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Teenage Stress

“Contrary to our current cultural system of expectations, the human being should not be able to do 50 million things with poise and grace.”
People are expected to be able to do basically everything accurately and thoroughly, and that is impossible. Almost everyone has felt nervous before a test, or exhausted after an overload of homework. Teenage stress is a very real problem, which if not handled correctly, can have very real consequences. If you learn to manage your stress correctly you are a huge step closer to being able to manage your life correctly.
Stress is a reaction to certain chemicals in your brain. These chemicals are released at different times due to different situations. Chemicals such as serotonin, noradrenalin, and dopamine are essential to the mind. If any of these are transferred in abnormal amounts, stress may occur.
Serotonin regulates the mind’s “body clock”. It tells us when we are tired, or hungry, or when it is time to wake up. Noradrenalin controls our energy levels. When the amount of noradrenalin transferred quickens or lessens dramatically we may be jittery or exhausted. Finally, there is dopamine. Dopamine is the chemical which controls enjoyment. It allows us to find joy in everyday things such as taste, smell, and touch.
There are four types of stress, although some aren’t negative. Eustress is short-term stress which can cause an immediate burst of strength. This strength helps to complete the stress-causing activity. Distress is negative stress which is caused typically by adjustments to routine. Hyperstress occurs when you are pushed beyond your capability, and hypostress is caused by boredom or being unchallenged.
Distress is both the most common and most negative type of stress, and will be the main focus of the paper. There are two types of distress, which are normative and pathological. Normative stress is caused by everyday things, such as schoolwork or social relations, and pathological stress is caused by environments, troubled pasts, or a struggling home life.
Teenage stress and adult stress can be both similar and different. Their symptoms are similar, but they tend to be near opposites when it comes to causes and solutions. Girls are typically more affected by stress than boys. Girls handle stress by seeking help from others, but boys normally respond by ignoring the stressor and trying to avoid it. 20% of adolescents meet criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder.
Teens are typically more aware of external causes of stress than interior causes. External causes of stress are schoolwork, overexertion, or parental problems. Internal causes of stress are more complex, and are things such as poor health, and low self esteem.
There are three stages of stress reaction. First you go through the alarm reaction, which is when adrenaline flows to your brain and blood rate quickens. Then you have resistance, where you fight or react to the stressor in an attempt to stop it. Finally, you may deal with exhaustion, which is the ending reaction where you feel fatigued and ultimately give in.
Stress may be caused due to difficult tasks that are asked of you day to day. Examples of these difficult tasks include academic demands, moving houses or schools, financial problems within the family, and overexertion. Other stressful situations include negative self image, physical changes (puberty), social problems, dangerous living environments, death of loved ones, and/or family separation.
Stress affects the majority of students. 78% of students admit to getting “stressed out” by schoolwork and/or parental figures. Also, 64% of students say they have had to deal with stress due to romantic relationships (or lack thereof), friendship problems, and/or siblings.
Stress can be caused by simple, day to day problems. Some of these problems include just burning the toast you were making for breakfast, the dog chewing up your paper you stayed up all night to finish, problems at school or work, or just life in general. Even the smallest, most general things can cause stress.
Substances that we put into our body have an effect on stress too. If you have poor eating habits, you may be more susceptible to stress. Another that can have a negative effect on stress levels is drug use. On the other hand, though, withdrawal from a drug addiction has been known to cause stress also.
Stress can cause problems with both current and future health. These effects can be either negative or positive, but most tend to be negative. Some of the basic effects of stress include anxiety, isolation, and aggression.
The direct effects of stress are easily noticeable. You might have a quicker and irregular heart and breathing rate, increased blood flow, and cold or clammy hands. Another effect could be an upset stomach or sense of dread. Overall, these effects are simple to overcome compared to the long-term effects.
The physical effects to stress can be quite impacting. Stress may make you more immune to illness, such as common cold or flu, and has even been known to be the leading cause of ulcers. It can also cause serious problems later on in your life. These problems may include heart disease, high blood pressure, asthma, and diabetes.
Stress also has effects on your mental health. Short term, stress can take away pleasure in everyday activities. In the long run, though, it can cause severe depression. It has also been known to play a role in many suicides.
There are a few quick-fix solutions to stress which could be helpful to you or someone you know who deals with stress. These include visualizing how to solve your stressor, not worrying too much about things, and deep breathing techniques. Also, you should try to reflect on the stressor and choose how to solve it.
Another selection of solutions can be more peaceful and tranquil solutions. It is recommended to have a quiet place where you can meditate or just curl up and read. You can try chamomile tea, which has all-natural soothing and relaxing ingredients. Also you could practice yoga, take a trip to a beach or just your local spa, get away from your home/school/job, or try to organize a little bit more.
Some solutions to teenage stress are more reliable and well known than others. Some of these sure-fire solutions to combat stress include having a group of close and stable friends, getting regular and healthy sleep, taking breaks during stressful events, and not taking on excess activities when you are already overworked. You should avoid major changes during stressful periods, maintain a healthy diet, and exercise. Some good stress-relieving exercises include taking a walk through a park or timber, or a bike ride with a friend.
Parents can help you control your stress by taking simple actions. These actions can include monitoring the effect stress might have on your health and behavior, listening and watching for overexertion, and supporting social involvement. Most of all, they should model healthy stress managemen.
There is a lot of information about stress out there. The most important thing to remember, though, is to find a solution that fits you and your stress and stick with it. Stress affects millions of teens worldwide, but it can be helped. Remember, next time you are cramming for that exam tomorrow or stressing about a fight between friends, relax! Stress happens; you just have to know how to stay in control.





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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

Alexis R. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 8, 2010 at 6:19 pm
I don't expect you to read all of it, but it's there!
 
Ineedmesomelexilove replied...
Apr. 20, 2010 at 12:32 pm
Very well thought out. I thought you said you couldn't write that well? :P
 
BrainsANDBeauty This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Apr. 20, 2010 at 5:49 pm
I bet you didn't really read it, though.  There's a bunch of typos.  :P  I can't write very well.
 
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