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April 17, 2012
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Stress

Stress 101: What Every Youth
Needs to Know About Stress!!

Stress can be positive or negative. Positive stress pushes you to complete a
task or do something great. Negative stress gets in the way and puts unhealthy
demands on your mind and body. Hopefully, we are going to help you learn how
to recognize and deal with these demands and give you some tools to cope with
stress in your life.

 SO . . . WHAT IS STRESS??

Stress is your bodyʼs physical and emotional reaction to circumstances that
frighten, irritate, confuse, endanger or excite you.
Stress isnʼt all bad, itʼs really very necessary in life!

Your body sets its defenses and protects itself against danger. Each time your body senses danger or the unknown, your nervous system reacts by getting ready for “fight or flight.” This “fight or flight” response is normal and happens in all living things. Originally, this response was needed by our ancestors as they lived in a more dangerous world where they had to be ready to fight off sabertoothed tigers and protect themselves from predators. Nowadays, this response system is triggered by different threats such as that looming dance recital, that end of the year math test, or arguments with friends and family. But your body responds in the same chemical way, your heart pounds, your muscles get tense, your palms get sweaty, and you get butterflies in your tummy. After a long time, these effects of stress really add up and can do damage to your body.

The main stressors faced by youth are FAMILY, SCHOOL, EXTRACURRICULAR
ACTIVITIES, and BEING ACCEPTED BY YOUR
FRIENDS AND PEERS.

  • The key to living with stress is to DEAL WITH IT!
  • Deal with your family by communicating with them.
  • Deal with your schoolwork by having realistic expectations of yourself.
  • Deal with your friends by being WHO YOU ARE, and not who others want you
    to be.
  • Deal with your looks by recognizing that you are a special and unique person.
  • Deal with over-commitment by prioritizing and cutting back your schedule if
    youʼre tired.
  • Learn to say NO!!

USE THESE STRESS SKILLS TO GET THROUGH IT!

  • Evaluate each problem and keep it in perspective.
  • Prioritize your time and see what is really important.
  • Set boundaries and donʼt give up too much of yourself.
  • Avoiding and putting things off really doesnʼt work! Deal with the issue ASAP!
  • LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! Eat right, get enough sleep, and be active.
  • When youʼre really upset do something you really love like read, dance, sing,
    exercise, play video games, listen to music, do anything that calms you down
    and clears your head.
  • Use breathing techniques to slow your body down and relax your muscles.
    Try this next time youʼre stressed: close your eyes, take a deep breath, count
    backwards from 10, and exhale slowly.
  • Donʼt feel alone with your problems. Remember to ask for guidance from a
    friend, family member, or a trusted adult. They may have some good tips on
    how to deal with life and stress!
Visit this website for 79 Creative Ways to Reduce Stress if you have a hard time coming up with your own!
THIS IS WHAT OTHER YOUTH ARE SAYING ABOUT WHAT
STRESSES THEM OUT!!

Remember, stress is NORMAL!! It happens to everyone, but everyone reacts
differently and experiences stress in different ways. Experiment with different
strategies and learn how YOU can cope with stress effectively in your life.