments with a friend or parents, not
able to meet deadlines, humiliation, family discord, etc. Whether a situation will cause eustress or distress depends on our subjective interpretation of its characteristics, including its intensity, source, duration, controllability, and desirability, as well as whether we perceive it as within our coping abilities. The same event can be interpreted in different ways by different people.
What Causes Stress to be Good or Bad?
Our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about a situation can make stress good(pleasant) or bad(unpleasant). Situations that cause us to feel happy,excited, surprised, etc. can be called good stressors, and the situation that causes us to feel sad, scared, mad, etc, can be called bad stressors.
Name a good (happy, excited, etc.) stressor for you.
Name a bad (sad, scared, etc.) stressor for you.
Is Too Much Stress Bad?
Too much stress can have a negative effect on one’s body, mind, and feelings. How you handle it has a lot to do with your health. When stress becomes too frustrating and lasts for long periods, it can become harmful causing distress. Recognizing the early signs of stress and doing something about it can improve the quality of one’s life. Signs of stress in teens are evident, one only needs to… WATCH OUT!!
Some Common Signs of Stress
1. Physical (Body)
Headaches, Nervousness, Rashes, Stomach aches, Fast heartbeat, Perspiration, Increased urination, Sleeplessness, etc.
2. Mental (Mind)
Lack of concentration, Forgetfulness, Drop in school performance, Lack of interest in activities, Unable to study, Carelessness, etc.
3. Emotional (Feelings)
Bored, Anger outbursts, Nightmares, Sad, Scared, Anxious, Withdrawn, Frequent fights, etc.
Name a sign of stress for you
Ways to Handle Too Much Stress
- Watch your thoughts/think positive
- Take deep breaths/Practice deep breathing exercises
- Indulge in activities that you enjoy and that help you relax
- Read everyday topics of your interest and choice
- Talk about your problems to a friend, parent, teacher, or counselor
- Visualize/imagine what you want to happen
- Don’t dwell on your weaknesses
- Feel proud of your accomplishments
- Exercise daily
- Prepare for competitions/tests well before the time
- Eat a nutritious meal or snack
- Take one thing at a time
- Set a realistic and smart goal
- Stop worrying about things that are out of your control
- It’s okay to make mistakes.
- Learn from your mistakes
- Forgive yourself and others
- Make time for fun
- Do something for others
- If you find yourself in a constant loop of overthinking. Ask yourself a question. Will it matter in 1 year? If the answer comes YES, then definitely do something about it. If the answer is NO, then forget about it.
- Use four steps to problem-solving:
a) Brainstorm solutions
b) Think of the consequences
c) Choose a solution
d) Evaluate your choice
- The 3R rule- REFOCUS: REFRESH: RESTART
As a student, you will come across various problems that will make you feel stressed. However, by taking the right steps and seeking guidance, you can get away with the negative stress.
Wrong subjects and career choices can also lead to dissatisfaction. So, take up career counselling online with Mindler and make the right choice!