How to Cheer Up a Moody Teenager
While most kids love riding a roller coaster, your teen may not enjoy the ups and downs of moodiness. The yo-yo effects of suddenly feeling irritable or sad for no reason, then feeling happy minutes later, is common, assures KidsHealth.org, and can make teens feel like they are losing their grip. While teen moods may seem mysterious, the reasons for them are not. Teenage mood swings occur for a variety of valid reasons. When parents recognize the changes and pursue healthy ways to cheer their teens through the journey, everyone benefits.
Let Them Know It's Normal
Explaining the reasons for intense moods and empathizing with your teenager can help him know that his emotions are valid and a normal transition from childhood to adulthood. KidsHealth advises that dealing with constant change and pressure, as well as struggling with identity and self-image, is part of the reason teens feel overwhelmed, lonely and frustrated. The biological effects of puberty and changes in hormones are important factors that can cause emotional changes and leave teenagers feeling out of control, ironically at a time when they want to be independent and make their own decisions.
Learning ways to relax and cope with the stress can be a helpful step in cheering your teen. Practicing a simple deep-breathing technique by breathing slowly in from the abdomen through the nose and exhaling through the mouth will help lower tension and anxiety by raising oxygen levels in the body, according to HELPGUIDE.org.
Get Them to Open Up
Sharing your own experiences and emotions will help open the door to communication when moods flare, as well as help him know that he is not alone. And while parents often wish they could fix everything, a teenager often needs to open up to other people they trust. Talking with friends, teachers, counselors and doctors can be beneficial and help your teen learn that to keep emotions inside can make things worse, but getting negative emotions out in healthy ways will help him feel better. Sharing with professionals can help differentiate between normal moods and depression, which can share the same characteristics, including intense moods, hopelessness and apathy. But depression lasts for weeks, months or longer.
Crying Can Help
Help your teen learn ways to express their moods in positive ways, even if there is crying involved. In an article published in “Psychology Today,” author and Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA, Judith Orloff, writes that emotional tears have health benefits, and that after crying, breathing and heart rates usually decrease, rendering the body to a calmer biological and emotional state 4. Crying can also cleanse the body of stress hormones and toxins.
Most parents know that a little tender loving care goes a long way toward making you feel better. Teach your teen to practice well-being and TLC by modeling healthy life choices, including sleep, nutrition and exercise. Explain to your teen that providing his body with healthy foods, being physically active and getting enough sleep releases hormones that will make him feel more emotionally stable and improve his mood.
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