Fight, Flight, and Stress: Tips for Parents to Help Teen Stress

Fight, Flight, and Stress: Tips for Parents to Help Teen Stress

Humans are highly advanced beings. Most of the time, when our systems work correctly, we don’t even notice them – every moment of our lives is guided by more processes than we could ever consciously keep track of. Heartbeat. Breathing. Blinking. Aside from the times that these actions are pointed out (as they are in the previous sentence, for instance), we don’t usually feel them. One such process is our response to threats – as a species, it is an incredibly useful advantage. When something threatens us, our bodies instantaneously release a cocktail of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, that help us be more focused and react faster. Unfortunately, human bodies are not so advanced to have the power to distinguish life-threatening situations from the pressures of everyday life. Over time, the little factors of life can combine into teen stressteen stress

Taking a test or asking someone out are hardly truly “dangerous” situations – however they can take a toll on the body and mind. If left unaddressed, teen stress can lead to various problems and exacerbate many other issues. Mental illness, for example, can be severely worsened by teen stress; in some cases, teen stress can even spark the mental illness. Teen stress has numerous potential symptoms including: memory problems, anxiety, reckless behavior (a consequence of poor judgement), moodiness, irritability, withdrawing from others, lowered immunity, and even substance use.

Ways to Help to Teen Stress

There are many tips to help a teen deal with stress – however, they all depend on the situation and the person. Different people are stressed by different things; similarly, every person has their own coping mechanisms.

There is no single catch-all guide to assist in every situation. On the bright side, though, the general suggestions can often point to the severity of the problem and guide a parent to either helping their teen at home (if the issue isn’t too severe) or contacting a professional (if the problem gets out of hand).

As a parent, the most important way to help your child is to talk to them. By building bonds and making your child feel safe, you encourage them to approach you with their struggles. Remember to support your child and be kind; at the end of the day, their health matters more than grades. It can also help to set a routine with a healthy diet, plentiful sleep, and regular exercise; a vicious cycle can occur otherwise, since stress often causes shifts in healthy patterns, while shifts in healthy patterns can by themselves cause stress. Leading a positive lifestyle has other benefits as well – the old adage about healthy minds being in healthy bodies frequently proves to be true, especially for smaller issues.

If your teen is struggling with depression, stress, or some other mental health struggle, consider ViewPoint Center as an option for your teen to get the treatment they need. ViewPoint Center is a teen assessment center for young people ages 12-17. ViewPoint offers a comprehensive diagnostic assessment followed by treatment.

For more information about ViewPoint Center, please call 801-825-5222 today!


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