by Rebecca Sebek
Being a teenager today can be more stressful than it was twenty or more years ago. Teenagers have the pressures of the Internet where they can easily exchange information with one another. Cyber bullying is not uncommon today and can wreak havoc on a teenager’s mind, body, and spirit. There is also the stress of instant gratification. If their peers don’t like them on Facebook or comment negativly on their status updates, they can internalize and twist it to mean that no one cares. Sometimes being a teenager can be the most stressful time of an individual’s life.
Stressors that jeopardize a teen’s health:
1. Academics. You may put a lot of pressure on yourself to get straight A’s or your parents may pressure you. If you stay up late to study or cram for tests, it will take a toll on you mentally and physically. Academics are important, but there is no need for exhaustion. You could wind up in the hospital because of it.
2. Divorced parents. What happens when your parents get divorced? If it’s a nasty divorce, you could be torn between your parents. Ugly custody and financial support battles are not healthy.
3. Family financial trouble. If your parents aren’t great money managers or lose their jobs, this can stress you out. You may worry about losing your home or parents splitting up. It’s not your fault if your parents lose their jobs or can’t manage their finances. It’s a teachable moment to show you how to manage your finances.
4. The media. Take a day off from the media. This includes staying off of celebrity gossip websites and watching mindless television programs. The media can blow things out of proportion. Most of the pictures in magazines are airbrushed which means the bodies of celebrities are distorted and not real.
5. Sibling competition. Even though you’re related, you and your sibling(s) are individuals and
will be different. You may share the same DNA, but that doesn’t mean you share the same interests in music, athletics, school subjects, etc. You’ll be happier if you focus on you – just be yourself.
6. High school graduation. While being a senior can be a fun and exciting time, it can be stressful. As graduation day approaches, reality begins to set int. You’ll leave for college and be on your own. Mom and dad won’t be there to hold your hand.
7. Choosing a college or university and degree program. Selecting a college or university can stress you out. You want to have a solid GPA and enough extracurricular activities for your college application. Add to that pressure from your parents to attend a ‘specific’ college because it is tradition and you can become very stressed out.
8. Poor diet and lack of exercise. You may not eat or sleep right, and the word ‘exercise’ may not be in your vocabulary. Also, if you skip breakfast, you can ‘crash and burn’ before noon.
Teenagers who push themselves to the brink of exhaustion are at risk for health issues at an early age. Staying up late to study and taking on more credits than they can handle can push them over the edge. Parents stress teens out by pressuring them to get into the ‘right’ colleges and universities along with obtaining scholarships, grants, and financing. It’s no wonder teens act out and rebel. There’s no reason teenagers need to be stressed out. Teens and parents need to take a deep breath and ask, “Why are we stressed?” There’s no need for it.
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