Stress: Here's how to deal with it

By: Team TeenBook

For some it's the exam pressure. For others, parents are not listening to them. Elsewhere, friends are putting too much pressure. It's causing Aarav, Sara and their friends a lot of stress! Come let's talk more about it.

It's never ending!

 

No matter how much I try, I just can’t seem to do it. Akshita always beats me in the final exams for first place. I have been studying 18 hours a day. Hardly sleeping...and now she will get the scholarship. Papa will be furious. He was hoping I’ll top the class and get the scholarship too. I don’t know what to do. How do I face him?

I have practically not eaten dinner for three weeks now. Living on boiled food for the rest of the day. And yet the weight doesn’t budge. I am so sick of being called ‘fatso’, especially by Aditi and her gang. I don’t even feel like auditioning for the class play. The thought of Aditi giggling from the backstage….urgggh!
 

    THIS COULD BE STRESS

  • There may be times when you feel there are just too many tasks and not enough time.
  • You may be losing sleep over an exam or worried about a family member or a friend.
  • Sometimes we also feel under confident - that we are just not good enough or that you will not be able to do something well.
  • You are not alone. As we grow, we can feel stressed due to an increasing number of responsibilities and tasks.
  • Stress is a natural feeling of not being able to cope with situations, events and specific demands.
  • These demands can come from schoolwork, friends, family, relationship and other things.
  • Stress is caused by a hormone that our body produces in order to deal with difficult situations.
  • So some amount of stress is common and can help people achieve their goals. However, if the stress occurs every day  or continues long term, it can be harmful to health.
  • Stress differs from person to person and the levels or causes of stress can change as you grow.
  • For example: For a five-year-old, the stress could be because of forgetting their water bottle but for a twelve-year-old, the stress could be because of an argument with someone close to them.
  • It’s when you are most upset or stressed about something, you tend to think negative. What matters is how efficiently you deal with stress. More on these strategies on this page. So do read on!

But what to do?

 

I am really nervous about the debating competition. I always get a prize. But this time I just don't feel confident. I am so nervous that I am forgetting my lines.  After school, when we were walking home, Ashish took me aside and suggested I try a cigarette. He told me it will help me relax. I was shocked initially but I tried it on after he pushed a lot.

    THE PEER PRESSURE

  • As you keep growing, you’ll find yourself spending less time around your parents and more time around people of your age, like your friends.
  • But sometimes your friends may push you to do something you may not want to. It’s called Peer Pressure. 
  • For example: Sometimes your friends may push you to join a social media group and indulge in inappropriate conversation, such as sharing dirty jokes and pictures.
  • It can make you feel uncomfortable because it may be something you know isn’t right for you. It can create a lot of stress for you.
  • Usually peer pressure has been seen in situations such as - pressure to drink alcohol, smoke, join an inappropriate social media chat or indulge in bullying.
  • Whenever you find yourself in a peer pressure situation, use one of following tactics to fight back: 
  1. Walk away.
  2. Simply say ‘no.’
  3. Politely refuse, for example, ‘No thanks, but I will deal with this in my own way.’
  4. Ignore and move on, as if you have just not heard anything.
  5. Give an alternative, such as, ‘How about we go for a movie instead to lighten the mood?’
  6. Give a reason, such as, ‘I don’t want to smoke. It’s bad for health.’ Change the topic.

It's a problem 

I don’t know what’s happening with Ayush. He has been behaving very weirdly. Last evening, he saw my message but didn’t reply. I called him twice but again he didn’t take my call. I kept thinking about what’s happening. Is he ignoring me? But what have I done?

   

    STRESS IN DATING

  • As you grow up, you may begin to like others and get attracted towards them.
  • If you both feel the same way, you may start spending more and more time together.
  • This is usually known as ‘dating’ or ‘being in a relationship’.
  • However, just like any other relationship, there may be stress, confusion, disappointments, misunderstandings or simply the feeling and need to not continue the relationship.
  • Stress in dating or relationships can be due to many reasons like feelings of mistrust, rejection, loneliness, sense of inadequacy (when you feel you are not good enough or your partner isn’t good enough ) or lack of open and honest communication.
  • It may lead to frequent episodes of fights and arguments. Such stressors can have a negative and detrimental effect on our well-being. So, learning how to reduce stress in a relationship can be helpful! Here are some ways.
  1. First, don’t panic. It might feel scary at first, but you will overcome it.
  2. Admit there’s a problem. Talk to your partner and share what you think and feel.
  3. Talk to a trusted adult. Don’t hide your feelings.
  4. Calm yourself by doing something you like.
  5. If you feel you are disrespected, call it out and walk away.
  6. You do not have to stay in a relationship for any reason.
  7. You have a long life ahead and building new relationships and moving on from old and unhappy ones will be part of it.

They just don't get it!

I had promised Aseem I will go with him to the Maths Olympiad because he has been so stressed about it. But now my parents say they have to take Amma to the doctor and I have to stay home with my little sister. Aseem would get really mad at me. And now my parents are also angry who feel I don’t care for my sister or grandmother. That’s not true! I angry, anxious and upset!

  MY PLATE OF EMOTIONS

  • As you grow, you may face various challenges or responsibilities that you may need to deal with all at once.
  • In addition to that, you may face challenges that can result in stress or anxiety.
  • In trying to navigate social situations, peer pressure, school, exams, relationship, family and various other new responsibilities, you may have a full plate of emotions.
  • You may feel several emotions all at once or have ups and downs in mood several times in a day, week or month.
  • Remember, managing emotions is one of the most important skills you can develop. Some ways to manage your emotions are:
  1. Identify your feelings, that is, whether you are feeling sad or you are feeling guilty.
  2. Accept your feelings – Yes, I am feeling angry!
  3. Yes, I am feeling embarrassed!
  4. Self-talk – Say positive and good things to yourself, such as, ‘I can overcome this.’ Stay in the moment, that is, the present.
  5. Talk to your parents, teachers or someone you trust.
  6. Write about your feelings.
  7. Engage in activities like art, music or exercise or anything that helps you take your mind off a particular issue. 

    I have to do this...

     

    I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and found Vidhi’s comment on my new picture. It was so mean! She said that I looked like a chimpanzee in my new glasses. And then everyone just followed her in making my fun of new glasses. I don’t want to go to school tomorrow. They will all just start all over again! It’s just so stressful!

      EIGHT TIPS TO A CALMER YOU

    • Identify what is the problem. For example, someone posted a rude comment on a picture.
    • Consider: Is it possible to avoid what is stressing you out?
    • Can you just stay off social media for a while? It may just help to not engage with that post or people’s comments. 
    • This also goes with WhatsApp groups. Yes, you can also leave them if they do make you uncomfortable.
    • Can you delete that social post or call your friends, tell her you did not like her comment and ask her to politely delete her comment?
    • Know that you are good enough for you and it doesn’t matter what others say.
    • We all like attention and compliments from others about our appearance, our performance and our skills.
    • While this can boost your confidence, it is problematic if you only feel good about yourself when it comes from what others think of you
    • Don’t look up to others to boost your confidence. Do it for yourself.
    • Get some sleep. Trust us. It is the best solution to many of our immediate feelings. Have you heard the phrase - just sleep over it?
    • Express your feelings and emotions by talking about it. Tell your friend or a family member about how you are feeling.
    • Often, you would find, it is possible to ‘get it out of your system’ by talking about an issue to someone.
    • Take deep breaths and count till ten before responding to a situation. That mantra that your teachers or parents taught you as a kid really works.
    • It really does help calm us down. Talk to your parents, teachers or a trusted adult. Engage in enjoyable activities that can help you get your mind off the problem. 

    Now I know

    I know what to do when someone tries to pressurize me. I’ll keep my stress and pressure management strategies handy!

    I know what to do when I have too many things to do at the same time. Phew! It’s assuring to know that I am not alone in this..

      ALL ABOUT MANAGING STRESS

    • As we grow, we sometimes may feel stressed out, especially if we have several tasks and responsibilities to deal with at the same time.
    • Long term stress and too many stresses at once can be harmful to our health.
    • It’s when we are most upset or stressed about something, we tend to think negatively.
    • Stress differs for everyone and the topics of stress change as we grow up.
    • Peer pressure is when friends push us to do something that we simply don’t want to do.
    • It could be in situations like drinking alcohol, smokin, pressure to join an inappropriate social media group or indulging in bullying or a forced act.
    • It’s important to fight back peer pressure and not be a part of it.
    • There are several ways to fight peer pressure.
    • Dating or relationships can also sometimes be sources of stress and confusion. 
    • Learning how to reduce stress in our everyday lives and relationships can be helpful.
    • We may feel several emotions all at once or have mood ups and downs.
    • We may feel lost and confused when faced with several emotions.
    • Managing emotions is an important skill and we can all develop it.
    • We should identify our stress and manage it to live a happy and healthy life.

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