Stress Management Techniques
Stress is how the body responds to diverse kinds of situations. Some stress in life is good as it makes individuals to have a rise in their hormones and act vigorously to save some situations. However, when it becomes prolonged like in post-traumatic stress disorder, it becomes a threat to the life of the individual as it even lowers the immune system and some develop depression (Mahfouz, 2018). How individuals cope or manage the stress that they are undergoing determines how effective they will deal or how prolonged the stress will be.
There are various techniques through which stress can be managed. One technique is through psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy which may involve a specialist or even sharing one’s stressors with an individual that one trusts. Once a problem is shared, ideas are brought together, and a solution can easily be identified. Keeping a positive attitude and accepting that there are situations that one cannot change is also a technique of managing stress too. Being positive allows one’s mind to focus on the right things and suppress the bad things thus remaining relaxed. According to Sharma & Rush, (2015), mindfulness is another technique that helps in managing stress. Mindfulness entails only focusing on one’s surroundings and the present moment without thinking but concentrate on what the eyes can see. The technique allows one to forget other stressful situations and engage the mind on the current moment.
Additionally, physical activity is an effective stress management technique. When one is physically active, the brain is supplied with a lot of blood which keeps it relaxed, enabling an individual to suppress any stressful situations. Eating a healthy well-balanced diet also assists in managing stress. Nutrients in a balanced diet help to keep cells healthy and the brain alert and relaxed which allows one to cope effectively even in stressful situations. Getting enough and proper sleep is also a technique of reducing stress as it is one of the best ways to ensure that one relaxes. When one is relaxed, he/she can plan things well and avoid wasting time which is also a source of stress. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), psychological treatment for various disorders also assists in managing stress. CBT entails a change in behavior through cognitive restructuring as it proposes that individuals are responsible for generating certain emotional situations such as stress (Sharma, 2016). Individuals are taught to refute cognitive distortions to replace one’s irrational beliefs with more accurate ones that are beneficial.
Anyone can develop stress, and acute stress is good as it helps individuals to react to issues and therefore strike a balance. However chronic stress has a significant effect on the health of individuals. Getting enough sleep, mindfulness, engaging in physical activities, psychotherapy and cognitive behavior therapy are some of the techniques through which one can effectively manage stress/
Three stressors common to Teenagers
Everyone experiences stress in their life in one way or the other, but one population that is at an increased risk of developing stress is teenagers. As much as everyone is at risk of developing stress, teenagers are at an increased risk due to various factors and one common stressor among them is social issues. These social issues include relationships with peers, individuals they have romantic relationships with and even close relatives and parents and self-esteem issues. Teens place a very high value on their social lives and spend most of their waking hours with peers and finding and keeping such relationships can induce a lot of stress (Tyler & Schmitz, 2018).
Bullying by some peers can also induce stress on teens especially bullying due to issues that they have no control over such as coming from a family with low socioeconomic status. Trying to manage conflict that is healthy in romantic relationships is not also an easy task for developing teens. Teens also get stressed by relationships with their parents as the parents try to bring them up with values that the society expects, but the teens feel like their parents are interfering with their freedom. At this age, they are trying to form lasting relationships, and they are always at conflict with their parents (Mahfouz, 2018). Peer pressure is another social issue that teens face, and they can engage in behaviors against the norms to please their peers.
Academics is another common stressor among teens since it is at this stage; they are usually trying to balance academics and their growth, development and social lives. Teens experience high levels of stress related to school, to include test scores, grades and applying to college. Many teens are worried about meeting academic objectives and demands, pleasing parents and teachers and keeping up with their classmates. Some of them even end up committing suicide when these demands are not met. When they manage their time poorly or feel overwhelmed by the amount of work at school can cause academic stress as well.
Unhealthy competition is another stressor that is common among teens. Teens always want to feel superior and better than anyone else. They, therefore, try to do things to outdo their peers so that they become outstanding and famous (Whalen, 2015). Competition can be in school, in the church and within the estate or community where the teens live. Competition, especially in academics, is healthy and useful since it encourages them to work harder and improve their grades. However, if it raises negative feelings and likes resentment and jealousy, it adds to academic stress.
Stress management techniques among Teens
How individuals manage the stress, they go through really determines the effect that the stress will have on them. There are various ways through which teens can manage their stress. One technique that has shown effectiveness is ensuring that they get enough, quality and proper sleep. Teens mostly have little time for sleep between school and other personal activity and usually, stay up late as they spend the most time on the internet at night and leave the house very early in the morning. Sleep is the best way through which one relaxes which is necessary for one to de-stress. When the body relaxes, the mind relaxes too and rejuvenates (Varvogli & Darviri, 2011). Quality and proper sleep are where one sleeps for at least eight hours without any distractors. Sleeping for a whole night as well as taking naps between tasks assists in reducing stress to a great extent.
Psychotherapy is a second technique through which teens can effectively manage the stress that they go through. Psychotherapy may not involve them going to a therapist but just opening up and talking to someone that they trust. It is believed that a problem shared is half-solved, but they should be careful to share their life issues with individuals who may end up isolating or stigmatizing them. Talk is usually therapeutic and discussing or sharing a problem with someone will help get a solution for it faster (Mahfouz, 2018). Teens can also approach a psychotherapist, preferably one who is a little young as compared to their parents, so that they do not feel like he/she is against them just like they think with their parents. When sharing, a teen may come across a person who has experienced the same problem and may help them by sharing the ways through which they were able to cope themselves.
Engaging in physical and other activities is a third technique through which teens can comfortably manage their everyday stress. Physical activities in one way keep the teen , and they, therefore, forget the stressors that they have. Besides, physical activity increases blood flow to the brain, which makes it relax and thus reduces stress. Other activities that physically engage the body and help relieve stress include deep breathing exercises which help relax the body and mind, mindfulness which entails focusing on the present moment like looking around and focusing on what one can see without thinking anything (Tyler & Schmitz, 2018). Another activity is creative visualization, freeze dancing where a group of teens can come together and play. The teens dance to some music and remain in the position which they find themselves in when the music stops.
Mahfouz, J. (2018). Principals and stress: Few coping strategies for abundant stressors. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 174114321881756. doi:10.1177/1741143218817562
Sharma M. & Rush S. E., (2015). Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction as a Stress Management Intervention for Healthy Individuals: A Systematic Review. https://doi.org/10.1177/2156587214543143
Sharma, V. (2016). Stress Management Strategies: Insights from Bhartiya Wisdom. SSRN Electronic Journal. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2714838
Tyler, K. A., & Schmitz, R. M. (2018). Childhood Disadvantage, Social and Psychological Stress, and Substance Use Among Homeless Youth: A Life Stress Framework. Youth & Society. doi:10.1177/0044118×18767032
Varvogli L. & Darviri C., (2011). Stress Management Techniques: evidence-based procedures that reduce stress and promote health. Health Science Journal, Vol 1 Issue 2.
Whalen, E. E. (2015). Understanding Stress and Aggression Behaviors among Urban Youth. Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy, 05(02). doi:10.4172/2157-7595.1000187