Monday, September 1, 2014

YAB teens are talking about stress and anxiety.

Teens are heading off to school and that can carry some stress and anxiety.  Teens today are dealing more pressure than ever before and many hold onto the stress and internalize the pressures.  YAB teens want to encourage their peers to open up, find support and deal with their stress.  Everyone is feeling it and you are not alone. 

Q.  How many teens do you think deal with a high level of stress or anxiety?

Teens Answer:
  • At least half!
  • I think that most to ALL teenagers deal with high stress and anxiety
  • All teens deal with stress and anxiety at some point.
  • I think every single teen deals with a high level of stress and anxiety during high school.
Q.  How do you think most teens cope with their stress?

Teens Answer:
  • Some in healthy ways like exercise or music, but many may try to handle it through drinking or smoking in order to “forget” their stressors.
  • Some talk about it, but not in healthy ways.  Put things off and procrastinate.  Some will turn to dangerous things thinking it will “relieve” their stress.
  • I think a lot of teens try to cope with their stress in an unhealthy way.  It’s a hard thing to deal with and leads to bad decisions like drinking, smoking and breaking down.
  • Some teens cope with stress by doing activities the enjoy, but for the most part, teens just aren’t sure how to cope.
  • I think most teens hold a lot of their feelings and emotions in until can’t anymore and eventually have an emotional breakdown.  I think some teens also take it out on other people without realizing it.
  • There are good healthy ways to deal with stress such as exercise.  And, there are unhealthy ways to cope and most often teens who choose to deal with their stress in an unhealthy manner will resort to drugs and alcohol.
Q.  How do you deal with stress?  Is there someone you can talk to?

Teens Answer:
  • To cope with stress, I read, do yoga and play basketball.  I also am able to talk to my Mom and my friends.
  • I try to slow down and think of everything I need to do or how I can relieve the stress.  I run and play sports.  I can also talk to my parents and friends.
  • I cope with stress with running or playing music.  Running vies me time to blow off steam and music enables me to relax.  I have a few close friends I talk to and my parents and sister as well.
  • I take a break from whatever I am doing and watch an episode of TV to take my mind off of things.  I can talk to my friends and family when I am stressed about something.
  • I talk to my friends and family.  It’s nice to hear that sometimes they have or are going through the same things!
  • I listen to music.  I try to finish or deal with whatever is stressing me out.  I can talk to my family a little but they just don’t understand, and my friends are going through stresses too and I don’t want to stress them out more.
  • I try to exercise because I’ve heard that it is supposed to help.  Also, I like to write things down, such as why I am stressed ,and try to collect my thoughts and feelings in order to cope with it.  I prefer to reassure myself when I am stressed because I stress out myself…. Others really don’t stress me out.
  • When I am stressed, I talk to my parents because they can always calm me down and help me deal with whatever is stressing me out.  If I am feeling really stressed and overwhelmed, sometimes I have a breakdown.  I find that once in a while it helps to just cry and let it all out.

Q.  What do you think can happen if a teen doesn’t have an outlet, someone to talk to or a way to cope with their stress?

Teens Answer:
  • They might bottle it up inside and the stress will build and get to them.  They may turn to drugs or alcohol.
  • If a teen doesn’t have an outlet, they will probably start looking for one and may turn to drugs or alcohol.  They could also become depressed.
  • I think THIS is when teens make unhealthy choices and resort to dangerous behaviors, and use drugs or alcohol.
  • I think it can cause anger or depression if you don’t have an outlet.  Their grades and friendships might begin to fall apart, creating even more stress and anxiety.

Q.  What would you tell a friend or someone you know who is having a hard time coping with their stress?

  • I would tell them to talk with someone and try to help them brainstorm different things they could do to relieve their stress.
  • I would empathize with them and let them know that there is nothing wrong with being stressed.  I would tell them that I am available to help as an outlet and try to offer some healthy ways to cope with their stress.
  • I would recommend talking to someone.  Holding onto everything inside does not help at all and it feels really good to talk to someone about how you are feeling.
  • I would encourage them to find something they enjoy doing, to take a break and to talk with someone who can help them deal with it.
  • I would tell them to talk to someone about it, write down what is making them stressed and see if it can be solved.  I would encourage them to seek professional help if it’s very bad.
Q.  How do you think Parents can help their teen deal with stress or anxiety?

  • Give them some space…. and let their children know that they are there for them.  If they sense there is some stress, maybe take them out for a distraction with something fun, like a movie.
  • They can help by discussing the problem their teen may be facing. They can help by not adding to their stress, since Parents can be a major factor towards a teens’ stress.
  • Parents should try to understand their situation and what they go through every day and how they are feeling.
  • Parents should not always pressure their teens to get stuff done so much and realize that they are still kids and need a break sometimes.
  • Parents can just be there for their kids.  They shouldn’t pressure their kids to talk about anything, but they should be there if their kids’ need to and when they want to talk.
  • They need to reduce the pressure and stress that they put on their teens.  We are very aware of the stressors in our lives.  Parents should just act as a source of comfort and outlet for their teens.
  • I think Parents can take the time to listen to their teen and try to be more understanding during stressful times.