So many factors impact teenagers’ lives daily that remaining positive in the face of adversity can be challenging.
People tend to forget how difficult the teen years were, from managing expectations, learning independence, and having demands on time and energy to being overrun with hormones as the body matures and develops.
In other words, the teen years are the worst in some ways.
But one thing that teens have in spades is optimism. There’s hope and a belief that things will work out in the end. Why would they not? The one thing teens have over almost every living creature is an abundance of time.
And how teens choose to use their time is simply inspiring. In fact, youth and teen activism are on the rise, and with the inclusion of social media, that activism is reaching awesome levels unheard of years before.
Some of that activism is for events that challenge the younger generation, such as climate action. Still, for others, it’s simply a positive way to become a more connected global citizen.
The first step toward making a positive change in your teen’s life is them learning how to handle adversity positively. This is the optimism fueled by youth.
Learning to handle adversity positively takes a paradigm shift and dedicated practice in how you examine and see things.
For example, suppose you’re under a lot of stress and dealing with anxiety, rather than look for medical ways to minimize it. In that case, there are more holistic approaches that you can take to lessen the effects and manage them in the future.
Some of the holistic approaches to minimizing stress:
- Get more sleep
- Eat better and on schedule
- Exercise at least 60 minutes every day
- Learn to be mindful
- Acts of kindness
Sleep: Getting enough sleep is crucial to balance the neurochemicals in the brain, allow the body to rest and recover, and have enough sustainable energy throughout the day. Sleep also serves essential functions in fighting disease, maintaining proper heart health, cognitive development, controlling appetite, and improving moods.
Eat Better: One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to eat correctly. Eating a balanced diet on a regular schedule will keep your blood sugars in balance; otherwise, your body will release cortisol, which is the body’s primary stress hormone.
Too much cortisol makes people agitated and irritable, the opposite of happy and positive.
Eating better also has prolonged health implications, so learning to approach eating as an act of self-care is vital.
Exercise: Caring to make a positive change can be difficult if you’re always tired. Exercise performs a variety of things for the body, from aiding digestion to helping regulate moods and enhancing quality sleep.
Learn Mindfulness: Being in the moment, rather than worrying about a past mistake or fretting about what may or may not happen in the future, is being mindful. With mindfulness practice, you’re learning to exist at the moment without fear or worry and the accompanying anxiety that comes with those fears.
Practice Kindness: Doing something for someone else is a primary driver of self-satisfaction and overall happiness. If there was ever a time to practice kindness to others, it’s when you’re dealing with adversity yourself. The act creates a sense of purpose and accomplishment that helps alleviate your hardship symptoms and negativity.
For example, if someone you know is struggling and needs some outside assistance, you can encourage them to shift their thinking. Sometimes, you may want to guide them to seek professional help.
For parents of troubled teens, there are treatment centers all around you. You can do a local Google search, or if you want something more removed from where you live, you can Google terms such as how far is Muirwoods from Sonoma or how far is Vista Center from Phoenix.
Handling adversity is one of those life skills that some people have an easier time developing than others. However, encouraging your teens to look at trouble as an opportunity and teaching the mechanisms to handle adversity positively are the foundations of a happy, long life.
By learning to cope with stress and difficulties that will spring up from time to time at an early age, teens that approach adversity with a positive attitude are better adjusted and able to work past those hurdles than those lacking the necessary coping mechanisms.