Teen Stress 101: Tips and Strategies for Success Objectives Following completion of this training, you will be able to: • • • • Define stress and the various types of stress Identify sources of stress Evaluate sources of stress in your life Identify positive strategies for coping and managing stress What is Stress? How would you define stress? Stress can be defined as… …a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or upset your balance in some way. Basically…the point when things appear to be too much to handle Stress…Does this really apply to me??? Many medical and health organizations have conducted studies on teen stress and found the following… The American Psychological Association found that: • 49% of teens reported having experienced stress • 43% of these teens reported experiencing fatigue, headaches and other physical ailments • 39% of teens admitted that stress negatively impacts their eating habits More than one type of stress…Yikes?! Did you know there are different types of stress? The three types of stress include: • Environmental • Physical • Psychological Environmental Stress… What is Environmental Stress? …pressure on the environment caused by human activities or natural events What are some examples of Environmental Stress you can come up with? Examples: Pollution Droughts Smog Physical Stress… What is Physical Stress? …a biological response to factors which can negatively impact your overall health What are some examples of Physical Stress you can come up with? Examples: Malnutrition Heat Inactivity Psychological Stress… What is Psychological Stress? …a biological response to factors which can negatively impact your overall mental and emotional health What are some examples of Psychological Stress you can come up with? Examples: Relationships Deployment Loss Stressors…What are those? Stressors are defined as… … stimuli that cause stress Basically…those things that cause you to get stressed out Stressors can be both positive or negative depending on the event or situation What are your stressors? All of us have things that cause us to feel more stressed; those things that cause our hearts to pound, palms to sweat and butterflies in our stomach. What are some stressors in your life? What other teens have to say about stress… Often times we can feel alone when dealing with our stress. Many teens report experiencing stress in their everyday lives. Listen to what other teens have to say about causes of their stress and what they do to cope with things. Watch: Teenagers and Stress video Physical Reactions to Stress Since stress is a natural biological reaction, when we experience stress we may also experience physical symptoms. Physical reactions to stress can include: Headaches Sleeplessness Stomachaches Loss of Appetite What are some other physical reactions you can think of? Emotional Reactions to Stress Just as our bodies experience physical reactions to stress, we can also experience emotional reactions. Emotional reactions to stress can include: Depression Increased Fears/Worry Difficulty Concentrating Greater Anxiety What are some other emotional reactions you can think of? Stress in Others: Warning Signs Everyone is impacted by stress at some point in their day…week…life. Being able to recognize stress in others can help us as we learn to communicate with them, collaborate with them and help them. Those around us may exhibit the following signs of stress: • • • • • • Being very quiet/withdrawn Easily aggravated or quick to anger Oversight of assignments, tasks and/or duties Appearing to be very worried or anxious Crying or having feelings of hopelessness Complaints of headaches, stomachaches or general tiredness Team Activity Now that we have a better understanding of the physical and emotional impacts stress has on our lives, your mission is to work as a team to create a poster or visual representation of what stress ‘looks like’ to you. Some things to keep in mind as you work: 1. 2. 3. 4. This is a TEAM activity…everyone participates What do I feel like when I am stressed? What do I look like when I am stressed? Once every group has finished, we will share with the other teams Stress: It Won’t Control Me! Since avoiding stress is not practical in life, learning positive stress management strategies allows us to cope with stress. -> Managing our stress, not our stress managing us! How do your peers cope? In this next video, you will see how two teens implement positive stress management strategies to cope with things in their lives. Watch: Teenagers and Stress – Part 2 video Stress Management Strategies There are many positive strategies for managing stress. Some of those strategies include: Exercise regularly (at least 60 minutes of moderate activity each day) Get proper amounts of sleep (est. 8-9 hours each night) Eat healthy Avoid illegal drugs, alcohol and tobacco Decrease negative self-talk Learn to accept compliments; feel proud of achievements Set goals – break tasks into smaller segments Don’t be afraid to ‘walk away’ and take a ‘breather’ during challenging situations • Find a trusted individual to talk with • Utilize deep breathing and positive mantras: “I can handle this…” or “I will not let this get me down…” • • • • • • • • Stress: Lifelines for Others In addition to practicing our own positive stress management techniques, we can also help others experiencing stress by: • • • • • Encouraging them to talk about things Suggest they listen to their favorite music Recommend they help others; volunteer to help others Encourage them to eat healthy and get plenty of exercise Partner up with each other and work on fun projects or activities What additional strategies would you suggest? Stress and Military Life While being a part of the military community is definitely something to be very proud of, it does come with unique challenges your civilian peers do not experience. What are some challenges you have experienced as a result of being part of the military community? Are there specific stressors you have experienced that your civilian peers have not? What are those? How did you cope with those stressors or overcome those challenges? Team Activity For the following activity, you will be working in teams. Your team will need to complete the following tasks: • Share copies of the book My Story: Blogs by Four Military Teens • Read the blog about your assigned teen • Answer the following questions (on your activity sheet): ▫ ▫ ▫ ▫ What stressors could you identify for this teen? What positive management strategies is he/she using? What additional management strategies would you suggest? What is your team’s biggest ‘Take Away’ after completing this activity? Why? Team Activity – Report Out • What stressors could you identify for this teen? • What positive management strateg(ies) is he/she using? • What additional management strategies would you suggest? • What is your team’s biggest ‘Take Away’ after completing this activity? Why? • Additional team thoughts?? Session ‘Take-Aways’ Stress is something everyone experiences in life…while we can’t escape it, we CAN learn to positively manage it. Important things to remember include: • Stress is a normal, biological function • Stress can be positively managed with practice and persistence • Everyone reacts differently to stress – that is okay • Being proactive, living a healthy lifestyle and learning to accept those things we cannot change are all examples of positive stress management strategies Objectives Following completion of this training, you will be able to: • • • • Define stress and the various types of stress Identify sources of stress Evaluate sources of stress in your life Identify positive strategies for coping and managing stress Questions What questions are there at this time?