We all experience stress at some point in our lives. No matter your age, gender, ethnicity, or cultural background, stress can cause you to feel over-emotional or lead to health difficulties. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), stress is the brain's response to any demand. Stress may result from a number of life situations that becoming overwhelming.
Possible causes of stress include:
How does stress affect your overall health?
Our bodies respond to stress in various ways and these stress responses differ for each individual. Research reports that stress may lead to sleeplessness, depressed mood, anger and irritability (NIMH, 2015). People under chronic stress are prone to more frequent and severe viral infections, such as the flu or common cold, and vaccines, such as the flu shot, are less effective for them (NIMH, 2015). Over time, continued stress may lead to serious health problems (e.g., heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety disorder). Therefore, it is important to recognize when you become stress and to find ways to cope with your stress to prevent further difficulties.
Suggestions for teens to cope with stress
Below are a few practical steps to maintain your health and decrease stress:
Additional resources for professional help:
You can visit the sites below for resources or to find a psychologist or therapist in your community.
Copyright 2015 Erlanger A. Turner, Ph.D.
About the Author
Erlanger Turner, Ph.D. – often referred to by his clients as Dr. Earl – is a Clinical Psychologist in Houston, Texas. He is also an Assistant Professor of Psychology and teaches courses on clinical psychology and multicultural issues. Dr. Turner specializes in child and adolescent disorders, parenting, and psychological assessment. His research interests focus on psychotherapy use, mental health equity, access to behavioral health services for youth. He has published articles in scholarly journals and in national media sources such as New York Times, and Washington’s Top News (http://wtop.com/).
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National Institute of Mental Health (2015). Fact sheet on stress. Retrieved from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/stress/index.shtml