11 Tips to Help Teens Reduce Stress

Believe it or not, teens actually have a lot to be stressed out over. For example, bad hair (don’t laugh), lost homework, peer pressure, losing their favorite shirt, exam today, etc.

The biggest challenge in reducing stress is recognizing when you’re feeling it, and what’s causing it. Here are a few tips for teens to reduce the stress in their life:

1. Identify symptoms of anxiety
What is it that you’re worrying about? What is that voice in your head warning you of? Learn to catch yourself when a nervous habit kicks in, like nail-biting, finger-tapping, etc.

2. Ask for help
Don’t try to handle everything on your own. Either get help, or delegate some responsibility to someone else.

3. Plan ahead
Map out what you plan to do about things before they happen.

4. Learn what relaxes you
We all have things that calm us down, like reading, walking, talking with a friend, etc. Find out what does it for you, and use it when you are feeling stressed.

5. Figure out the blame
Taking responsibility and laying blame are two different things. Responsibility says, “I didn’t do well this time, because I didn’t study enough.” Blame says, “I can’t believe I failed! I’m so stupid!” Optimists take responsibility, pessimists blame.

6. Get rest and nourishment
A major cause of stress is lack of sleep, and unhealthy eating habits.

7. Get those emotions out
A good way of relieving stressful feelings is to write them down in a journal or diary. If you don’t have one, try writing a letter to yourself… penned up emotions will make you feel worse and worse as time goes on.

8. Make reasonable boundaries for yourself
We need to make high goals for ourselves, but be careful not to make _unattainable_ goals. Set realistic things that are challenging to achieve, but not impossible. You’ll find that the more you accomplish, the better you’ll feel.

9. Set priorities
What does your “to-do” list look like? Take out the garbage. Finish that homework. Study for the test. Read the book for a report. Practice that musical instrument. Run so you are conditioned for the game. Do some volunteer work. Shop for new school clothes.

Listen, not everything is equally important. Figure out what is the most immediate, important need, and do that first. Then take the next important, and so on. Sometimes it’s best to put off till tomorrow so you can manage today.

10. Get physical
No matter how you’re feeling, or how much is on your plate, make time to exercise. Seriously. No, I mean it… get off the couch and go get active! Exercise releases natural chemicals into your body that make you feel more alive, vibrant, healthy and better about yourself!

11. PRAY!
Without question, the greatest help in relieving stress is to ask God for help through prayer. When you speak to the Prince of Peace, He will remove your anxiety and fear.

Author: Jay Jones

Jay is an author, veteran church planter, speaker, and the pastor of the Pentecostals of Kentwood. He's a passionate worshipper of Jesus Christ, a husband, daddy, pastor, and a ‘pretty good guy’. Jay is also an ordained minister of the United Pentecostal Church, where he currently serves as a Presbyter in West Michigan.

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