High school can be a very stressful time for you and your teenager. During my teenage years, I was disrespectful to my parents, distant, and blamed them for things that were going on in my life that they had no control over. Teenage hormones, college applications, relationships and simply stress from high school seem to all make for a high level of stress. My parents always did the best they could however, they did not know the best ways to help me reduce my stress and anxiety. I am sure any parents reading this are in the same situation, wanting to help your teenager but not knowing the best ways. If stress isn’t handled it can easily turn into a bigger problem so here we have listed a few ways you can help reduce your teen’s stress.
Exercise. Encourage your teen to get up and do something. Exercise can help better your teen’s mood and help improve their wellbeing. Whether it’s yoga, running, going on a walk, or any other form of exercise, getting up and doing something will help relieve stress. If you are having trouble getting your teen to exercise, try suggesting just a 15-20 minute walk. Just getting up and moving in any way can help reduce stress, help their mood, improve self-confidence, and help improve sleep.
Talk it out. Try to talk to your teenager about what is going on in their life, figure out what they are stressed out about and talk it out. I remember my teenage years and I had so much going on that was stressing me out. Friends, relationships, applying for college, my grades and sports all added to the huge snowball of stress that I was dealing with. If you think that your teenager is taking on too much, maybe try getting them to limit everything they are doing because there is only so much a teenager can handle.
Monitor social media. For myself, social media gives me so much anxiety and it use to add to my depression. It is probably difficult for parents to completely understand why, but social media can have an impact on your teenager’s mental health. Social media has become a platform that allows teenagers to compare themselves to their peers 24 hours a day. After going on Facebook, it is so easy to start feeling like everyone else is accomplishing more than you or that other people have way more friends than you, which can affect the way your teen thinks of themselves and can dramatically lower self worth. This can create a lot of anxiety and depression, which can lead to long-term negative affects. So parents, if your teen seems to be spending a lot of time on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or Tumblr, try to get them to decrease the amount of time they are spending on their.
There are other ways to help reduce your teen’s anxiety, however exercise, talking it out, and limiting time spent on social media seem to be the best and most effective. If none of these suggestions work, try teaching your teenager breathing exercises or any form of meditation. This can help bring some mental clarity and calm them down. Lastly, make sure you keep an open line of communication with your teenager so that they know they can come to you if their stress and anxiety gets to be too much.