Managing Personal Stress

For Teens Only!

All of these ideas can lower stress without doing any harm. None are quick fixes, but they will lead you toward a healthy and successful life. Think about what makes you feel good and what you can do to cope with life’s pressures.

Tackling the Problem
Point 1: Figure out what the problem is and make it manageable.

A lot of people deal with problems by ignoring them. This does not make them go away; usually they just get worse.

People who try to fix their problems tend to be emotionally healthier.

When it comes to work (like studying or chores), the best way to enjoy yourself is to get the work done first. Sometimes people say they will do fun things first and do their work later, but the problem is they’re having less fun because they’re worrying about the work they’re ignoring. And of course, the longer they put it off, the more they worry.

Fights with parents and friends don’t go away unless you deal with what upset you in the first place, or unless everyone says they’re sorry and decides to forgive each other.

Two ideas can help you manage a lot of work.

Break the work into small pieces. Then just do one small piece at a time, rather than look at the whole huge mess. As you finish each piece, the work becomes less overwhelming.

Make lists of what you need to do. This will help you sleep because your head won’t spin with worry about whether you can do everything. At the end of the day, you will have less to worry about as you check off the things you have finished. You will look at the same huge amount of homework and say to yourself, “I can do this!”

Point 2: Avoid things that bring you down.

Sometimes we know exactly when we are headed for trouble. Avoiding trouble from a distance is easier than avoiding it up close. You know the people who might be a bad influence on you. You know the places where you’re likely to get in trouble. You know the things that upset you. Choose not to be around those people, places, and things that mess you up.

Point 3: Let some things go.

It’s important to try to fix problems, but sometimes there’s nothing you can do to change a situation. For example, you can’t change the weather, so don’t waste your energy worrying about it. You can’t change the fact that teachers must give tests, so start studying instead of complaining about how unfair they are. People who waste their energy worrying about things they can’t change don’t have enough energy left over to fix the things they can.

For more information visit www.healthychildren.org

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