Types of Stress Teens Might Experience

Stress can be described as the physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral responses to challenging events. However, there are different types of stress, even a form of stress that can be positive and supportive. This article will discuss various forms of stress your teen might experience and what you can do to help your teen manage it.

First, many people experience stress. But breaking down the stress and understanding why it’s causing tension might be helpful for some teens. The following is a list of types of stress. In some cases, you may want to help your teen identify the type of stress they are experiencing in order to respond appropriately.

Pressure is the psychological experience produced by urgent demands or expectations for a person’s behavior, originating from an outside source. For an adolescent, this could be the pressure to complete a school project, study for an exam, help a parent with a task before the holidays, or maintain a certain grade point average in order to stay on the football team.

Uncontrollability is the degree of control that a person has over a particular event or situation. A teenager might often experience him or herself as having very little control over life, especially during this stage of life when many developmental changes are taking place. Particularly, as an adolescent struggles to find his or her unique individuality, experiences of role confusion, inner turmoil, and emotional chaos are common. The inability to control these emotions and any circumstances that trigger them is the psychological stress that is typical in adolescence.

Frustration is the psychological experience produced by the blocking of a desired goal or fulfillment of a perceived need. There are two types of frustration: external and internal. Examples of external forms of frustration are a car breaking down, a desired job not coming through, or a rejection of some sort. Examples of internal forms of frustration are when a goal is not attained or a need is not fulfilled because of a personal characteristic, such as not acquiring a job in the engineering field because math skills are poor.

Distress, on the other hand, is the effect of unpleasant and undesirable experiences, such as those discussed above. At times, significant stress will arise from events that are seen as threatening or particularly life-altering. For instance, events like your parents getting divorced or your mother getting remarried can not only create circumstantial stress, like having to live with someone new, but also emotional and psychological stress. This kind of stress could require the aid of a mental health professional, a friend you trust, or an uninvolved family member.

Eustress is a type of positive stress. Positive stress can inspire you to accomplish a task or move closer to a goal. Eustress is the optimal amount of stress people need to promote health and wellbeing.

Stress is not only common, but the inability to cope with frustration can also be common among teens. This is especially true because of this stage in life. Adolescence is characterized by discovering a sense of self, which is partly cultivated by achieving certain goals and being seen for those achievements. When reaching a desired goal is blocked, the result might be frustration, in addition to an injured sense of self and feelings of unworthiness, shame, and powerlessness.

Parents and caregivers can support their teen when they are stressed by encouraging them to get good sleep, eat well, and exercise. Parents can also teach their teens relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, and stretching.