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.
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.
USE THESE STRESS SKILLS TO GET THROUGH IT!
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.