Ways to Decrease Stress


Are you stressed? Are you suffering from anxiety pangs? Are you looking for ways to decrease your stress? Some of the steps that you can take to decrease your stress are exercising regularly and avoiding drugs and alcohol. Read below to find different ways you can minimize your stress.

Things that can be done to decrease stress

  • Exercise and eat regularly.

  • Avoid excess caffeine intake, which can increase feelings of anxiety and agitation.

  • Avoid illegal drugs and tobacco.

  • Learn relaxation exercises. For example, learn abdominal breathing and muscle relaxation techniques.

  • Develop assertiveness training skills. For example, state feelings in polite and firm and not overly aggressive or passive ways. "I feel angry when you yell at me. Please stop yelling."

  • Rehearse and practice situations, which cause stress. One example is taking a speech class if talking in front of a class makes you anxious.

  • Learn practical coping skills. For example, break a large task into smaller, more attainable tasks.

  • Decrease negative self-talk: challenge negative thoughts about yourself with alternative neutral or positive thoughts. "My life will never be better" can be transformed into "I may feel hopeless now, but my life will probably get better if I work at it and get some help."

  • Learn to feel good about doing a competent or "good enough" job rather than demanding perfection from yourself and others.

  • Take a break from stressful situations. Activities like listening to music, talking to a friend, drawing, writing, or spending time with a pet can reduce stress.

  • Build a network of friends who help you cope in a positive way.

By using these and other techniques, teenagers can begin to manage stress. If a teen talks about or shows signs of being overly stressed, a consultation with a child and adolescent psychiatrist or qualified mental health professional may be helpful.

Stress is a part of everyday life; it has assumed a new dimension in today's time with competition and parental pressures. Sometimes parents notice their children reacting, snapping, angry, nervous, unable to sleep, depressed, violent and very irritable.

Very often parents term it as "teenage blues". However, many a times it is the stress working them up. Earlier, it was unheard of children being stressed, but nowadays with stiff competition and parental expectation, teenagers do suffer from stress.

Very often, it is normal well-adjusted families of today, who are witnessing stress amongst their children. Unable to cope with pressure of studies, aggressive peer pressure, parental expectation, divorce or death in family teenagers send out SOS (signals of stress).

Causes of Stress Among Parents

  1. Adolescent is a stage where there is physical and emotional change taking place. They become extremely self-conscious during this period. They are apt to be touchy, easily hurt when criticized. At one moment, they feel grown up and want to be treated as such. The next moment they feel like children and expect to be cared for.

  2. At times, they feel pressured from friends. They have an intense need to be just like their friends and to be totally accepted by their friend. They fear that they could face ridicule and rejection from friends.

  3. Sometimes, a child stretches himself, beyond his limits in his studies. The net result being that he cannot handle the pressure of studies and experiences failure. The fear of disappointment to his parents leads to stress. Parents, who set very high unreasonable goals, unnecessarily make their children go through a lot of mental stress and pressure.

  4. Competition is another reason for stress. Whether it’s an exam or an elocution contest or a tennis game, winning is what really matters this puts tremendous pressure on the child.

How to cope with stress? Strategies for parents

  1. You could reassure your child. You could teach your child "failures are stepping stones to success". Falling short on a goal does not mean falling short as a person.

  2. Teach your child to cope with stress, by building his self-esteem. Fostering courage, nobility will instill in him, the feeling that he is capable of coping with any problem.

  3. Keep a happy atmosphere at home. A happy interaction with parents keep the warmth alive in the family. They learn to respect their parents.

  4. Let your child make his own decision. Guide him, but leave the final decision onto him. Help him focus and stand by him.

  5. Help your child envisage a better tomorrow, no matter how stressful the present situation may be. This could be done by means of good communication.
Every family at one time or another will have many stresses but hopefully the family can strive to eliminate many of these problems. The family is the first social group to which the child responds and in which he learns to get along. He learns to be obedient, to share, to be friendly, and basically, to become a civilized human being. Parents learn to expect some selfishness and violence in those early years and soon discover how slowly a child becomes a truly sociable human being. It may be that some children are born to be more sociable than others, but parents and family can do much to help a child turn out to be a bright student.

Parents who for the most part are sociable themselves, in whose homes a child sees people coming and going, will offer new and delightful experiences to the child. Naturally, parents want their child to be friendly, out going children, and not bullies or troubled children.

Relatives are part of the world outside the immediate family, which influences a child. Some relatives may offer a wonderfully enriching experience for a child; others may disorganize a house and cause stress and strain on all the family members. Most families have relatives, and most work out some way of avoiding or limiting the upsetting and encouraging the stimulating, exciting experiences.

Parents who live with relatives often face special problems. If both parents are very busy, a relative such as a grandmother may raise the child and become "mother,” Perhaps the relative in the home such as the grandmother becomes the one to whom the child will turn. Be careful to realize if the relative living in your home is often being critical of you as parents and causing more stress and strain and speak with the relative and try to correct the problem. It does take patience, tact, and kindness to make families get along and have less stress and strain on the family.

Sometimes there is more than one child and the children do not all get along. Parents need to work very carefully to establish long lasting and cordial relationships among their child so they will grow up respecting and caring for each other. It is not easy to accomplish this task as it does require a lot of patience and confidence.

Sometimes a family is torn apart by a death or even a divorce and naturally, the stress and strain on the members will need to be handled very carefully to restore the remaining family members to form a closer group than even before. This also will take time, patience and also confidence for the remaining parent or other family members. It just takes time to heal such wounds for the entire family.

In the case of a divorce, do all you can to work out a relationship between your child and the parent who leaves the home and lives elsewhere? Do not be bitter in front of your child and do not discuss the bad qualities of the parent who is not living in the home. No matter what the parent who doesn't live in the home is still that child's parent and if he or she is interested in having a relationship with the child and hopefully provides child support also then you should do your very best to make this time as easy on your child or children as possible.

Stress is a normal, unavoidable part of life. It affects everyone, even Children. A preschooler is stressed when day-care arrangements are changed. A school-age child is upset when he does not do well on an arithmetic test. A pre-teen worries about her changing body. In addition, a teenager feels stress as she tries to figure out what she is going to do with her life.

Parents can ease the stress that children feel and teach them to cope with Stressful situations. It is important to remember that stress is a natural part of your child's life. It only becomes harmful when the problems and hassles of daily life overwhelm your child.

This publication is divided into sections that apply to preschool, School age and teenage children. Each section gives common causes of stress and provides information that will help you with your child. Your help is vital. Children who are emotionally isolated, who do not get the support of adults, and who do not have confidence in themselves are the children who do not handle stress well.

Children of all ages feel stressed when a new baby arrives, the family moves, a divorce, remarriage occurs, or when the family is under financial pressures. When you are under stress yourself, be sure to take the time to explain the situation to your children. A child who doesn't understand a situation often imagines the worst.

Remember that your child is learning from you. Parents who are high-strung, perfectionists, or poor problem solvers are apt to pass these traits on to their children because kids copy their parents' behavior.

Finally, too much stress can be harmful. You need to recognize the signs of excessive stress so that you can get help for your child. Seeking help may be as simple as talking the situation over with a friend, family member, or minister. Someone who is familiar with your family's situation may be able to give some objective, useful advice. If the situation is extreme, you may need to talk with your family physician, a psychologist, school guidance counsellor, or another professional.



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