What are some good techniques for a young person to handle stress?

juicy asks: Growing up isn’t easy. Most of the time I got headaches easily by stress… When I was young I didn’t really understand any family problems, or myself, or love. Sometimes I wanted to just run away. I want to know what to do when I get stressed out.

Hi Juicy –


You are so right, growing up is never easy!  If it were, I’d be spending my days chewing bones and sunbathing, because no one would be writing me questions at all!


Now… If I’m understanding your question correctly, you’re saying that you’ve always had stress issues, and now you’re wondering what to do about them.  Here are some suggestions:

1)    Breathe.  I know, it sounds silly, but most humans hold their breath when they get stressed out!  Whenever you feel the stress building, just sit down and take at least five slow deep breaths.  Ten if you can.  It won’t change what’s happening outside, but it will

literally help your body handle the stress much better.

2)    Regularly exercise.  Every day is best, but at least a few times a week.  Our bodies hold onto the stress that we can’t resolve, and it helps a lot to let them burn it out!  Plus, exercise encourages you to Breathe!

3)    Meditate, Pray, whatever you like.  But take some time every day to sit with your eyes closed and just center.  Feel any stress in your body and concentrate on relaxing it.  And of course, while you’re doing this, as deeply as possible…  yes, Breathe!

4)    As much as possible, get rid of jerks!  One reason lots of people feel so much stress is that their lives are full of really difficult, self-centered, unhelpful people.  If your boss or teacher is really tough on you all day, and then you tell a friend about it and that friend doesn’t listen, or insults you for it… that’s not a great friend!  Try to bring more positive and supportive people into your life.  Your stress level will reduce soon.

5)    Although they might seem to help at first, things like tobacco, alcohol, illegal drugs, and even caffeine actually increase stress.  Never count on them to help.  Far better to drink lots of water and make sure you get a good night’s sleep every night.

6)    On that count, eat a healthy diet.  Just like exercise and sleep, it will help your body relax more, and you’ll like what you see in the mirror more too!

7)    Find someone good to talk to about your stress.  Friends are great, but if you need more, a therapist or counselor is going to be very helpful.

8)    And oh you knew this was coming…  if you can, Juicy… get, or at least play with, a dog!  We are so good at stress-reduction!  We’ll remind you all the time of what really matters (love, protection, play), and what doesn’t (who said what about whom and who likes or doesn’t like who and all that!).  All the above are great things, but there’s nothing like a loyal trustworthy love, lightly snoring by your feet, to reduce stress always!  (you see, we pooches never forgot how to breathe!)


Good Luck, and feel better!



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