What is stress and its causes: Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. When you sense danger—whether it’s real or imagined—the body's defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the “fight-or-flight” reaction, or the stress response.
How does the body responds to stress: When the body is stressed, muscles tense up. Muscle tension is almost a reflex reaction to stress — the body's way of guarding against injury and pain.
The 5 categories of stress for teens:
1. School: People have different learning styles, interests, and strengths. Unfortunately, school is a standard structure that doesn’t take these differences into consideration. When the school doesn’t embrace the teens’ strengths, values or creativity they tend to be more stressed out.
2. Parents: Parents and home environment can also add to teen stress.
a. High expectations are a big stress and challenge for young people. Out of love, parents want teens to succeed in everything. While this idea is nice, it’s really an unrealistic expectation.
b. After school activities are important but become a stressor if parents expect their teens to be involved in too many (even if it’s of their choosing). It’s important for teens to have some free, unscheduled time each week where they can do whatever they want. During this time she has the opportunity to relax as well as learn she deserves to have some free time. It’s a good habit to develop.
c. Stressed parents can transfer their stress on to their teens. If you are frequently stressed, it’s reflected in how you treat your teen. Your unpredictable behaviour may leave her worried and anxious since she doesn’t know what to expect next. Likewise, if you are emotionally unavailable for her, she may feel neglected and worthless. These feelings increase stress levels as she tries to get your attention, only to fail each time.
3. Peer group: Peer pressure, not getting along with friends, and worrying about fitting in causes stress. The peer group is an important part of a teen’s life. If she senses the peer group is unreliable or disrespectful, it will increase her stress levels as she feels pressured to impress her social group.
4. Lack of life skills: Skills such as organization and time management are important stress preventers. Likewise, an absence of these valuable skills can make life more hectic and chaotic. Teen’s habits are normally a reflection of how things are done in the household. As such, it’s unrealistic for parents to expect teens to do better than them. Any other expectations are only a stress producer.
5. Personal thoughts: What kind of thinking does your teen engage in? It’s not too tough to find out. Pay attention to your teen’s actions and words as they’re a reflection of what’s going on inside her head. Instead of criticizing her, provide her with an alternative way of thinking.
How stress affects the body: Indeed, stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior. Being able to recognize common stress symptoms can give you a jump on managing them. Stress that's left unchecked can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
Ways to avoid, limit, handle, and reduce the effects of stress: Stress management starts with identifying the sources of stress in your life. This isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. While it’s easy to identify major stressors such as changing jobs, moving, or a going through a divorce, pinpointing the sources of chronic stress can be more complicated. It’s all too easy to overlook how your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors contribute to your everyday stress levels. Sure, you may know that you’re constantly worried about work deadlines, but maybe it’s your procrastination, rather than the actual job demands, that is causing the stress.
Ways to build resiliency and stay healthy:
Have a Sense of Purpose. Do things that bring meaning to your life. ...
Learn Healthy Habits. You'll manage stressful times better if you:
Believe in Yourself. Take pride in your abilities and what you've done. ...
Keep Laughing. Hold on to your sense of humor even when times are tough. ...