Adolescence can be stressful.

How do you cope? Learning to manage discomfort in healthy ways is a vital skill for teens … and for adults, too!

Model healthy coping strategies. Adolescents need to see adults they admire handling anger, disappointment, anxiety, boredom, and other uncomfortable feelings in healthy ways.

Learn to de-escalate stressful situations. Teens do much better when the adults in their lives know how to stay calm and can tell when youth have calmed down enough to problem-solve.

How Chronic Stress Affects Your Brain
“In engineering, strength is measured as the amount of stress a material can take without deforming or breaking; resiliency is its capacity to hold or recover its shape. … Concrete piers beneath a bridge possess a strength that enables the bridge to bear a load of cars. By analogy, I am in possession of internal forces – actual stuff inside – that can be weaker or stronger, and more or less able to handle pressure.”


Talk about it! You can make a difference in young people's lives by helping them identify ways to cope with stress and let off steam that are safe and effective for them. Try asking questions like:

What makes you feel stressed? What does stress feel like for you?

Everyone has their own answers to these questions! Recognizing situations that cause stress – for you and for others – can help you understand yourself and take better care of one another.

What gives you strength? What helps you persist?
Bad things happen to everyone, but not everyone is affected in the same ways. Learning about how to increase resilience is a way of preparing for when times are tough.
How do people deal with stress?

Noticing how other people deal with uncomfortable situations and feelings can help spark conversation about making healthy choices and about how damaging stress can be.

What are your stress-free zones?

All people need places where they can relax, feel safe, and recharge. Compare notes about places that have served this purpose at different times in your lives.

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How stress affects your brain - Madhumita Murgia