Stress takes control of teen lives

Lacey Hayashi, reporter

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Life as a teen can be stressful. According to Sharon Jayson, writer for USA Today, stress causes 40% of teens to feel irritable or angry and 36% to feel nervous or anxious. A third of teens say stress makes them feel overwhelmed, depressed or sad.

The Mayo Clinic website said stress can affect behavior and your physical or emotional well-being, such as lacking motivation, insomnia, overeating or even drug abuse.

Junior Natalie Clark said her reaction to stress is stressing out more or holding it in.

Senior Leilani Ly said, “I try not to let stress get the best of me, but when it becomes overwhelming, I usually end up crying and just being really moody.”

According to University of Maryland Medical Center therapists, using active strategies like socializing, physical activities and making time for hobbies to manage stress are better than inactive ways like watching television or playing video games.

“When I have stress I drop everything I’m doing and do something to make me calm like walking around,” sophomore Mari Faufata-Pedrina said.

Guided Imagery is another technique to manage stress. It involves visualizing scenery, a person or a particular moment to assist in relaxation.

“Another trick I heard for when you’re overwhelmed is to imagine yourself in the Grand Canyon. Imagine how tiny you are compared to the miles and miles of rock and empty space around you. It helps to take a deep breath and remember how vast and open and full of unbound hope the world is,” Ly said.

“Don’t overstress yourself,” Faufata-Pedrina said.

Becky Beacom, Health Education Manager for a California medical foundation, surveyed 124 teens to see what they find stressful. The results were deadlines,          relationships, expectations, extracurricular activities and being unprepared.

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