12 Jan Resilience – preventing teenage problems from escalating [Part 1]
You will come across obstacles that litter your path every day causing setbacks, prompting new questions and creating problems to deal with. Boom, that’s life, right there!
As a young adult growing up in today’s world you have a lot more to contend with than teenagers from a couple of generations ago. You have the Internet, social media, and huge pressures from teachers, parents and future employers to deal with.
Give yourself credit
You know what, you are probably doing far better than you think you are so give yourself a smile and a fist bump and say to yourself ‘you can do this.’
What’s more, I’ve started this series of blog articles to pull together tools and techniques to help you, as a teenager, to get the most out of life – life as it is now and for your future. Exams are tough and the demands of your parents high. The constant nagging about which career path to choose can be overwhelming (to be honest you can change your mind at any time and it won’t matter) and there’s also the feeling that you need to be like the in-crowd. Add the peer pressure from friends into the mix and things start to pile up.
It’s exhausting isn’t it?
Take a deep breath and look at the situation, is it the end of the world? Probably not. And there’s a neat way for you to build up your strength against some of these pesky teenage pressures.
Think of these pressures as germs that you need to guard against. Being aware of tools that you can lean on to help improve confidence and tolerance is similar to your immune system fighting a cold, or you using a cold-busting medication or treatment. It helps you to manage situations better and to overcome problems faster.
This neat little skill is called ‘having resilience’. It’s a key factor that will help you to approach and handle the unexpected in your stride and it’s a brilliant tool to pick up as a teenager.
What is resilience?
Have you ever had times in your life when things just seemed to get on top of you? Stressful events or situations that felt too much to bear? Of course you have. We all have.
And when stuff gets on top of you, you can feel fearful, sad or anxious. Feeling nervous about something can cause you to make snap decisions and take hasty action that may not be right. It’s OK and you are most certainly not alone. Resilience is like your guardian. It will help to protect you and is a skill that anyone can harness, giving you the ability to quickly bounce back from unforeseen problems.
Resilience is about being strong, confident and adaptable to situations that may not be under your control. You refuse to let teenage problems such as bullying, body image, academic stresses, social anxiety, and squabbles with friends and family get you down.
When you are resilient you stand up for yourself and spring back after obstacles get in your way.
Think of resilience a bit like a yoyo. You can flex the string thousands of times but the yoyo still returns. It may falter or drop but the original position, curled up within its container, is always achieved.
“The human capacity for burden is like bamboo- far more flexible than you’d ever believe at first glance.”
Jodi Picoult, My Sister’s Keeper
How resilient do you think you are?
You may think you’re not very resilient, especially if you’ve had setbacks that have plagued you in the past. You might also think ‘how on earth can I become more resilient?’
BUT, if you’re thinking any of this, it’s quite the opposite. You will in fact be one of the most resilient people there is, I promise you.
You have suffered, you have struggled, you have waded through a seemingly unstoppable tide of difficulty – and you have survived.
Go you! That’s all part of building your resilience.
If you still don’t believe it, the good news is that there are many ways to grow resilience and these skills can be learned – you don’t have to be born with them.
Why do we need to be resilient?
As a teenager you will encounter many problems for the first time. How you react to these problems and what you learn from them will build your resilience so that next time you face a similar issue, as a teenage or as an adult, you will be better equipped to deal with the situation and bounce back even quicker.
Life will affect you and it’s natural to feel emotions such as pain and disappointment. Feeling nothing doesn’t make you resilient. Feeling intense negative reactions yet surviving does. You will learn valuable lessons, gain new skills and develop the ability to adapt.
When might resilience be your friend?
The pressures of daily life affect everyone in different ways. You might feel anxious about a preparing for a work experience interview yet mock exams are a piece of cake. Your BFF on the other hand might be bricking it about exams but seems to have no fear in talking to potential employees or authoritative figures.
Everyone is different and resilience will enable you to feel confident with decisions you make and the interactions you encounter. It’ll help you to become bendable to pressures without snapping and allow you to choose the path of your future.
What next steps can you take?
Picture the last time you felt nervous or uncertain of a situation. Perhaps you were unsure of a person who you suddenly encountered or an object or setting that unnerved you.
How did you tackle this situation? What next steps did you take?
You probably handled the situation far better than you think. Make a note of your experience and consider the achievements or experiences you gained. What could you have done better? What worked well?
Start your resilience journey today
Grab yourself a drink and a snack and head on over to the next blog “10 things about gaining a resilient nature“. It’s a quick read and it’ll get you thinking on a whole new level. It’ll give you a more positive outlook and help you build that resilience against those obstacles.
If you’re short on time, bookmark the page and pop back later. In the meantime, for regular tips on how to stand tall against the pressures of life and to help your resilience against specific teenage problems, join our regular newsletter here – it’s packed full of ideas, cool activities and simple steps you can take to ensure you stay strong, independent and in control of your life.
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I look forward to your comments, have a truly incredible week and stay amazing.