Being a teenager is a stressful time. Puberty, school, and social pressures have a big impact on many teens’ mental health, and many develop anxiety disorders.
According to the American Psychological Association, high stress and ineffective coping mechanisms are ingrained in our culture. The APA also reports that school is the most common source of stress for teens. Developing coping mechanisms is very important for teens to manage their stress and anxiety so it doesn’t negatively affect their mental and physical health.
Get enough sleep
Teen’s schedules can make it difficult to get enough sleep. Between busy school, after-school activity, social, and part-time job schedules, many teens don’t have much time to relax or sleep. It’s important to make having a regular bedtime a priority. If necessary, watch less TV or engage in less social media and internet browsing. Don’t drink caffeine late at night, and try to get some exercise in the early evening so it is easier to get to sleep. A healthy sleep schedule will make a huge impact on the overall stress you feel.
Engage in positive self-talk
The way you talk to yourself impacts you in ways you can’t even imagine. Often, we are our own biggest bullies, and we don’t even realize it. Beating yourself up over every mistake, holding yourself to impossible standards, and constantly comparing yourself to others will negatively affect your mental health in many ways, making it harder to succeed, harder to deal with stress, and harder to enjoy life. Watch how you talk to yourself and make sure it is positive whenever possible. Negative self-talk is one of the biggest causes of self-esteem issues and eating disorders. In fact, according to NPR, neurologists have discovered that positive self-talk can help you like your body more, perceive yourself more positively, and even make you more successful.
Talk about stress and emotional issues you are having with friends, family, and anyone you feel comfortable with. Often, the most stressful part about being a teen is feeling like you are alone. Opening up will help you realize that everyone else is going through what you are, or has been through it before. Maybe they can even share some of their coping mechanisms with you that could help you through a tough time.
Sometimes the mental issues teens deal with are more than just stress. Anxiety disorders, depression, and thoughts of suicide are serious issues that affect teens every day. If you or someone you know needs professional help, don’t hesitate to get the help you need. No one has to go through these problems alone, and there are many resources available to help. Check out the CDC for some great resources for suicide prevention and mental health help.
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