Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Monday 20 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Andrew Kim Taegon and Companions
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

Got a stressed-out teen? Here’s how to help


Polya_olya - Shutterstock

Javier Fiz Pérez - published on 10/10/18

Some stress is normal, but be attentive to signs of a more serious problem.

Teenagers tend to want to project an aura of self-confidence, and they like to appear as if they feel sure about themselves and what they’re thinking and doing. But experience shows that this isn’t at all the case for most youngsters. On the contrary, there are plenty of specific situations that cause them great stress. These include academic demands and failures; self-doubt and negative thoughts about themselves; changes in their body throughout puberty; their parents’ problems, including fights, tension, and separation; and an overload of activities and commitments — just to name a few of the primary stressors they report.

One thing to realize as parents is that we shouldn’t expect our children to explain to us what they’re stressed about, because they themselves probably don’t know what’s going on, or may not always be able to articulate what’s wrong. Serene objectivity, self-knowledge, clarity, and openness aren’t the hallmarks of adolescence. Therefore, we must pay close attention to their behavior and attitudes: these will almost always reveal whether or not their development is right on track and things are well, or if they’re facing problematic stressors.

The following symptoms may indicate excessive stress is present and needs to be addressed:

  • Exhaustion, chronic tiredness, and frequently not feeling well
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability and negativity
  • Excessive self-criticism
  • Feelings of being targeted, singled out, or even harassed and persecuted
  • Cynicism
  • A tendency to be taking excessive risks constantly

These practices and behaviors can help reduce adolescent stress:

  • Healthy sports and exercise
  • A balanced diet
  • Avoiding excess caffeine, which can cause agitation and exacerbate anxiety
  • Avoiding harmful drugs as well as alcohol and nicotine, including e-cigarettes
  • Decreasing negative views and self-image.
  • Empowerment through maximizing positive thoughts and setting concrete goals with small achievable steps
  • Resting from situations that cause stress with relaxing activities such as listening to music, talking with a friend, drawing, writing, or spending time with a pet
  • Having friends who can help deal with situations in a positive way

Adolescence is complicated and full of uncertainty. If we want to see the adolescents in our families and communities build their lives in a positive way, it’s essential to provide them, in their families and educational settings, with positive encouragement, healthy principles, wholesome values, and noble ideals that will motivate them to fight for something worthwhile – for their own good and the good of others. This can help your teen become an anxiety-buster!


Read more:
New study about teens’ smartphone use shows alarming trends


Read more:
Why we need to stop pressuring teens to act like adults


Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Domitille Farret d'Astiès
Attacked with acid as a baby, Anmol Rodriguez overcomes and inspi...
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Pope considers what to do with pro-abortion Catholic politicians
Esteban Pittaro
Argentine “Mother Teresa” was a former model and actress who embr...
Philip Kosloski
Your body is not a “shell” for your spirit
Kathleen N. Hattrup
On same-sex unions, Pope says Church doesn’t have power to change...
Cerith Gardiner
12 Habits of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati that every young adult...
Visalia CHURCH
J-P Mauro
The largest Catholic parish church in the US will soon be in Cali...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.