Stress-Busting Tips for Teens

Stress itself is a person’s reaction to life changes, and there is hardly a time in one’s life with more changes than the teen years! Added on to all these life changes is the fact that there is a lot going on in the life of the average teen – concerns about appearance, extracurricular activities, friends, school projects, social events, and so forth can all converge on teens at once.  Here are some tips for parents to share with their teens.

Deep Breathing  Really? Just breathing deeply makes everything go away? Not exactly! But deliberate, slow, deep breathing exercises can significantly increase your body’s coping mechanisms, sources say. This is why deep breathing is so often a component of meditation.

If you can get a few quiet minutes, breathe slowly through your nose and slowly out through your mouth. When you inhale, fill your lungs up entirely, breathing down toward your lower abdomen. As you do this, remind yourself that you can handle this, and that this stress won’t last forever.

Make Lists  List-making may be something your parents are always on at you about. But it really can help relieve stress to make lists of what you have to do. This is why adults do it!

Make lists of things you have to do today (study for a test, finish homework, go to band practice, etc.), then a list of things that must be done this week (write a paper, attend track meet), and then a list of long-term things to do (request applications from colleges, read assigned book for English class). Seeing everything on paper may make it look more manageable. From that point, you can begin to estimate how long each task will take and schedule it on a calendar.

Avoid Too Much Caffeine  Yes, stress seems to make you want more and more caffeine; stress can wear you out and cause you to feel tired. But many sources note that too much caffeine actually makes the underlying stress worse. This is because, at a basic level, caffeine stresses the body’s organs, particularly the liver and kidneys. You don’t need any more stress internally or externally!

Eat Well  Go for high-energy foods like nuts, seeds, lean protein and fruit, particularly berries and citrus for antioxidants and Vitamin C.

Rest  Of course, if you had time to rest, you wouldn’t be so stressed, right? Truthfully, though, getting a good night’s sleep is very important to helping your body and mind cope with stress. For teens, this could be up to nine or nine and a half hours of sleep a night. The more stressed you are, the more rest you need. Try to get to bed at a reasonable hour.

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