I would just like to know how I can get rid of the stress I
go through everyday. First, I have trouble getting to school on time and that
causes me stress. At school, I
stress over paying attention and learning. When I get back home, I have to do
tons of homework and practice drums for about an hour (my drum teacher says I
have to). I also have this ex-girlfriend that I remain very good friends with
but she keeps breaking my heart, although I know it’s not intentional. So I
stress over her too. Finally, when I’m ready to sleep, I stress about what I
should wear tomorrow! What can I do!?
Dear Stressed Teen,
It seems you are in “the habit of stress.” This is actually quite common and fortunately, it is something that can
be reversed. There are some behavioral changes I would suggest:
1) Getting to school on time. Simple
solution: allow yourself more time
by getting up earlier, if necessary. Decide
on the time you need to leave the house to get there on time – then vow to get
out the door at exactly that time. You can set an egg timer to help you with this in the
beginning (have the egg timer go off 10 minutes before you should leave the
2) Paying attention at school. Worry
less about it and try to relax into hearing something of interest to you. I always suggest that, if the teacher doesn’t weave that information
into practical usage in your life, you can use your own imagination to think how
this information might prove worthwhile at some point. It will then “stick” in your memory better than stressing over
memorizing lists of unrelated facts or statistics.
3) Drums – if practicing them brings you stress, consider quitting for
now. That is something that should
be pleasurable to you, not stressful.
4) Ex-girlfriend – whether she intends it or not, if she is making you
feel bad, consider making other positive friends. Good friends should not, by definition, be stress producing.
5) What to wear. Lay out your
clothes the night before. This
eliminates the time and worry it takes when you’re under pressure to get out
the door in time.
Finally, when you catch yourself starting to worry about
something, recognize the pattern and say “I don’t need to continue this
stress cycle. I release the need to
cause myself stress. I deserve
peace and happiness.”