Family problems, not enough time, trouble with friends, worries about money – these are just a few of the many things that can cause stress. If you know you’re stressed, these tips can help.
Leave yourself plenty of time to do what you need to do. Being too busy is a big source of stress.
When stress hits hard, take a time-out. A few minutes away from a problem can help. Breathe deeply – slowly in, slowly out. Think of something pleasant and then return to the situation more relaxed.
Build in free time; even just a few minutes will help. To de-stress:
- Find something to make you laugh.
- Play at a playground.
- Listen to music.
- Have a bath.
- Get a massage.
- Play a musical instrument.
- Create art.
Stress produces chemicals in your body that make you feel edgy and tense. Your heart beats faster. Your muscles get tight. You breathe harder and your blood pressure goes up.
Exercise is a great stress buster because physical activity:
- Moves stress chemicals out of your body.
- Reduces muscle tension.
- Takes your mind off problems.
- Helps you sleep better, making you feel more rested.
The type of exercise that will relieve your stress depends on your personality and lifestyle. If you usually do quiet activities, vigorous exercise may be best. If you’re usually active, calming exercise may be better. Choose an activity you’ll enjoy.
Get Plenty of Rest, Eat Well
Teenagers need lots of sleep because they’re growing and developing at a furious pace. Not getting enough sleep can make you clumsy and emotional and make it hard to concentrate, which may lead to poor decisions. Try to get at least eight hours every night, and go to sleep and get up at the same time every day.
Also, eat a balanced variety of foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals. To reduce stress on your body and brain:
- Eat breakfast.
- Don’t skip meals.
- Eat at least five servings of brightly colored fruits and vegetables each day.
- Get enough iron and calcium (especially important for girls).
- Don’t eat too much junk food.
- Drink eight glasses of water each day. (Dehydration makes you feel tired.)
Talk it Out
Don’t feel alone with your problem — chances are good that other people feel the same way you do. Ask for help. If you feel like your stress is just too much, talk with your parents, siblings, a trusted friend or a counselor.
Last reviewed: February 2019