To Your Health
October, 2016 (Vol. 10, Issue 10)
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A Simple Coping Skill for Teens

By Editorial Staff

If you think your life is hectic, maddening and even confusing at times, imagine being a teen. Try it – after all, you were one once. Tough times, right? And these days, those times can be even tougher.

With increasing academic and social demands and pressures, teens can be easily overwhelmed, leading to anxiety, depression and poor health. Is there a solution?

Perhaps. Several small studies involving high-school students suggests positive messaging – something as simple as reinforcing the notion that "people can change," can help manage tension and instill teens with a sense of resiliency and hope in what can be a troubling stage of development.

To instill that message, students read articles about how personality can change, as well as anecdotes written by older teens (high-school seniors) about how they resolved conflicts. Then the students wrote their own anecdotes / advice for younger students.

Too often, teens feel as if they're the person they think they are at that moment, or the person their peers tell them they are – the brainiac, the athlete, etc. – which can lead to significant pressure and negative emotions. But by reinforcing that teens aren't locked into any one stereotype or stage in life, they may be able to avoid some of the social stress that is all too common during their teen years. After all, the teen who's bullied doesn't always have to be bullied – and the bully doesn't always have to be a bullier.