Pixels & Pages

Calling all creative teens! Send us your best poetry, stories, and artwork! Accepted entries will be featured on this page, with a chance to be published in Pixels & Pages, our annual Teen Magazine! Submit your work at any MCPL location, or online at www.mcpl.us/teenzone/publishing.
JANUARY 24, 2013
Teenage Stress
Stress. It’s something that we all tend to face in some part of our lives. Whether it is from family, friends or school, it happens to everyone. Adults can often handle their stress in many different ways. They are more informed of where to go and what to do. According to Livestrong, “Teens often lack the maturity level to be aware of the issues that are causing their feelings of stress,” which brings a very important subject matter to one’s mind. The stress teenagers face must have side effects, and those side effects must have a huge impact on the individual during the very most important part of their growth and development.

 WebMD states that, “Stress is the body's reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses.” Many teenagers face numerous events that cause them stress. How they deal with those factors is a huge part of their wellness. One can choose to either handle a hard situation with a flight response or a fight response. Those that choose to fight often have a concrete defensive system. The hormones that usually cause stress get handled in a proper way, thus reducing their anxiety and making the individual a more well-rounded person.

When an individual chooses to flee a situation, this is where the problems can occur. Lifepositive.com says that if you do this, “The hormones and chemicals remain unreleased in the bloodstream for a long period of time. It results in stress-related physical symptoms such as tense muscles, unfocused anxiety, dizziness and rapid heartbeat.” Many teens choose this path, for it tends to be much easier at the time. What they don’t realize is that if they keep this up, it will turn into either an acute or chronic psychosomatic illness, a disorder that has physical symptoms but is caused by the mind. At such a young age, teenagers should not have to go through something as a severe as this. A weakened immune system will cause their stress factors to just increase. One has to handle things in the right way, so their stress does not get to such a severe level. Handling stress in the wrong way for a long period of time can take a dramatic take on an individuals life.

On a daily basis, teens face many issues, the biggest one being school. Livestrong says that,“School is the number one source of stress for teens according to a poll conducted by Associated Press.” They constantly have to juggle all these different aspects of their life. In addition, teenagers have to still make time to destress. Many don’t find it to be of much of importance in their life. They think that it can wait until later, so as they go on to handle their five hours of sleep, multiple after school activities, and mass amounts of homework loads on a daily basis. They set themselves up to crash, which then leaves them open to all of the harms of the flight responses. This once again causes disarray.

On top of that, they also face many different pressured situations. One cannot go into a higher level education with their eyes closed. Teens have to prepare themselves for college, so they can succeed. So instead of doing what it takes to pass a class, they instead do everything possible to be the top of their class. There is this common sense of knowledge that students want to be better than the rest of their peers. Teenagers can also choose to go upon this in the opposite way, not doing what it takes to succeed. On a regular basis, teens face many stressful situations provoked by the closest people around them, their friends. They want them to look a certain way, act a certain way, and take part in things in which they would have never even thought about before, just for the sake of fitting in. The stress of saying no is too much, therefore they tend to cave right in and plummet. With all of the stress factors just named, it’s no wonder why this problem needs to be seriously addressed so it can be taken care of.

Drama, a huge cause of teen stress, has many definitions. A lot of people think of musicals when they see this word. On the other hand, the common teenager that is stressed will think of friends fighting and the world being in catastrophe. Everyone around them is changing; this causes people to often butt heads and get themselves into sticky situations. If they fight the situation they look bad to the other person, leading to losing someone important to them. If they flee the situation it just makes them look weak. Self-image is very important to teens and if one damages what they look like in front of others it can wreck how they feel about themselves. Drama leads to the flight response more so than the fight. It’s the easy way out. With the stack of stress piled already on top of the teen, readers can clearly see why this often occurs.

During the teenage years many often want to experiment. One of those happens to be dating. While handling school, their friends, and drama, they take on curiosity in the opposite sex too. Many look at this as a positive thing and can often de-stress by talking to their significant other, BUT if it gets into a negative situation a teen can often go into a depression. This can increase all of the many effects of stress. They give up on their school life and once they come to the realization as to what’s going on, things are already causing even more havoc, which slaps someone in the face with stress once again.

De-stressing should be something that all teenagers work into their schedule. Stress can cause many harmful effects to someone if handled in the wrong way. So if a student takes a fight response to most situations it will release those stress hormones causing a student to do the things they want and excel in everything they dream of. Stress is a serious thing that many people often put aside. It needs to be relooked at and handled. By doing this students will notice a dramatic change and a sudden improvement in their academic lives and personal lives. De-stressing is not a hard thing to do. One can just curl up with a good book for 30 minutes and notice a hint of a mood change. There are lots of ways to manage one’s stress. It may not show right away, but it will show in time. The stress teens face come in many shapes and forms. By de-stressing teens will notice in the future that they not only are physically healthy, but teens will also find out that they are mentally happy too. When someone takes the time to de-stress it relieves one’s body and more teens need to get it into their minds about what their body needs.

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Categories: Short Story/Essay 2012-13