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Chantigian 1 Siobhan Chantigian Mr. Duerr English 12 7 January 2013 Teen Stress, Easily Fixed? What causes stress?

These are things called stressors and teenager’s lives seem to be full of them. Teens will eventually be running the world and if they can’t deal with stress then who will be one’s surgeon, one’s politician, and one’s police officer? Why are these teens so stressed and what are ways to combat stress socially, physically, and mentally? Stress levels in teens are very high because they have a plethora of stressors. Their stress can come from schoolwork, sports, home life, future plans, and work, but these are just a few basic examples. Teenagers are beginning to learn how the world truly works. They are trying to find out how they will fit into this big blue earth. Figuring out what they want to do with their lives is a gigantic decision that is pushed into only a couple of years this causes the stress levels to go through the roof. In the classroom they are being challenged more every day, and the changes aren’t eased upon them, but suddenly thrust upon their shoulders. Many teens don’t know how much schoolwork they can handle until they have tried it. Many tend bite off more than they can chew. With the classwork becoming increasingly difficult more responsibility is shown to teens from teachers, coaches, bosses, and their families. Without good ways to handle stress it can become too much for teens.

Chantigian 2 In order to deal with tasks that are causing teens anxiety, teens assume that they are supposed to cut out all of their social time. On the contrary, social interaction has been found to be extremely beneficial when dealing with stress. Engaging in conversation provides a distraction, an escape from their stressors, and it can give teens a sense of belonging, a feeling that is commonly lacking in a pressured environment. Talking about stress can be really relaxing for people because instead of bottling up emotions they are released in a non-harmful way. Support groups are one way of socially connecting with people and have been proven to be really successful. A famous research project from Stanford found that many of their cancer patients ended living twice as long when the patients participated in a support group than if they were a part of the control group. (Mayo Clinic). (Tucker-Ladd). Being healthy and being physically active greatly relieve stress; many little things once incorporated into a routine become habit. Eating healthy combats stress by providing human beings with the nutrients they need to combat stress on a chemical level. Fruit and vegetables help improve the intake of nutrients for the immune system. When people are engulfed in stressful situations they are more prone to infection, so foods rich in vitamin C are necessary. A good source of this is in citrus fruits. When people worry, vitamin B is consumed at a faster rate than normal. Vitamin B is what keeps emotions from going awry, so in order to combat stress it is necessary to get a good deal of this vitamin. An excellent source of this vitamin is oatmeal. Something to avoid is caffeine because caffeine produces adrenaline; this adrenaline causes the heart to speed up, causing a very similar

Chantigian 3 physical reaction to stress. After a prolonged use of caffeine, addiction begins and large amounts of adrenaline in the body lead to more significant amounts of stress. Usage of caffeine over a long period of time causes the user to be more tired and will cause a crashing effect. Along with eating healthier, exercising is very important. Exercising causes an increase in oxygen to the brain and it has been found to be very relaxing. Changing one’s diet and exercising has been proven to reduce stress and it is one of the easiest methods of doing so. (Joseph). (PCRM). There are three main ways one’s brain is able to cope with stress. One is repressive coping, completely ignoring the problem and all stressors. This one is not very helpful in accordance to stress because ignoring things that one needs to do causes them to build up. It reinforces your fear of the stressor provoking it to multiply and expand and become more of a problem. One of the more useful ways of coping is called rational coping. This includes facing the stressor head on and working to overcome it. This method contains three different steps, acceptance, exposure, and understanding. Nobody can escape all of life’s stressors; accepting stressors are an essential step in coping. Exposure to a certain stressor reduces the weight of it and can reduce its affect as a stressor. By understanding why the stressor stresses one out, it is easier to proceed in overcoming it and moving on with their lives. Applying that rational coping method helps one truly tackle the stressor head on and conquer it. A third way of dealing with stressors is rethinking these stressors as to eventually reduce their threat. This is called reframing. This method is very helpful if people apply it to inescapable stressors. If teens reframe thoughts about their stress, they will become more relaxed while dealing with the

Chantigian 4 stress. Reframing doesn’t hit the issue as head on as in rational coping, but it does produce results. Some examples of reframing include thinking about a topic in a more positive manner and using a positive mantra. These help humans’ brains adjust to a more positive and realistic point of view, which in turn calms the mind down. (Gilbert). (Tucker-Ladd). Since everyone deals with stress in a completely different way, a stress panacea doesn’t exist. Many of these solutions work differently with each person. Using many of these solutions together will cause better results than using just one alone. Overall one of the easiest ways to reduce stress on a daily level is to control what foods and vitamins go into the body and to exercise. A great option that encompasses this idea is joining a sport because teens would benefit from both the social and physical sides of this option. A more direct and useful tactic is just to think about stress a different way. Stress helps one get stuff done in a timely fashion and gives people some drive. Large amounts of stress are an enormous problem in the teen population and many teens don’t know how to control it. The solutions are numerous and many are not difficult. Once teens know how to manage stress and work to control it, these teens can achieve great feats.

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Works Cited Gilbert, Daniel, Daniel Schacter, and Daniel Wegner. Psychology. 2nd ed. Ed. Charles Linsmeier. New York: Worth Publishers, 2011. Print. Joseph, Ray. “Ray Joseph’s Notebook: Observations on the Phenomenon of Depression” The Consumer's Medical Journal 24 (2010): n. pag. Web. 8 Dec. 2013. Mayo Clinic. Stress Relievers Tips to Tame Stress. MC, 2013. Web. 12 Dec. 2013. Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. How to Eat Right to Reduce Stress. PCRM, n.d. Web. 12 Dec. 2013. Tucker-Ladd, Dr. Clay. “Psychological Self Help”. Psych Central, 2013. Web. 6 Dec. 2013.