Being an adult and a parent, you know exactly what it feels like to experience stress, and just how frustrating stress is. When your teenage daughter experiences stress, however, it can make you feel unsettled. While you know that it’s inevitable for her to feel stressed about any number of things in her own life, it’s natural for you to want to take that strain away from her and protect her from something she has the rest of her life to worry about. You cannot take the stress out of her life but you can help her manage it in a healthy manner, which is a skill she will use for the rest of her life.
Encourage your daughter to spend time with positive people, advises Todd Patkin, author of the book, “Finding Happiness.” If your teen spends the vast majority of her time with a group of friends who are always complaining, always whining and always upset about something, help her find friends with positive attitudes. This might mean encouraging her to sign up for a class she’s always wanted to take, join a team or even join a club. When your daughter is surrounded by positive attitudes, it helps her to develop a positive attitude and become less stressed.
Discuss the importance of taking a time-out with your daughter, advises the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. Encourage her to stop and take a deep breath, go for a walk or just lie down with a good book for a few hours any time she begins to feel too stressed. This kind of time-out helps her to slow down, regroup and come back refreshed to whatever it is that has her feeling overwhelmed.
Talk about the health benefits of exercise to relieve stress, advises the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. Exercise releases endorphins into the brain, which are natural chemicals that help to create a sense of happiness and exuberance. Exercise lowers stress levels and can make the stress in your daughter’s life seem much more manageable. Additionally, exercising gives her time to clear her head and work through her problems, which can help her to overcome her stress altogether.
Avoid adding stress and pressure to your teen’s life, advises Patkin. Pressuring her to play a sport and take music lessons on top of dance class, get good grades and volunteer during her free time on the weekends while still trying to find time to spend with your family and her friends is not doing anything but adding to her stress. Let her decide what she is comfortable taking on in her own life and support her decisions. If she wants to accomplish all of it, she will learn how to deal with the stress of taking on so much or she will learn that to deal with her stress she has to take on less.