How To Deal With Teenage Anxiety and Stress
Teenage anxiety and stress is a huge deal and important to recognize. Remember what it was like when we were growing up? Looking back I had lots of stresses in my life. True, no mortgage, children or full time job, but life still seemed very stressful. The pressures of fitting in, looking good, being athletic and smart and fun – these are stressful times!
If you are concerned for your child’s mental health, please tell your doctor!
What do adolescence worry about? Large studies show that over 50% of youth worry about homework and school, family members and their social life (friends, relationships and sex) on a daily basis. Many of these kids don’t feel comfortable sharing these stresses with their parents; they may feel silly, embarrassed, or shy or they may not want to burden you (they know how much stress we are dealing with too!). Sometimes stress can build up before they know it and may leave them feeling overwhelmed.
If your child is stressed they may:
- Act more argumentative or aggressive
- Act impatiently
- Be sleepier than usual (or sleep more or less)
- Eat more or less
- Be more forgetful
- Be distracted
- Be more sensitive
- Get sick more often
- Complain of frequent headaches or stomach aches
- Have a change in their school performance, or
- Be less interested in previously enjoyed activities
Keep in mind that some of these features are also common in kids that are suffering from depression, an all-too-common malady in this age group. If you are concerned for your child’s mental health, please tell your doctor! Signs of depression in teens look very similar those of stress, and are likely on the same continuum.
How to reduce stress
Here are some tips to reduce teenage anxiety and stress (parents, these will help you too!)
- Learn how too many activities effects your child. Sometimes doing a little less will relieve a ton of stress
- Kids should be moderately or vigorously active at least 60 minutes a day – many kids (and most adults) don’t get close to this. Read more about spring cleaning for your child at (Huff Post article)
- Ensure your child gets plenty of rest and eats healthfully. He or she will be able to handle stress better when it does come up. To see some healthy recipes for kids, such as simple smoothies, click here
- Encourage your child to discuss problems with a friend or family member and ask for help when needed.
- Encourage him or her to take a time out when he or she feels overwhelmed. A few minutes away from the problem can help.
- Stress management activities like deep breathing and mediation can be very helpful in relieving stress. In our rushed world few of us take a few quiet moments for our selves
When in doubt, take your teen to be assessed by a doctor. A doctor can use a depression symptoms test and assess if your child is suffering from clinical depression.
Here’s another great Article on Reducing Tension and Anxiety!
Dina is a wife, mother of 4, and adrenaline junky. She loves to share children’s health information from her professional and personal experience. More About Dr Dina.