Teen Concern Monkey Survey Shows that Family Stress Is A Top Concern

In a recent Teen Concern Monkey Survey of 100 BYMS 7th grade students, it was reported that most students have a daily stress level of 3-4 on a scale of 1-10. Luckily, experts believe there are many coping mechanisms to deal with high levels of stress.

“So, stress is a psychological process (feelings about being delayed or disappointed, difficulty concentrating, focusing, etc) and a biological process (resulting in sweating, shaking hands, cold feet, high blood pressure, rapid breathing rapid heart beat, etc) that basically gets in the way of being the best you can be,” stated Veronica Thomas, a psychologist in private practice.

In the Teen Concern Monkey Survey, students reported having most stress revolve around family. “There are so many responsibilities in a family. It’s where all of the most important people are that support you, or don’t support you, expect things of you like getting your homework done, or taking care of the laundry or other siblings or whatever. It’s also where you spend time with family and are supposed to talk about what happens every day, good and bad and support one another. This doesn’t always happen for a lot of reasons. Probably the biggest reason is that family members don’t talk to each other,” stated Thomas.

Thomas states there are many ways to deal with family related stress. The first step is to identify what family related issues are causing you stress. The next step is to approach whomever is causing you stress. After you have approached whoever has caused you stress, have a conversation with them and figure out a way to deal with that stress. Lastly, if you cannot work out a solution to deal with that issue get a meditator such as an objective family member, friend, or therapist.

Most students who participated in the Teen Concern survey found themselves on 3-4 stress level on a scale of 1-10. “High levels of stress usually come as a surprise due to a crisis (unexpected incident, injury, illness, break-up, fight, etc) or as an accumulation of small things that we keep pushing back because we don’t want to deal with them (like not taking care of a string of bad algebra tests or like not cutting back on bad food or too much late night TV and not enough sleep or not talking to a girlfriend or boyfriend about a problem and then having a break-up because of it),” stated Veronica Thomas.

It has been stated that there are many ways to deal with high levels of stress. The first step would to stay mindful of the situation. It is important for students to talk with friends and family about how they feel and what their goals are to prevent high stress. Another strategy is to write down what you feel you need from important people in your life and give it to them. Physical exercise and meditation is a good stress reliever according to Thomas.

Although BYMS 7th graders feel moderate levels of stress daily, experts have found that teens express feeling more prone to extreme stress in the school year as opposed to during the summer according to usatoday.com.

Stress has very negative effects on people’s lives. Surveys have shown that as a result of stress 40% people feel angry, 36% feel nervous, and the lowest percent of people feel sad. As a result of stress many people neglect responsibilities at home, school, and work, have changes in sleeping habits, and  get headaches, according to usatoday.com.

Stress may be an unavoidable part of life, but parents can help teens and teens can help themselves deal with stress. Two main ways for parents to help with stress is modeling stress management skills and supporting pro-social activities. Teens can exercise regularly, break large tasks into smaller tasks, decrease negative self talk, take a break from stressful parts of life, and find friends who help you cope with stress positively according to aacap.org.

The following are some helpful links to help teens deal with stress: suicidepreventionlifeline.org, teenlineonline.org, and, kidshelpline.com.