Resource: Stress Resources from TeenMentalHealth.org

Monthly Resources – April 2023
Published March 23, 2023

Stress Resources from TeenMentalHealth.org

TeenMentalHealth.org is committed to creating inclusive mental health resources, which reflect the many diverse experiences that exist within communities.

Understanding the Stress Response

According to Healthy Stress Management: Understanding the Stress Response from TeenMentalHealth.org healthy ways of managing a specific stress response are to:

  • View it as a challenge to meet or problem to solve
  • Identify the challenge or problem
  • Determine which parts can be changed
  • Accept the parts that cannot be changed
  • View the magnitude of the situation realistically (How big is it?)
  • Acknowledge our feelings about the situation
  • Discuss the problem with trusted listeners
  • Employ solutions – change the parts we can

Generally, certain practices may result in fewer challenges and problems and greater ability to address those that do arise. These practices are:

  • Ensuring that we get plenty of sleep
  • Eating healthy foods
  • Avoid:
    • Foods high in fat
    • Foods high in sugar
    • Alcohol
    • Drugs
  • Engaging in abundant physical activity
  • Scheduling time to fulfill our responsibilities and take care of ourselves

How Not to Bubble Wrap Kids

According to How Not to Bubble Wrap Kids: Learning How to Use Daily Stress to Develop Resilience, from TeenMentalHealth.org:

  • Advertising and other media messages wrongly urge avoidance of stress
  • Stressors – circumstances that challenge us – are chances to learn and grow
  • The stress response is a signal to us that a stressor must be be addressed
  • Positive stress – everyday challenges – could feel uncomfortable, but are positive because they help us learn and grow
  • Tolerable stress results from serious, unwelcome changes to which we can adjust
  • Toxic stress – the only bad kind – is prolonged and extreme

In order to help youth benefit from positive stress, adults can teach them to:

  • View it as a chance to learn and grow
  • Cope effectively, using:
    • Healthy food
    • Exercise
    • Sleep
    • Problem solving skills
    • Social support
  • Do not confuse stress with anxiety!
  • Understand that stress reduction products and techniques do not replace healthy coping!

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