Mental health in adolescents and teenage stress are growing issues in India yet to be addressed as importantly s they should. As a teen in India, not involved in managing a family doesn’t mean you don’t experience stress. In India especially, almost 55 million teens suffer from stress which means you are not alone. Let’s face it, life today is as hard for teens as it is for adults. Some teens can be overloaded with stress without their families knowing it. If you don’t reach out at this point, your stress could lead to further problems of anxiety and depression. Now how do you know you might be under a lot of stress, well here are some symptoms of teenage stress.
- The need to be alone.
- Can’t sleep
- A lack of interest
- Can’t focus or concentrate on academics
- Headaches and stomach aches
- Worrying and possibly depressed
- Falling ill
- Being overwhelmed (making you feel you just can’t take it anymore)
- Faster breathing
We all have problems in life, and stress is a response. Sometimes you might feel stressed out for no reason, but there is always an underlying reason. Rather than worry about why you’re so stressed out, work towards understanding and managing the problem. Here are some reasons teenagers experience stress.
- Negative thoughts
- School demands
- Peer pressure (trying to compare and keep up with friends)
- Hormonal changes
- Unsafe and unhealthy living environment
- Parental divorce or separation
- Chronic illness
- Family problems
- Death of a loved one
- Moving or changing schools
- Financial problems
JUST FIVE WAYS TO DEAL WITH STRESS
The human body is complex; weirdly, it is the same switch that turns stress on and off. The “relaxation response” as the experts call it, helps you again be cool and calm. But there are some for which this mechanism works well and some for which it doesn’t. This is when you need to help yourself, and here are 5 ways to deal with teenage stress.
When it concerns young people, sleep is so very important to handle stress. Now we know how those with insomnia might scoff and say big deal!! HOW DO I SLEEP? That’s a fair question. But then again, reducing stress through other advice might help you sleep (Read our articles on the sleep channel to help you sleep). Younger people generally need at least 7-8 hours of sleep daily; how much are you getting? Be honest about that. It could be your lack of sleep building up that nasty stress bug in you. If you truly value yourself, get off that phone at night, and get some well-needed shuteye.
If you’re thinking, oh man! Not exercise, I don’t have the energy for it:” THAT’S BECAUSE YOU DON’T EXERCISE.” Physical activity wakes up your energy-making cells; once you exercise, you will feel energetic again. It also increases the body’s production of endorphins, the brain’s “feel good” chemicals. If it’s a physical issue preventing you from physical activity, don’t neglect it. Tell your parents and consult a doctor. For the rest of you, get some exercise. You don’t need to hit the gym if you don’t want to. Instead, you could walk in the park, on your terrace, and even exercise in your room, dance if you must. But you know what’s a stress buster? Beating the hell out of a punching bag, try it!!
Sounds like a big word, right? Well, a walk in the park or sitting down on a park bench, watching the trees, and just appreciating that moment and yourself in it, that’s mindfulness. You could create your own mindful moment, just sit by your window, grab yourself a cup of tea (NOT COFFEE), perhaps a fresh fruit juice, listen to your favorite music and chill! While general mindfulness recommends a peaceful quiet moment of meditation, any moment that helps you relax counts too. If you’re up for yoga, well, just 15 min a day activates the relaxation response to calm your nervous system.
- Try this breathing exercise daily. Like meditation, a quiet moment practicing deep breathing is one of the best ways to cope with stress.
- Lie down flat or sit on the floor. Close your eyes and take yourself to a happy place. (No, not your favorite couch-watching TV).
- Rest your hands on either side if lying down or on your thighs while sitting.
Now breathe in through your nose and breathe out from your mouth. You could count to five to seven for each breathing cycle. While doing so, you could focus on a phrase or a mantra if it works for you. Remember, while breathing, focus and be mindful of your breathing, be mindful of that moment; this is you fighting for the right to be you.
The hardest challenge for most teens! Ok, fine, we aren’t asking you to give up those burgers, pani puris, chaats, pizzas and whatever you snack on. But, reduce them to some extent because processed foods like fast food are not good for stress and your waistline. And hey! Carbonated drinks like Coke and Pepsi, you need to decide if you want to pump all that phosphoric acid into your body or if you’d prefer something healthier. Go slow on the sugar, too, because this is one damaging villain of humanity that makes you cranky and stressed. If you like snacking, then work it off through exercise.
CONFRONT AND MANAGE YOUR PROBLEMS
Once you’re done reading all the above, we know what might be racing through your mind.
“FINE! HOW DO I MAKE MY PROBLEM, THE CAUSE OF MY STRESS GO AWAY?”
“NO ONE KNOWS WHAT I’M GOING THROUGH, YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT ME”
“HOW MUCH MORE TO READ, I’M SICK AND TIRED OF PEOPLE TELLING ME I SHOULD DO THIS AND THAT”
Yes, we understand how everyone is unique and big or small, everyone’s problem is important to them. So how do we make your problem go away! Well, no one can, that’s life! But hold on! Just because there is no immediate solution in sight, it doesn’t mean, your problem is going to remain with you. Today, there may be rain in your life, tomorrow, there might be sunshine. When it rains, open an umbrella, protect yourself and that’s exactly what you do in a stressful situation. Teenage stress and anxiety are part of life, reaching out is the first step to helping yourself get out of a situation. It all depends on you.
Managing your stress in a mature way strengthens you mentally to ride the storm and no storm lasts forever. Today you might feel helpless, but if you remain strong, the day will come when you get to be in charge of your life. Don’t lose hope now!
Ensocure Integrated Medicine operates a health support platform on Discord where several youngsters join in confidentiality, under your own created user name. We aim to help your teenage stress with tips and advice, so join here. https://discord.gg/pPw6YaDD