Ways Teenagers can Reduce Stress

It’s stress day in health and, contrary to popular belief, this day is not stress free. The goal is to relax, kick back and let the weight of the world slip off your shoulders, however this hardly ever happens. No homework allowed, no studying, just coloring and sleeping. You’re mind is reeling. There’s an APUSH test next period, you forgot to do your math homework and, oops, that Bio quiz totally slipped your mind! So you actually spend the whole period worrying about what you could have be doing instead of actually relaxing. Why are we so stressed? Aren’t these the golden years of all play and no work? Teenagers are stereotyped as angsty, dramatic and lazy. But what most people don’t know is this isn’t caused entirely by raging hormones, but in part by academic pressure, family issues and social acceptance issues. In short, stress. Lots of it. We are constantly being pressured to do better and measure up. ‘Get better grades!’ ‘Do more activities!’ ‘What do you mean, you don’t know what career you want?’ I’m not saying that striving for goals and improving grades is a bad thing, but it’s time to handle it in a healthier way. Common side effects of stress are fatigue, stomachaches, headaches, irritability, depression, anxiety and trouble concentrating. Sound familiar? Of course it does. Every teenager has experienced at least one of these. It’s practically the definition of being a teenager! The challenge is breaking away from the stress. According to the Rhode Island Family Guide , setting small goals is less stressful than trying to tackle everything at once. Focus on things you can control. Let’s face it, you can’t help it if you sprained your ankle in track a week before a meet. You can focus on getting better and doing everything you can to take care of yourself. As awesome as it would be, we can’t be Superman, so take on one thing at a time. Talk about it with others, a cliche I know, but it works. If you tell your math teacher that you’re struggling with the homework and are really worried about an upcoming test, they’ll understand and help you out. Friends are also good people to go to when you need support. Good friends will listen and encourage you. Maybe you have a super awesome friend who will offer to help you with homework or work with you on that project. Lastly, the best thing to do when you’re stressed is take a break. You only have one life, take some time to do things you enjoy. Go for a bike ride, hang out with friends, take a ten minute break from studying to do something relaxing. If it’s just go go go all the time, you will get worn out. Frying your brain by studying four hours straight without any breaks is not going to help you at all when it comes time to take that test. Life doesn’t have to be as stressful as we make it out to be. No one’s superman, but by handling things in a healthy way, you can come pretty close.