Stress is a normal part of life, and it can affect people of all ages, including teenagers. While some stress can be motivating and beneficial, too much stress can have a negative impact on teens’ mental and physical health.

In this blog post, we will discuss the difference between good stress and unhealthy stress, and how they can affect teens. We will also provide tips on how teens can manage stress and cope with difficult situations.

Good stress

Good stress, also known as eustress, is a type of stress that can be motivating and beneficial. For some teenagers, eustress can help them perform their best and achieve their goals. For instance, when preparing for a big test or competing in a sporting event, eustress can help teens to focus and concentrate, which can lead to better performance.

Additionally, managing eustress can help teenagers develop resilience, which is the ability to bounce back from challenges and setbacks. Overall, it’s important for teenagers to recognize that not all stress is bad, and that with the right mindset and approach, stress can be a positive force in their lives.

Unhealthy stress

On the other hand, unhealthy stress, or distress, is a type of stress that can be debilitating and harmful. It can manifest in a variety of ways, including anxiety, depression, and physical health issues.

Among teens, there are many factors that can lead to unhealthy stress, such as academic pressure, social expectations, and family problems. It’s important to recognize the signs of distress and seek help when needed to mitigate its negative effects on wellbeing.

Why Is School So Stressful?

Middle and high school can be a stressful time for students due to various factors. It’s important to identify these stressors and understand how your teen reacts and handles them. Here are a few of the most common:

  • Academic pressure. Teenagers are under a lot of pressure to succeed academically. They are expected to get good grades, take challenging classes, and prepare for college or a career. This pressure can be overwhelming, especially for teenagers who are struggling in school.
  • Social pressure. Teenagers are also under a lot of social pressure. They want to fit in with their peers and be accepted by them. This can lead to stress over things like appearance, popularity, and relationships.
  • Extracurricular activities. Many teenagers participate in extracurricular activities, such as sports, clubs, and after-school jobs. These activities can be enjoyable and rewarding, but they can also be stressful, especially if teenagers are overcommitted.
  • Mental and emotional changes. Teenagers are going through a lot of changes, both physically and emotionally. They are developing their identities, figuring out who they are and what they want to do with their lives. This can be a confusing and stressful time.

In addition to these general stressors, there are a number of other things that can contribute to school stress for teenagers, such as:

  • Bullying. Bullying can be a major source of stress for teenagers. It can make them feel unsafe and anxious at school.
  • Family problems. Family problems, such as divorce, illness, or financial difficulties, can also add to the stress that teenagers are experiencing.
  • Learning disabilities. Teenagers with learning disabilities may face additional challenges in school, which can lead to stress.
  • Mental health problems. Teenagers with mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression, may also experience more stress from school.

How can I help?

To help your teenager cope with school-related stress, it is essential to create a safe and non-judgmental environment where they can express their thoughts, feelings, experiences, and concerns without fear of criticism or reprimand.

One effective way is to start by asking a simple question, “Do you need me to listen and validate, or do you want me to help you think of solutions?” By doing so, you can clarify your expectations and communicate better with your teenager, and additionally, you help them to feel supported and understood, which can, in turn, aid their emotional wellbeing and academic performance.

Here are some other tips that can help you support your teen:

  1. Make homework less stressful by creating a homework schedule, designating a quiet study space, encouraging breaks, and helping your child get started.
  2. Help your teen balance work and school by asking them how they feel about their overall workload and encouraging them to talk to their manager about reducing their hours if needed.
  3. Teach your teen time management skills by helping them plan out their activities, teaching them to break homework and studying for exams into manageable tasks, and showing them how to set realistic goals.
  4. Encourage your teen to build and reach out to a support network of family, friends, and fellow students by pointing them toward positive influences like guidance counselors, teachers, or mentors.
  5. Teach your teen how to handle peer pressure and difficult relationships by teaching them how to establish healthy boundaries in relationships, showing them how to be assertive in communication, and sharing your own experiences with peer pressure.
  6. Practice healthy habits with your teen by practicing deep breathing, helping them get in the habit of journaling, taking small breaks, and spending time outside.
  7. Talk to your teen about school violence by observing their emotional state for signs of anxiety or stress, validating their feelings, talking about the difference between the possibility of violence and the probability of it at their school, and reviewing safety procedures.
  8. Reach out to a therapist for help if you notice your teen withdrawing from peers or family members, starting to drink or use drugs, struggling with symptoms of anxiety in multiple areas of their life, getting into legal trouble, or seeming constantly angry or showing other sudden changes in mood and personality.

Remember that you are not alone in supporting your teen through school stress. There are many resources available to help you and your teen, including specialists and support groups.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. A therapist can teach you and your teen coping skills and help you to manage stress. A support group can provide you with a safe space to talk to other parents who are going through the same thing.

In Homework in a Cafe we are also ready to support you and your child to overcome any struggle you or your child might be facing! Contact us now.

Do you follow us on Social Media?