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Helping Teens Cope With Stress

helping a stressed teenager

Adolescence is a time in a young person’s life that is filled with new experiences, physical and emotional maturation and a newfound desire for autonomy. It is the process that is intended to essentially prepare a young person for adulthood. Teenagers are faced with countless lessons, distinct challenges and immense external and internal pressures. Many adults come from a perspective that teenage stress is irrational, as they feel that teenagers should be stress-free due to their minimal financial responsibilities. However, teenagers are constantly under an enormous amount of stress, which for many may feel insurmountable at times. Have compassion for your teenager, and remember that you too were once a young person faced with difficult lessons, operating with outdated and inadequate emotional coping mechanisms. 

What You Can Do

Every teenager is different and will respond uniquely to the various coping methods, and de-stressing techniques presented. Below are some suggestions that could help you help your teenager navigate the inevitable stress that accompanies adolescence. 

  • Encourage eating nutritiously. Food is the fuel for your body. Although with the surging hormones, your teen may crave unhealthy snacks, maintaining a healthy and nutritious diet can actually help with mental focus and his or her ability to cope with stress. 
  • Co-create a healthy sleep schedule with your teen, which allows for ample sleep. Teenager’s circadian rhythm shift as they progress through their adolescence and they often have a more difficult time falling asleep at a reasonable time and subsequently waking up in the morning. Helping your teen get into the habit of getting enough nightly sleep can positively affect other areas of his or her life. 
  • Have an open line of communication. Teenagers process emotions and experiences in their own time. Although your teen may not want to regularly discuss the entire goings on in his or her life, making sure your teenager knows you are available to listen and provide feedback (if asked) can help reduce feelings of isolation.  
  • Engage in physical activity and regular exercise. Exercising is one of the body’s natural ways of releasing endorphins, which help to reduce pain and increase pleasure resulting in increased feelings of happiness. 
  • Help your teen identify hobbies and/ or activities that make him or her happy, and encourage him or her to do them. 
  • Model stress management skills. Parents are human beings, and all humans will experience stress at some point in their lives. It can be incredibly helpful for your teenager to witness you employ stress management tools to work through your own stress. 

If at any point you feel ill equipped at helping your teenager process and cope with stress, do not hesitate asking for help. Teenage years are not only difficult on the teenager, but also on his or her parents. Seeking the guidance of a mental health professional can not only provide extra support for your teenager, but also model the importance of asking for help with it is needed. 

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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