Frequent stress is often a fact of life in the world today. That’s just as true for teenagers as it is for adults. Up to a certain point, most people can successfully cope with everyday stressful feelings. However, in some circumstances, these feelings may also be overwhelming. An anxiety treatment program can help your teen cope with excessive amounts of daily stress. Effective stress management techniques can also be extremely useful outside of the treatment setting. Reach out to Imagine Spokane at 509.870.3810 to learn how we can help.
Stress Vs. Anxiety
Anxiety and stress are part of the natural range of human experiences. These two terms are sometimes used interchangeably. However, they actually refer to different things. Stress is a short-term response to a specific concern, situation, or threat. It can trigger physical responses such as bowel distress, muscle tension, faster breathing, and a faster heartbeat. It can also trigger emotional responses such as:
- Anger or irritability
- Racing thoughts
- Mental overload
Anxiety typically lasts longer than stress. In addition, it may not have a specific underlying source. Instead, your teen may feel anxious for no obvious, apparent reason. The physical effects of anxiety are largely the same as those associated with stress. Anxiety’s distinguishing emotional effect is a sense of dread, worry, or uneasiness.
The Importance of Managing Anxiety and Stress
Public health experts universally emphasize the importance of managing anxiety and stress. Why? Left unmanaged, high levels of stress can contribute to a wide range of serious physical health issues. Such issues include cardiovascular and gastrointestinal diseases. They also include altered menstruation in women and sexual dysfunction in both men and women.
On the mental health front, excessive stress and anxiety are major contributors to the onset of anxiety disorders. People affected by these disorders have anxiety-related symptoms severe enough to disrupt their ability to function. High stress can also increase your child’s risk for other serious mental health issues. The list of these issues includes depression and eating disorders. It also includes personality disorders.
Common Stress Management Tips
Stress management helps your teen decrease the impact of stress on their everyday life. In this way, it supports increased mental and physical wellness. Stress management tips and techniques often recommended for teens include:
- Identifying the specific sources of stress affecting them
- Avoiding sources of unnecessary stress
- Maintaining an inner monologue that emphasizes positivity rather than negativity
- Getting plenty of sleep and exercise
- Practicing yoga, meditation, or deep breathing
- Eating a generally healthy diet
- Steering clear of substance use
- Limiting their intake of caffeine
- Making time in their day for pleasurable leisure activities
- Communicating their feelings with trusted friends or loved ones
Today, social media and the news are often major sources of stress. That’s true, in part, because they often focus on strife and highly distressing events. You may want to encourage your teen to go on periodic news or social media fasts. They may also benefit just from reducing the amount of these things they take in on any given day.
It’s essential to know that your child’s stress management efforts may not be enough. If they still feel overwhelmed, it’s time to consider formal treatment.
Learn Effective Stress Management at Imagine Spokane
Need more stress management tips for your teenager? Contact the teen mental health professionals at Imagine Spokane. We can help you devise a plan that maximizes your child’s stress relief.
Imagine is also your source for high-quality treatment for stress-related mental health issues. We specialize in providing timely, customized support for teens affected by such issues. Our goal is to help your child regain a sense of balance and well-being. For more information, just call us today at 509.870.3810 or complete our online form.