#062 Tools for Managing stress & anxiety for you & your teen.

For the past few weeks I’ve been feeling a lot of stress and anxiety in my own life. With football, my new Parenting Program, and everything else, I’ve had to do my own work on stress.

“When we are having a bad day, we tend to think in melodramatic terms, that
we’ve lost it, that everything’s gone wrong, but usually, all you have to do is correct
one small element of your game and everything else will fall into place.”
~ Mia Hamm

Stress is Impacting EVERYONE These Days!

Most people would say that stress is bad!

I get it. It’s definitely uncomfortable.

If you’re like most people, you try really hard to avoid the discomfort of feeling stressed.

You might avoid having conversations with people, you might bottle up your stress and anxiety all day, just to let it explode towards the end of the day. Or, maybe you bottle it all up and suppress it with unhealthy habits like over-eating, being under-active in your life, or avoiding everything that might trigger anxiety and/or stress.

And that’s just YOU!

What about your teen?

If they’re like most teens, stress and anxiety is a regular part of their day.

This DOESN’T Have To Be A Bad Thing!

Like I said earlier, most people think stress and anxiety are bad.

I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be bad.

Look at lifting weights and physical exercise. These activities literally put stress on the body, but they also make the body stronger and in better shape.

Recently I heard, and I’m sorry I can’t remember where, that the most damaging part of stress and anxiety is people believing that it is bad for them and that it is having a negative effect on their body.

Stress and anxiety can make you stronger.

Sometimes, these are feelings that you have to experience to up-level your life.

When you look at them as empowering they will be beneficial to you.

When you look at them as a problem, they will have a negative impact on your life.

What You and Your Teen Can Do!

Here are a few things that you and your teen can try to help you gain some power and control over your stress and anxiety.

  1. Gain some awareness when it comes to stress and anxiety.
    • Most people avoid feeling stress and anxiety, and because they avoid it, they never fully experience it, and they never truly become aware of what’s truly going on.
    • To gain some awareness around it start with the feeling itself and explore it.
      • When you feel stressed and/or anxious, identify it.
      • Explore what it feels like.
      • Where do you feeling it?
      • How often do you feel it and when are you most likely to feel it?
      • How long do you feel it and how intensely do you feel it?
    • Next move to the thoughts that precede it.
      • What where you thinking just before you started feeling anxious?
      • What triggered those thoughts?
      • What subconscious thoughts might have triggered the feeling.
    • Then move to the actions that follow the feelings.
      • When I feel stressed and anxious, what do I want to do?
      • What do I NOT want to do?
      • What habits to I engage in when I feel this way?
  2. Develop some intentional habits and practices when you feel stressed and anxious.
    • I hate to tell you this, but stress and anxiety aren’t going away, but you CAN create some intentional habits and practices that you would like to fall back on when you do feel anxious or nervous.
    • For me, I am in the habit of exploring and understanding it.
    • I’m also in the habit of “Doing Scary Things.”
      • That’s right. When I’m nervous, I intentionally do the thing making me nervous. I want to BE someone who does scary things.
  3. Develop some routines that help you prevent, minimize, and manage stress and anxiety.
    • I recommend doing daily thought downloads to help you be aware of the thoughts behind your stress and anxiety.
    • Some of my clients really benefit from bedtime/sleep routines.
    • Some of my clients really benefit from morning routines.
    • Weekend routines may help.
  4. Identify what you can and can’t control and shift your focus.
    • I’ve noticed a pattern with people who are feeling stressed and anxious, they focus on things outside of their control.
    • They focus on things from the past (outside of their control) or things from the future (again, outside of their control).
    • When you are stressed and anxious, identify what you are focusing on that is outside of your control.
    • Then, identify a few things that you can control and shift your focus to that and TAKE CONTROL!
  5. Remember that NOTHING has gone wrong!
    • Stress and anxiety don’t have to be bad!
    • What you are going through can be for your good.
    • It can make you stronger.
    • This is part of being human.

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