It’s quite common to find a lot of stressed teens these days. There are many things that stress teens out and even more in recent times. You’re probably a concerned parent or guardian who’s trying to help their overstressed teen get better.
In this article, I’ll be telling you everything about stress in adolescence. We’ll cover the causes of stress among teenagers and signs of stress in teens. Understanding these things are the key steps in helping your teen overcome stress. Let’s get started!
Causes of Teenage Stress
So why is your teen stressed and what are some good coping skills for teens? Although a little stress is normal, there are times where your teen may seem overstressed. Here’s a detailed list of the major stressors in teenage life. You’re eager to find out, aren’t you? Read on.
1. Traumatic Events
Trauma is one of the major causes of teenage stress. Traumatic events like the loss of a loved one, sexual abuse, mental abuse, and sicknesses can scar the mind of a teenager. Such events can create fear and anxiety in them which may lead to mental stress.
Grief messes with the teenage mind. So if your teenager is grieving or recovering from any sort of trauma, you’ll need to keep an eye on them.
You should start by talking to your teen and determining the level of stress they’re going through. Afterwards, it’ll be great to see a therapist.
2. Romantic relationships
Teens get stressed out due to relationship issues. I know you might think they’re young and shouldn’t be focused on relationships. But the thing is that their young age is what makes the stress and pain of relationships hard on them.
They often worry about getting attention from their partners, resolving their misunderstandings, etc.
If your teenager is stressed due to a relationship, you can make time out to talk to them or even their partner. Most times all they need is a little guidance.
3. Social Media Pressure
As you may already know, most teens are obsessed with their social lives. They see social media as a vital part of their lives. Keeping up with the latest trends, dealing with cyber bullies, stalkers, etc makes teenagers stressed out.
This aspect is easy to take care of. You should help your teen grow their self confidence by teaching them that they’re not in competition with anyone.
They can take time off social media if they’re dealing with cyber bullying. Also, keep an eye on what your teens post so that you’ll have an idea of what’s stressing them.
4. Tight schedules
The pressure to shuffle school work with extracurricular activities, developing hobbies and other things stress teens out. They feel overwhelmed sometimes because they try to attain mastery of many things within a short time.
You might find your teen reluctant to do anything and complaining that they’re overwhelmed.
What you should do is to sit down with them and make a draft of their activities in order of priority. You can advise them to drop some activities for a while and focus on others.
Truth be told, family problems are one of the common stressors for teens. It could be financial issues, abuse, or the feeling that their parents don’t understand them. They may also feel pressured to meet the expectations of their parents.
Other family related issues like divorce, sickness of a family member, and domestic violence can stress out a teenager. In fact, it may take a toll on their mental health. So what should you do in such situations?
The first step is having a deep conversation with your teen. Find out if they feel pressured by your expectations or if they’re being abused.
Also, if there’s a marital discord, try as much as possible to prevent your kids from witnessing heated moments with your partner.
If you sense that they’re depressed, please seek an expert’s advice.
6. Poor time management
You may have heard your teens say things like “I don’t have time for anything, I’m late, I’m overwhelmed “. Most times they’re just struggling with managing their time. Other times it could be procrastination.
Teach your teens how to manage their time. Give them deadlines to finish certain things, tell them to take some hours off social media and do other things. Help them make schedules and with time, they’ll learn to manage their time well.
Some other causes of teenage stress include:
- Low self esteem or negative thoughts about themselves.
- An unsafe neighborhood
- Moving or changing schools
- Preparations for an exam
- Lack of sleep
- Body changes and growth
Signs of stress in teens
How do you know that your teen is stressed? What are the noticeable behaviors of stressed teens?
Here are some common signs of stress in teenagers:
- Have trouble sleeping
- Have trouble concentrating
- Develop bad eating habits
- Snap at everyone around them
- Stay to their room almost every time
- Talk as little as possible
- Try to avoid school
- Complain of headaches and body aches
If you notice these symptoms in your teen, have a conversation with them and let them know you’re concerned. If you can’t handle it, see a psychologist.
How Does Stress Affect a Teenager?
Stress affects a teenager by making them tired and unwilling to do anything. Stress puts a strain on their physical, emotional and cognitive health. A stressed thing may be unable to sleep, unnecessarily irritated and gloomy.
They may decide to stay hidden as much as they can too. Adults who are stressed don’t look or act happy. It’s the same for teens, they may even fall sick due to stress.
They’ll get angry over trivial things. Sport activities and even their hobbies may no longer appeal to them.
Their physical health may also go down the hill. Some teens may experience headaches, constipation, nausea and lack of appetite. You may find your teen with puffy eyes meaning they’ve been crying, and a very unkempt appearance.
Stressed teens tend to zone out a lot. They’ll also find it hard to focus or concentrate.
Why Are Teens More Stressed Than Ever?
Teens are more stressed than ever because they feel pressured to combine school work with their social life. They try to do a lot of things at the same time without proper planning. Teens tend to procrastinate a lot and end up being overwhelmed with things.
Poor time management and peer pressure are the most common reasons why teens feel stressed out nowadays. They may get into a lot of bad friendships and face betrayals, hurt, etc.
This is coupled with the fact that some of them have high expectations set by their parents. All these are why teens seem more stressed than ever lately.
How Can I Help My Teen With Stress?
You can help your teens manage stress by listening and talking to them, offering guidance and advice. You should also teach them to make healthier lifestyle choices. Tell your teens how dangerous stress is to their health and help them go through therapy if it’s needed.
If your teen is mainly stressed by school work, you can work out something with the school authorities. If it’s a relationship, you can talk to your teen and their partner.
Traumas and abuse are the hardest to deal with. This will require patience and devotion to help them get through it. For this stage, you definitely need the help of medical experts. You can work together with them to get your teens back to their lively selves.
Final Thoughts on Stressed Teens
Dealing with stressed teens can be challenging, but it’s doable. The key strategy is talking to them first to know exactly what’s stressing them. Once the stressor has been identified, dealing with it becomes easier.
Now, you’ve learnt a lot and you should be able to help your stressed teen.