Stress affects everyone, including adolescents. There is good stress, which provides motivation to meet goals and deadlines, and there is bad stress. Bad stress is when a person becomes overloaded with stress, which can lead to any number of problems, such as anxiety, social withdrawal, physical illness, or aggression. To help, parents can monitor their teen’s stress levels through the adolescent’s health, behavior, thoughts, or feelings. Parents should listen to their teens and search for signs of bad stress. Additionally, parents can also “learn and model stress management skills,” and “support involvement in sports and other pro-social activities” (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, AACAP).
There are many ways teens can decrease stress themselves, and here are a few examples: regularly exercise and eat healthy, keep a consistent sleep schedule with plenty of sleep each night, avoid excess caffeine especially after 2 pm, learn relaxation techniques (e.g. diaphragmatic/deep breathing, muscle relaxation techniques), and taking breaks from stressful situations (e.g., listen to music, draw, write, talk with a friend, spend time with a pet). Lastly, should the adolescent become overloaded with stress, feel free to reach out to a mental health professional for additional help.
Source: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, AACAP (2019). Stress management and teens. Facts for Families, 66.