There is a growing awareness of teenagers’ mental health struggles. In our roles as parents, teachers, coaches, or even just neighbors, we’d like to know how we might help youngsters reflect on and improve their mental health. It turns out that there are several methods to accomplish this.
We may introduce teenagers and young adults to mental health experts. We may encourage them to spend more time outside. We might choose to be a safe space where they feel comfortable sharing what they experience.
When it comes to mental health and teens, what is recommended is like what adults are advised. Supporting kids means listening to their experiences, ideas, and feelings without judgment or shame. It also means helping them connect with others when they need support.
Helping Teens Examine Their Mental Health
If we want to know if a teen in our lives is suffering from stress, anxiety, depression, or borderline personality disorder (BPD), a mental health evaluation can be of invaluable assistance. Teenagers benefit from recognizing their struggles and realizing they are not alone. Simply having a name for their experience can sometimes assist teenagers and young adults in self-reflection and connecting with people who can support and help them succeed.
Consulting With Professionals
Furthermore, most teenagers will benefit from speaking with a mental health professional if their mental health interferes with their daily lives. This might look like matching a teen with someone with experience treating teen BPD or teen depression.
It is critical to seek out someone who understands what teenagers experience. Since they have less life experience, teenagers and young adults often experience their emotions more intensely than adults. Teenagers will only open to experts who respect their thoughts and feelings.
Self-care is one of the first lines of defense for teenagers who are in the process of prioritizing mental health. This might include staying physically active, eating healthy foods, and getting enough rest. These healthful practices boost mental health and reduce stress. The most effective method to inspire teens to do so is for us to demonstrate the value of self-care through our actions.
The Power of Music
Teens and young adults should be encouraged to listen to music. Music can be both helpful for distracting teens and helping teens relax. In fact, studies have shown music can make people feel less sad and anxious.
One study found that listening to classical music every day for two months dramatically reduced anxiety levels among college students. This means we should avoid teasing our teenagers about what music they are listening to and instead utilize it to strengthen our bond with them.
Spending Some Time Outdoors
Outdoor activities reduce stress, anxiety, and tiredness. Teenagers should be aware that changing their environment when depressed can make them feel better. In addition, natural light can help them sleep better and feel more rested. They should strive for at least one 10-minute walk outside each day. Other activities, like sports, biking, and gardening, may inspire teenagers and young adults to get outside.
We should also encourage teens to focus on the positive to avoid overwhelming daily anxieties. To help them stay focused on the positive side of life, we might recommend writing down encouraging ideas and notes about small things that make them smile each day. Depending on our family, this may also mean speaking out loud about what we are grateful for after supper or as part of our morning ritual. This will help establish healthy habits for our teens.
Getting Emotions Out
Instead of letting difficult teen emotions build up and burst, we may help teens relieve tension. Exercise (hiking, kickboxing, basketball, etc.), writing in a notebook, cooking, baking, and creating artwork are all good ways to reduce stress. Trying a new activity can also center the mind. When teens take on an unfamiliar endeavor, such as staying upright on ice skates, sculpting clay on a potter’s wheel, or remaining afloat on a paddle board, it’s difficult for them to focus on difficulties and fears.
We should also encourage kids and young adults to surround themselves with positive people. We can help them make plans for phone calls or video chats if they cannot meet in person. They should be creative about how they stay in touch with significant people in their lives. It might look like a group text or playing a game with their friends online.