This article is the second of a two-part series reviewing various forms of psychological stress and how to cope with them. The first article outlined different forms of stress experienced psychologically. While they are those that any individual might experience regardless of age, teenagers might be more prone to the challenges that stress brings. This article will cover various coping mechanisms and techniques to manage frustration, feelings of uncontrollability, and psychological pressure.
Change the Way You Feel about the Stressful Situation
Use humor, if you can, to shift your reaction to stress from anger to absurdity. Search for something that gets the funny bone moving. Laughter can actually boost the immune system, and create immediate physiological changes that shift perception and your view on the situation. If you can’t find what’s funny in having to study for an exam, for example, look for what is practical or inspiring. For instance, doing well will keep your grades up, boost your chances of getting into college, and help you reach your professional goals. See if you can find the sunny side to your circumstances.
Remove the Stressful Circumstance Altogether
If you’re feeling the demands of school, the responsibilities at home, pressure from your peers, the obligations of extracurricular activities, and the inner pressure and emotional turmoil of adolescent change, look for a way to reduce the level of your responsibilities. Perhaps you can take fewer classes this year. You can find more time to work with a therapist and tend to your emotional life. You might be able to temporarily limit your participation in extracurricular activities, such as your attendance to the Diversity Club. Whatever the stressful situation, remove it altogether if it continues to add unnecessary pressure.
Ignore the Stress
Do this only if it is appropriate, not as a means to escape from your problems. For example, if you have a health concern, which you are properly taking care of, focusing on it might only bring more anxiety. Instead, putting your attention on your studies, your family, or your class activities could be more useful.
Relaxing the Mind and Body
Relaxation can create a psychological state that can invite solutions you might not have otherwise thought of. When the mind and body are relaxed, your inner resources are more easily accessible. In this state, you might see your situation differently. An answer to your problem might come forward or an insight might arise that allows you to see a stressful situation differently.
Rely on Your Spirituality
A belief in a higher power can be a great comfort when stressed. In whatever way that feels comfortable for you, reaching out to a higher power can provide a sense of relief and consolation.
Seek Alternative Forms of Healing
Meditation, yoga, acupuncture, conscious breathing, and other forms of alternative stress relief might not be the answer you think of right away. However, they are increasing in popularity. The most recent edition of Times Magazine highlights alternative forms of healing as a revolution sweeping the country. It’s true that they are becoming more popular. Perhaps meditation or yoga will find its way into your life and become a stress relieving tool.
Stress is a part of life that most are not immune to. For this reason, the list above might be helpful in managing the various forms of psychological stress. For a teenager specifically, the above list provides healthy coping mechanisms. It can take the place of alcohol or drug use, escape in technology, self-harm, or other forms of risky behavior. Psychological stress is typical for teenagers, but it’s up to you to choose a healthy way to manage them.