Youth Blog: Stress In Today’s Youth

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Author Destiny ObgeamaThis blog post is by Destiny Obgeama, a member of the OSBHA Student Health Advocates.

One of the biggest health concerns for youth today is stress. Stress in youth is often overlooked due to the fact that they are young, and ‘couldn’t possibly have any serious matters to stress about.’ Some adults even try to diminish a young person's feelings because they haven’t lived long enough to face the realities of things such as living on your own and paying your own bills. Although this may be true, it doesn’t take away the fact that an individual can be stressed about anything no matter the significance. Something that is stressful to you, may not be seen as a big deal to your friend. Everyone is different and handle emotions in their own way.

Some things that adolescents are stressed about include grades, extracurriculars, and balancing all their responsibilities while still having time for a social life.

In fact, according to research performed by the University of Michigan, it was found that approximately one-third of teens in the United States feel stressed out everyday. This is particularly alarming due to the fact that stress can lead to resorting to illegal substances to help an individual to cope. This introduces another big health issue within youth: drug and alcohol abuse.

How can adolescents combat stress in order to avoid picking up bad habits?

Some basic things you can do to reduce your stress level is to make sure you are getting a decent amount of sleep every night. Having enough sleep can ultimately determine your mood for the rest of the day, therefore it is a lot easier to think positively and be productive if you are well rested. Some other things you can do to reduce stress is maintaining a well balanced diet and exercising. It also helps to search for your own coping mechanism. This can include but is not limited to music, meditation, and discovering a fun hobby or activity.

However, it is very evident that some things don’t work for everyone which is why it is extremely important to reach out to someone. Having support from friends, family, or even a trusted adult is a great tool to have when it comes to stress. Sometimes all you need is a hug, or someone to tell you that you can do it!

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