Why are Teens so Stressed?

by | Aug 11, 2023 | Uncategorized

If we don’t take time to process and cope with being stressed healthily, it can have long-term consequences for our lives.

What Is Stress?

Being stressed is a normal reaction to challenging situations. It is our body’s natural way of responding to various life and environmental events. It is something that everyone experiences, no matter how old or young they are. The amount and type of stress people feel is different for everyone, but it is typically caused by the pressure of expectations or deadlines in our school and work lives. 

Why Are Teens/Young Adults So Stressed?

It’s no surprise that teens are feeling pressure from many sources; stressors for teens could include local and global issues, as well as typical teenage growing-up challenges. On a local level, peer pressure and bullying can lead to anxiety and feelings of isolation. On a more widespread level, news stories about climate change, poverty, and social issues can feel particularly scary for teens. Additionally, the everyday struggles of teens, such as academic pressures and family stressors, can take a toll on their mental and emotional well-being. With all these worries, is it any wonder teens are feeling overwhelmed?

Teens and young adults often face increased levels of stress due to their increased academic and work responsibilities. Many students are taking full course loads in HS and College. They also have to manage after-school activities, jobs, and social lives. For young adults these varying and important events can cause a great deal of stress.

This is not to mention the pandemic, which in recent years has wreaked havoc on young people. According to the American Psychological Association (APA) yearly survey about stress, In 2020 it was shown how profoundly teens and young adults were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Their survey shows that Gen Z teens (ages 13-17) and Gen Z adults (ages 18-23) faced unprecedented uncertainty, stress, and anxiety due to the pandemic. 

What Are the Signs of Stress and Anxiety Due to School and Work?

When people are overwhelmed with stress or anxiety, they usually display physical, emotional, and behavioral signs that indicate to them and those around them that there is something wrong. These signs include;

  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Changes in appetite.

Other signs of stress and anxiety at school and work are not physical but rather changes in behavior, which include procrastination, avoidance of certain tasks, worrying excessively, and difficulty making decisions. Not to mention stress and anxiety cause us to be irritable and lash out more often, which puts our relationships at risk. 

Why Being Stressed Is a Problem

Teens need to remember that stress can be managed and the way we manage stress can determine our future well-being. If we don’t take time to process and cope with our stress healthily, it can have long-term consequences and lead to mental and physical health problems down the road. Taking steps to manage stress in the present moment can help reduce anxiety, improve relationships, and allow us to live more fulfilling lives.

Stress and anxiety at work and school can significantly interfere with our academic and/or job performance. Not to mention the numerous health effects and behavioral changes noted above, stress and anxiety at school and/or at work is a problem because of how much damage it can do to our future. If we cannot manage stress and anxiety in our formative years, we risk it breaking us down and knocking us off a good path toward a better future. 

How Students and Young Adults Can Manage Being Stressed

  1. Take breaks: Make sure to set aside time throughout the day to rest and relax.

2. Stay organized: Keeping a planner or schedule to help manage tasks can help reduce stress and anxiety.

3. Practice mindfulness: Taking a few moments of solitude each day to practice breathing exercises or meditate can reduce stress and improve focus.

4. Develop a good sleep routine: Getting enough sleep is essential for managing stress.

5. Exercise regularly: Exercise is effective at reducing stress and improving mood.

6. Connect with friends and family: Connecting with people you trust and care about can help reduce stress and anxiety.

7. Seek professional help: If stress and anxiety become too difficult to manage, it may be time to seek out professional help from a psychologist or therapist. Here you can find BBG’s resources.

Stress and anxiety at school and work is a real problem that affects many students and young adults. By recognizing the signs and symptoms of stress and anxiety, and developing strategies to cope with it, students and young adults can reduce their levels of stress and anxiety and we can live healthier, happier lives.

Personal Example of Stress

When I was a teen, I was just learning how to manage my stress in healthy ways. I joined a local group to discuss mental health topics such as stress, anxiety, and depression. I found the discussions to be both helpful and free, as I was able to talk openly and honestly without feeling judged or ashamed. I also realized that some stressors are out of my control, and as such I have learned to accept them. I learned to control my stress through exercise, journaling, and mindfulness practices–all of which have helped me cope with the pressures of being a teenager in today’s world. It’s been inspiring for me to go through my journey, and I’m so proud of my determination and resilience in the face of life’s challenges. You can too!

A Video I Liked

In this Ted Talk, Michaela Horn, a teenage mental health advocate, talks about her own experience with the unique stressors that come with being a teen. She draws from her own experiences and research and discusses how the pressure to achieve, with internal negative self-talk, can lead to issues of stress. She also mentions how anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem in on the rise in teens. She suggests techniques such as mindfulness and practicing gratitude to combat stress and create a more positive and receptive environment for teens.

What’s your thinking?

Now that you know more about stress and anxiety at school or work, let’s take a moment to answer some questions about this blog.

Your responses to the questions provided at the end of the post are anonymous and your identity is not collected. We only ask for the information you are comfortable providing and respect your privacy. Thank you for contributing your valuable insight!

About Nasser Albaqqal

Nasser Albaqqal is a 22 year old immigrant from Yemen who has been working with BBG since 2022. A graduate of San Jose State University, he is passionate about empowering individuals, families, and organizations to bounce back from the effects of toxic stress and trauma. His goal is to spread knowledge and understanding about the power of resilience and provide practical tools and resources to help people rid themselves of bad habits as a response to stress. Through the work he does, Nasser hopes to create content and blogs that not only meet the needs of the audience, but also helps them build and launch long-term successful recoveries.

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