Even at 51, I remember being stressed out as a teenager. It’s no real surprise that teens are stressed, and perhaps more now than then. Resolving the stress for a teenager isn’t as easy as it is for adults. Some remedies do need parental approval.
On Your Own
These four remedies can be done on your own. It may be difficult time wise, but they are methods that have worked for many.
Find a quiet space: We all need a place where we can be alone. On our farm, my siblings and I each had our own spot. When we went there, the rest of the family knew it was a time when we needed to settle our own minds and calm down.
You don’t have to live on a farm. In fact, my current “quiet place” is often the bathroom…the one room no one enters when the door is closed. The school or city library may be another answer. Spending a little time away from what’s stressing you can be of immense help.
Exercise: This isn’t gym class. For many teens, gym class can be one of the most stressful parts of the day. Instead, it’s along the lines of going for a walk after school. This releases hormones that help you calm down and it gives your mind a chance to work in the background on the subjects that are worrying you the most.
Deep breathing: Many of us are shallow breathers. We utilize 50% or less of our lung capacity. This places stress on the brain without you even knowing it. If you feel stress overwhelming you, take some time to breathe deeply. Ten full inhales and exhales should do it. More could cause hyperventilation, which would only make the problems worse.
Meditation: Unless your faith already does this, I’m not talking about a change in religions. This can be done by anyone of any faith…and anyone who doesn’t have one. As a Christian, I use the 23rd Psalm. It takes me back to my quiet place on the farm. Choose a passage, a poem or even a picture that is soothing to you.
Picture yourself in the scene. Imagine with all of your senses. Feel the breeze and the soft grass under your bare feet. See the beauty of the forest around you. Smell the flowers and soft earth. Hear the gentle chuckle of the stream.
With Parental Approval
Herbal remedies aren’t always the right answer for everyone, and sometimes your parents may know whether or not they are right for you. It’s not a good idea to use them without talking to your parents first. They may need to check with your doctor as well. This is most important if you have a known medical condition or take any regular medicines.
The four herbs I use most for stress and anxiety are chamomile, jasmine, lavender and passionflower. These are usually safe, though they can make you drowsy. Each has interactions and if you use them all together you might want to be near someplace to sleep. Most people who take them combined find themselves very sleepy fairly quickly.
When nothing helps: Sometimes stress is a symptom and not the main problem. There are also times when stress is so strong it takes more than herbs and self-help can provide. If you feel like this is happening to you, talk to your parents about seeing the doctor. There is no shame in admitting that stress is controlling you and not the other way around. A lot of adults have the same problem.
It’s true that teenagers are under a lot of stress. That doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. Take the time to figure out what you need and then find the right solution. It will change your life completely.