Most of us experience stress in some form on any given day. In today’s world, young people may face new and more serious stressors than ever before.
Today, we’re going to help you learn how to recognize and deal with these demands while offering you some tools to cope with stress in your life.
To begin, let’s talk about the nature of stress in the first place.
First of all, know that stress isnʼt all bad. In fact, itʼs necessary!
Stress is your bodyʼs physical and emotional reaction to circumstances that frighten, irritate, confuse, endanger, or excite you.
Stress can be positive or negative:
Your body sets its defenses and protects itself against danger. So 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.
Our ancestors needed this response as they lived in a world with more apparent physical dangers at every turn. Just imagine having to be ready to fight off saber-toothed tigers and protect yourself from other wild predators at any given moment!
While you may not be fleeing from dinosaurs or living in a cave, your body still uses the fight-or-flight response to protect you from other dangers…whether they’re imagined or not.
In modern times, this response system could be triggered by apparent threats like 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.
When this stress is ongoing, its effects really add up. Then over time, they can even do damage to your body.
The main stressors faced by youth are family, school, extracurricular activities, and being accepted by your friends and peers.
So, what’s the best way to manage your stress?
The key to living with stress is to actively DEAL WITH IT!
Here are some of our favourite tips for dealing with stress:
Visit this website for 79 Creative Ways to Reduce Stress if you have a hard time coming up with your own!
Next, click here to see what other youth are saying about what stresses them out.
Remember, stress is NORMAL! It happens to everyone, but everyone reacts differently and experiences it in different ways. Try experimenting with different strategies to learn how YOU can cope with stress effectively in your life.
And remember, help is available if you’re facing serious stress and challenges from abuse at home.
Click here to donate now to Kelowna Women’s Shelter.
Did you learn a lot from this post about the stress young people deal with and how to manage it? Then don’t miss these articles either:
This article was originally published 2012, and has been updated in 2020.
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