We tend to think of stress as something that only adults deal with, but the reality is that children and teens can experience stress as well. They may not be trying to find a job or pay their bills, but school, extracurriculars, a chaotic home life, or negative experiences at school can all contribute to stress at a young age. And while we know that stress takes a large mental toll, there can also be physical side effects as well.
How Stress Affects Teens Physically
Stress is the body’s reaction to harmful situations, both real and perceived. When we feel threatened, a chemical reaction occurs in our body that triggers our “fight or flight” response. During the stress response, heart rate and breathing quicken, muscles tighten, and blood pressure rises. It prepares the body to react and protect itself.
Stress is a common experience in life, and some stress can even be healthy. But when teens become unable to manage their stress levels, they may find it inferring with learning, their relationships, and other aspects of their life. They may experience physical changes such as presenting as sick more often. They may complain of headaches or stomach aches. They may experience changes in their sleep patterns, like insomnia or on the opposite side, sleeping more than usual. Stress may also affect eating habits, such as a loss of appetite or binge eating to deal with the emotions. Teens who are feeling overwhelmed by stress may also avoid normal daily activities that they previously enjoyed.
Long-term stress can result in cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure and abnormal heart rhythms, obesity or eating disorders, skin and hair problems, and gastrointestinal issues such as ulcerative colitis and irritable colon.
If you’re feeling the physical effects of stress it is crucial to seek out treatment from a medical professional. A doctor may be able to help address the physical symptoms and a mental health professional can help you develop strategies for dealing with stress in the future.
blueFire PulsaR Can Help
We help young adults step out of their comfort zone, improve their self-esteem, and help our clients build their confidence through self-success. Our program helps create positive changes and improvements through engagement and adventure. We have a supportive environment that encourages clients to push themselves physically and emotionally to create lasting changes.
Many of our clients have struggled for years with emotional and behavioral challenges that have affected their ability to achieve success in school and in other areas of their life. blueFire Pulsar provides clients with an opportunity to work on the skills that can help promote real, lasting change in their lives. For more information please call (866) 430-6807.