11 Essential Coping Skills for Teens

Coping Skills For TeensBeing a teenager is not always easy. But it gets easier if you learn the essential coping skills for teens. Even though you may fear that you are not smart enough or liked enough or pretty enough, remember that no one is perfect.

We all make mistakes and fumble around in the dark. And then one day, little by little things begin to get better. We learn along the way. That’s normal. So that’s why it’s important to understand all of the possibilities that are available to you. 


What Do Essential Coping Skills for Teens Look Like?


1. Your Brain Doesn’t Fully Develop Until 23-25 Years of Age

Science tells us that your brain will not fully form until well after your teens. So you can’t always understand how things work entirely. Know that things can get better even though you can’t see “how.” 

2. It Won’t Always Feel This Bad – Things Usually Get Better Over Time.

 Try to see beyond the current state of things if they are negative and don’t feel right. It won’t always be that way. Focus on what you can do to make things better currently to the best of your ability. Utilize the essential coping skills for teens.

We all have regrets. It’s a part of life. Try not to sweat over it. Just learn from it and move on. You will always have those experiences in life. It’s normal.

3. Try to See Things Outside Your Own Thinking – Another Person’s Perspective

You may think you will always see things the same way. However, our emotions color how we experience things at the moment. 

We need to check out why we feel the way we do. Does the other person see it differently? See how you feel after your emotions calm down. 

4. Another Essential Coping Skill for Teens: Do a Healthy Activity You Really Like

One of the best and most essential coping skills for teens is to do things you enjoy, especially when you feel sad, low, or angry. Rather than focusing on what doesn’t feel good, try to find those things that feel even a tiny bit better or hopeful for you. Refocusing can help to balance out the negative things. Being physically active can balance you during emotionally tough times.

5. Especially When You are Feeling Down About Yourself, Think of At Least Two Things You Already Like About You.

People are generally hard on themselves. That is normal, but you need to also look at the things you do well or the good qualities you also have. No one is perfect!  

Accept that you are doing your best with what you know and are capable of doing. Remember, everyone has their own challenges, but also things they do well. 

6. Try Not to Compare Yourself to Others

Not comparing yourself to others is one of the most essential coping skills for teens. We judge ourselves by what we see others doing. And usually, we end up feeling we are “less” than they are. Remember, we all shine in our own way.

Don’t let others define you. Sometimes people put others down to make themselves feel better. 

7. Choose Friends Who Help You Feel Good About Yourself

Everyone feels down once in a while. And we all need some support from a good friend or a family member we trust — someone who believes in you and is not so competitive with you. Good friends build you up, not knock you down. The right friends want what’s good for you and for you to be happy. Choose friends who cheer you on when you do something well and try to make you feel better when you are down. Develop this as a lifelong practice that works at any age.

8. Wait For at Least 10 Seconds Before Taking Negative Action

We all get upset from time to time. Take 10 seconds to let that initial flash of anger subside, and you may avoid saying or doing something in an instant that you will regret for a lifetime.

Avoiding impulsive actions is perhaps the most difficult of the essential coping skills for teens to learn, but the most useful.

9. When You Feel Angry, Try Walking it Off

Another great and essential coping skill for teens is to “walk it off.” Try not to take immediate action in times of anger, hurt, or frustration. Give yourself time to think through how you feel, why you feel that way, and what you can do about it to feel better. You will be surprised at how much better you feel and how much better is the result when you don’t immediately react out of negative emotions. 

10. How to Recognize the Signs of Stress or Low Mood

Here are some ways of recognizing when you feel stressed or depressed taken from http://bstrongtogether.org/for-parents/stress/.

11.  Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Professional Help

There is no shame in seeking help when you feel overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed. It’s the same for adults. Things can get better because of all kinds of possibilities, even if we don’t know what they are yet.

Help can come from a psychological counselor at school, your parent’s health insurance, or even a pastor or priest.


Final Thoughts on Coping Skills for Teens

Remember — everyone goes through difficult times in life. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Asking for help doesn’t mean you are weak. Everyone needs help at times, at any age.

Try not to judge yourself too much. We are often too hard on ourselves, so try to see yourself through the eyes of people who know and value you. 

Being a teenager is not easy. Even adults know this to be true. Remember, you are not alone and can always ask for help, whether it is a friend, family member, or counselor. 


About Susan Saint-Welch

Susan Saint-Welch LMFT has counseled couples and individuals for many years on issues such as dating, marriage, family drama, coping with difficult times, improving self-image and living the life you love. She provides psychotherapy for clients in California and Dating, Couples and Life Coaching for clients outside California through secure video conferencing. She has published numerous articles regarding these issues on her website, on YourTango.com and on MSN.com.

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