Stress Management!


Bella Ghayas, Writer

Forgetting your homework. Not studying for a test. Big exams coming up. These are ALL causes of stress, including many non-school related things as well! Managing stress is hard, and sometimes you just want to burst out screaming. Um..don’t scream there are MANY other ways to deal with the horrid thing we call stress.

Some teens become overloaded with stress. When this happens, it can lead to anxiety, withdrawal, aggression, physical illness, or poor coping skills.

When we experience a situation that is difficult or painful, changes occur in our minds and bodies to prepare us to respond to danger. This fight or flight response includes faster heart and breathing rate, increased blood pressure, cold or clammy hands and feet, or stomach aches.

The same mechanism that turns on the stress response can turn it off. As soon as we decide that a situation is no longer dangerous, changes occur in our minds and bodies to help us calm down. This relaxation response includes decreased heart and breathing rate and a sense of well-being. Teens that develop a relaxation response and other stress management skills cause them to feel less helpless, and have more choices when responding to stress.

Here are some tips to cope with stress!

Get some sleep! 

Between homework, activities and hanging with friends, it can be hard to get enough sleep, especially during the school week. Ideally, adolescents should get nine hours a night. To maximize the chance of sleeping soundly, cut back on watching TV or engaging in a lot of screen time in the late evening hours. Don’t drink coffee or intake caffeine late in the day and try not to do stimulating activities too close to bedtime.

Focus on your strengths 

Spend some time really thinking about the things you’re good at, and find ways to do more of those things. If you’re a math ace, you might tutor a younger neighbor who’s having trouble with the subject. If you are a religious person, you might volunteer at your church. If you’re artistic, take a photography class. Focusing on your strengths will help you keep your stress in perspective.

Engage in physical activity 

Physical activity is one of the most effective stress busters! That doesn’t mean you have to go for a jog if you hate running, though. Find activities you enjoy and build them into your routine such as yoga, hiking, biking, skateboarding, or walking. The best types of physical activities are those that have a social component. Whether you’re into team sports, or prefer kayaking or rollerblading with a friend or two, you’re more likely to have fun — and keep at it — if you’re being active with friends!

Do things that make you happy 

Besides physical activities, find other hobbies or activities that bring you joy. That might be listening to music, going to the movies, or drawing. Keep doing these things even when you’re stressed or busy.

Talk to someone 

It’s so much easier to manage stress when you let others lend a hand. Talk to a parent, teacher, or other trusted adult. They may be able to help you find new ways to manage stress. Or they may help put you in touch with a psychologist who is trained in helping people make healthy choices and manage stress.

All these activities and many ore will help you deal and cope with stress. As always, don’t wait..COMMUNICATE! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and don’t let stress take advantage of you. Keep in touch in the opinion section for more articles like this one.