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Coping Mechanisms for Stress in Teens

Family discussing coping mechanisms for stress

Mental health crises are on the rise. COVID-19 has played a significant role in causing higher rates of teen anxiety and depression. Teens are also under stress due to the climate of gun violence, cyberbullying, and social media.

Learning to manage stress is critical for maintaining good mental health. Teens often turn to drinking, drug abuse, and self-harm when they do not have appropriate coping skills. At Imagine Nampa, we offer teens ages 12-17 a safe, supportive environment where they can learn healthy coping mechanisms for managing stress. Reach out online or call 888.503.4604 to learn about our treatment programs for teens in Idaho.

What Are Healthy Coping Mechanisms for Stress?

Stress is an unavoidable part of daily life. Some stress can be good for teens, as it can motivate them to do their best. However, when teens do not have suitable coping mechanisms, even minor daily stressors can build up, leaving teens feeling overwhelmed.

Teens experience stress at school, at home, and in social situations. Teaching teens healthy coping mechanisms for stress involves providing them with easy ways to manage stress in the moment. Consider the following coping mechanisms for stress:

  • Deep breathing – Slow breathing lowers the heart rate, activating the “rest-and-digest” system and reducing stress.
  • Mindfulness meditation – This practice helps teens learn to be aware of what they feel in the moment, without judgment or interpretation.
  • Reframing – Challenging negative thinking or looking at things differently can help alleviate stress.
  • Move your body – Physical activity releases endorphins and dopamine that naturally aid teens in feeling better.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation – Starting with the toes, teens systematically tense and relax each body part until the whole body is relaxed.
  • Control what you can – Many stressors are beyond our control. Teens can reduce stress by recognizing what is out of their control and focusing on how they react to stress.
  • Create a support network – Everyone needs support. Teens who have strong social relationships are more resilient against stress.

Teens who experience chronic stress can develop physical, emotional, behavioral, and mental health issues. Adolescence is a formative time, and teens who do not learn healthy coping mechanisms for stress are at higher risk of mental health issues into adulthood because they will carry poor coping skills.

The Importance of Healthy Coping Mechanisms for Stress

Coping mechanisms are strategies used to reduce daily stresses and manage challenges. Teens who do not have healthy coping mechanisms may adopt unhealthy behaviors, such as self-harm, drug use, and disordered eating. Teens who do not have healthy coping mechanisms are also at higher risk for developing anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.

The coping mechanisms learned in adolescence are likely to be carried into adulthood, so it is vital to ensure that teens rely on healthy coping mechanisms for stress. In addition to developing high resiliency, healthy coping mechanisms have benefits, including:

  • Improved immunity
  • Better quality of sleep
  • Improved communication skills
  • Lower blood pressure and blood sugar
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Fewer headaches and body aches
  • Improved hormonal balance
  • A more optimistic outlook

At Imagine Nampa, teaching healthy coping mechanisms is integral to our comprehensive adolescent treatment programs. Group therapy sessions are beneficial in teaching these skills to teens because they can learn from peers who can relate to their situations.

Adopt Healthy Coping Mechanisms At Imagine Nampa

Stress is a natural and unavoidable part of life. However, chronic stress poses severe psychological and physical health risks. At Imagine Nampa, we are committed to helping teens deal with stress by teaching them about healthy coping mechanisms. Call 888.503.4604 to learn how we can help your teen cope with stress.