The adolescent years are tough. And teens experience immense stress at different levels. They feel anxious about meeting expectations, performing well in academics, excelling in extracurriculars, and being criticized by peers. It is observed that teens often struggle with coping with stress.
Research has shown that one out of three kids is likely to have anxiety. Unlike adults, children do not know how to handle such situations. This can result in problems like depression, eating disorders, substance use, and other unhealthy practices.
And some of these can be carried over to adulthood. Hence, parents and caregivers are supposed to look out for any unusual behavior.
This article explores the causes, symptoms, and tips for dealing with stress during teenage.
4 Causes Of Stress In Teens
Teens get triggered due to varied reasons. The most common causes of triggers are:
👉 School stress: Worrying about school work, securing good grades, doing well in extracurriculars, and pleasing teachers and peers are common among adolescents.
👉 Family matters: The environment in which the child grows plays a significant role in developing anxiety. Anxiety is a risk factor for children from broken households or divorced parents, as well as those experiencing financial hardship and bullying from siblings.
👉 Social stress: Anxiety from the fear of being judged by peers, bullying, and conflicts in romantic relationships are transparent sources of stress for teens. Technology has created a ton of physical and social anxieties. Cyberbullying and self-image problems are its worst outcomes.
👉 Traumatic events: Going through physical and mental abuse, the death or illness of family members can leave permanent scars on teens.
Symptoms Of Stress In Teens
Most teenagers experience stress, while some might face extreme challenges while facing it. Increased stress levels interfere with the performance of the kids at school, make relationships difficult, and affect their thinking capacity.
The critical changes observed in teens experiencing stress can be categorized into the following.
👉 Emotional changes: Teens when stressed appear to be agitated, anxious, and depressed. They get irritable and welled up by simple things.
👉 Physical changes: Stress often makes teens sick. Increased heart rates, hyperventilation, profuse sweating, frequent occurrences of headaches, and stomach aches are observed in response to stress.
👉 Behavioural changes: It is evident teenagers show drastic changes in their eating and sleeping patterns when stressed and may develop habits like nail biting, skin picking, or substance use.
👉 Cognitive changes: Stress can have negative impacts on the cognitive abilities of teens. Symptoms include carelessness, forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, procrastination, and poor judgment.
Tips To Take Care Of Teens
Parents need to check in with their teens and keep their feelings in control. It might be one of the best things you can ever do for them. Here are some tips for taking care of your teens.
👉 Recognising the signs and maintaining a connection: If you notice your teenager is behaving oddly or showing symptoms, let them know you have noticed and talk to them. Encourage them to share their feelings and remind them that you are there for them, no matter what, and are willing to hear them out. Maintaining a connection with your kids, however old they are, is important.
👉 Setting an example: You’ll teach your teen more about handling stress with your behavior than your words. But if you are mishandling the situation, your behavior will override whatever you are suggesting to the teen. Thus, when things go wrong, make sure you display healthy and appropriate responses. Show your child how to talk about feelings and how to express those feelings appropriately.
👉 Encouraging self-care: Help them find time for self-care and healthy habits. Making sure they get good sleep, a healthy balanced diet, and regular exercise helps improve the symptoms. Positive activities and relationships can have a protective effect on mental health. It can be highly beneficial for teenagers to learn how to manage their feelings healthily.
👉 Getting professional help: In most cases, parents don’t bring the child in until after issues have been going on for months and months because they are in denial. Instead, seek help when the condition overrides. This can bring peace to you and your kid.
To summarise, teens experience a spectrum of challenges. This often results in stress which affects their health and well-being. Thus, identifying the symptoms is crucial. Help the teens to express their feelings and try the suggested coping techniques. And if you notice nothing is working, seek professional help immediately.