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Is Your Teen More Stressed Than You Think?

Although a little stress can be a good thing, it is important for your teen to know how to manage stress in healthy ways. The first step is identifying where the stress is coming from so the proper measures can be taken. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry offers a list of techniques for teens to use to help reduce and cope with stress, including:

  • Exercise and eat regularly.
  • Avoid excess caffeine, which can increase feelings of anxiety and agitation.
  • Develop coping skills, such as breaking large tasks into smaller, more attainable tasks.
  • Develop assertiveness skills to help communicate feelings of stress.
  • Rehearse and practice situations that might cause stress.
  • Lower unrealistic expectations, and learn to feel good about doing a competent, "good enough" job rather than demanding perfection from yourself or others.
  • Take breaks from stressful situations and do an enjoyable activity for a short while.
  • Don't commit yourself to do things you can't or don't want to do.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also provides teens with a way to manage stress on this website, where kids can create their own personalized stress management plan, and find tips for dealing with pressure and anxiety. The plan aims to help teens manage their own, personal stressors by helping them identify specific triggers and ways to deal with them, such as:

  • Figure out the problem and find a way to make it manageable.
  • Avoid things that cause undue or unwanted stress.
  • Accept some things for what they are and letting go of unrealistic notions.
  • Tips to manage emotions and communicate better.
  • Tips to take care of your body through exercise, eating right, and sleep.

The site also offers an area for parents to get tips and guidelines for raising a happy and resilient teen. These tips are much like the ones offered for teens, but from a parent's perspective. It helps parents see where their teen is coming from, and offer support when dealing with a specific situation.

Stress is a part of everyday life, and teens today are under more pressure than ever to exceed in school and life. While you can't do much to remove stressors from your teen's life, you can help to reduce and alleviate anxiety by finding an effective stress-management method that works for him.



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