Managing stress in a healthy way involves building effective coping skills. This can mean helping your child to identify what is causing them stress, and what actions are within their control to manage it. If you're not sure how to relieve stress for your teenager, it can help to talk with them about the following things:
- What are the things causing them stress?
- Is it something they can control, such as feeling unprepared for exams, or is it something outside of their control, such as world events?
- If the cause of the stress is within their control, assure them that there are things they can put in place to help, and that you’ll be there to offer them support.
- Encourage them to write down the things that are within their control and discuss together how they will manage them. For example, if your child is stressed about doing badly at school, help them to identify what they need to do to succeed. You can then make a plan together to help them achieve that result.
Encouraging your child to write down the things that are causing them to feel stressed and then working through them in this structured way will help them become aware of what they can do to keep stress under control, and will give them confidence that they’ll be able to get through stressful times.
You might also want to suggest that your teen consider adopting some mindfulness techniques, including deep breathing or meditation. They can use ReachOut's Breathe app, which guides people through a controlled breathing exercise, as a starting point. If their anxiety seems to go beyond normal feelings of stress, you might consider encouraging them to see a medical professional.
You can also suggest that your child look up our mega list of stress reduction strategies for teens on ReachOut.com, and choose some techniques that will work best for them.