Teens and Stress

What is STRESS?

How one's body reacts to change can be called stress. These changes can come from feelings, situations, and people. For example, going to a new school is a change that can cause stress.

Think about changes that have happened to you or will happen to you.


Things that cause stress are called stressors, for example:
  • going to a new school
  • divorce or separation of parents
  • winning an award
  • taking a test
  • death of a relative
  • being sick

What is a stressor for you?

Is all stress bad? No!

Most people define stress as worry, tension and pressure, but all stress isn't bad. Some stress can be happy, exciting and challenging. We need stress in our lives; without it life would be dull. For example, right before a race, Mark always feels a little nervous. This stress helps Mark stay alert and prepared. Can you name a time when stress helped you stay alert and prepared?

What causes stress to be good or bad?

Our thoughts, feelings and beliefs about a situation can make stress good (pleasant) or bad (unpleasant). For example, Nicole's mother informed her that they will be moving to a new city. Moving to a new place is a stressor that will automatically cause Nicole some stress since it is a "change".

If Nicole is excited and happy about the move, then this will be considered a good stressor for her. On the other hand, if Nicole is sad and scared about the move, then this will be considered a bad stressor for her.

Situations that cause us to feel happy, excited, surprised, etc, can be called good stressors, and situations that cause us to feel sad, scared, mad, etc, can be called bad stressors.

What is a good (happy, excited, etc) stressor for you?

What is a bad (sad, scared, etc) stressor for you?

Is Too much stress bad?

Too much stress can have a negative affect on one's body, mind, and feelings. How you handle your stress has a lot to do with your health. When stress becomes too frustrating and lasts for long periods, it can become harmful.  This is known as distress. Recognizing the early signs of stress and doing something about it can improve the quality of your life. If you have signs of stress very often ... WATCH OUT!


Physical (body)

Mental (mind)

Emotional (feelings)

  • Headaches
  • Nervousness
  • Rashes
  • Stomachaches
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Perspiration
  • Increased urination
  • Lack of Concentration
  • Forgetfulness
  • Drop in school performance
  • Unable to study
  • Carelessness
  • Bored
  • Anger outbursts
  • Nightmares
  • Sad/depressed
  • Scared
  • Withdrawn
  • Fighting

What is a sign of stress for you?

How do you balance the stress in your life?

Stay aware of your signs of stress. If you are having signs of stress, follow the tips below to avoid stress overload (distress). Since stress will be with us the rest of our lives, it is important to know some ways of dealing with stress.

Ways to handle too much stress

  • Take deep breaths/Practice deep breathing exercises
  • Watch your thoughts/think positive
  • Find time to relax and cool out
  • Pray or read something inspirational
  • Visualize what you want to happen
  • Use pressure points to reduce headaches
  • Talk problems over with a friend or counselor
  • Don't dwell on your weaknesses
  • Feel proud of your accomplishments
  • Exercise daily
  • Do muscle tension relaxation exercises
  • Punch a pillow, scream or kick a can
  • Prepare for tests early
  • Eat a nutritious meal or snack
  • Take one thing at a time
  • Set realistic goals
  • Stop worrying about things that may never happen
  • Learn from your mistakes
  • Forgive yourself and others
  • Get involved with things you like to do
  • Make time for fun
  • Do something for others

Use the four steps to problem solving:

  1. Brainstorm solution
  2. Think of the consequences
  3. Choose a solution
  4. Evaluate your choice

Developed by: Jennie C. Trotter - Wholistic Stress Control Institute

Wholistic Stress Control Institute, Inc.
2545 Benjamin E. Mays Drive SW, Atlanta, GA 30311
(404) 755-0068 - Office | (404) 755-4333 - Fax | wsci@wholistic1.com - Email