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Coping Mechanisms Teens Should Know

teens holding hands

Adolescence is an immense time of growth physically, emotionally and in all areas of one’s life. As such, it is important to be equipped with as many coping mechanisms and tools for navigating the challenges of adolescence as possible. Every teenager is different. Although every coping mechanism may not resonate with every teenager, there are several that may be helpful to bear in mind. Adopting a range of skills and strategies can help prepare you how to best manage the stressors that accompany adolescence. Below are several coping skills that every teen should be aware. 

Plan Ahead

While it is impossible to accurately predict future challenges that may arise, you can create a personalized stress management plan for yourself. This can include examples of potential stressors and a variety of strategies that you can choose from to mitigate the stress. Creating a plan and writing it down will provide you with a tangible resource to reference in times of need. 

Dissect Problems

As a teenager it is not uncommon for problems encountered to yield a highly emotional response. Often teens feel triggered and may appear to react irrationally, when in fact teens have a constant flow of increased hormones surging through their systems as well as elevated emotions. In order to navigate a problem, it is incredibly helpful to break it down and unpack the issues. Dissecting the problem and identifying each component can help in effectively processing the problem.

Feel Your Feelings

Stress and anxiety can produce a wide variety of uncomfortable feelings. Although avoiding and suppressing them may seem like the fastest and easiest way to deal, it is essential that you allow yourself to feel the uncomfortable emotions. In order to fully release unwanted emotions in a healthy way, you must acknowledge their presence. This will enable you to glean the lessons you are intended to learn from experiencing the feelings you are feeling, and subsequently release them.  

Physical Health Is Important

Taking care of your physical health is one of the most effective coping mechanisms for dealing with stress. Engaging in regular exercise will allow your body to release endorphins, which can increase your happiness. Eating nutritious foods will help fuel your body and mind with the needed vitamins and minerals to optimally function. Making sure you get ample sleep, nightly, can help your body reset as well as have positive effects on your emotional state. 


There are many different relaxation tactics available such as listening to music, meditating, practicing yoga, creating artwork…etc. Figure out which relaxation methods resonate with you and make a conscious effort to integrate them into your daily routine. It is equally important to figure out what types of relaxation methods you enjoy, as it is to carve out ample time to practice them. 

Know When To Get Help

There is no singular method to handle stress that works for everyone. Even if you are fully equipped with an abundance of different coping mechanisms and strategies that have worked in the past, there may be some situations that require additional, outside support. When a situation, emotion, experience and/ or challenge becomes increasingly overwhelming and/ or feels insurmountable, ask for help. You can start by confiding in a friend, family member and/ or teacher.

Every teen will likely opt to utilize only the coping mechanisms that resonate, but it is helpful to be aware of the most commonly relied upon tactics. It is highly likely for certain coping mechanisms to be useful for some parts of your teenage years and to subsequently grow out of them before you have fully matured out of your adolescence. For this reason, arming yourself with a variety of coping mechanisms can be advantageous. 

For Information and Support 

Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know is in need of mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person for the long term. The earlier you seek support, the sooner you and your loved ones can return to happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.

Our admissions team is available to answer any general questions regarding mental health issues, treatment, and/or specific questions about the program at Pacific Teen Treatment and how we might be able to help your family. We can be reached by phone 24/7 at 800-531-5769. You can also contact us via email at or through our contact form.

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