Stress is a phenomenon that we experience from the day we are born till the day we die. Even though we all experience it, the type of stress we feel can be very dependent on what stage we are in life.
The kind of stress you will feel largely depends on age, simply because age dictates what your life is focused around. Hence you will likely share the same kind of stress as most of your peers.
although a large part of stress management remains the same throughout your lifetime, the way you tackle stress can also be quite different depending on your age.
Let’s explore some of these differences!
0-16 Years Old
In the early years of our life, we are the fully getting to grips with not just ourselves, but also with the world around us. It is because we are not yet experienced with life that this period is where we are the most vulnerable when it comes to stress.
But even within this relatively short age gap we can make many distinctions in the types of stress and stress triggers experienced.
For younger children, say from 2-8 years old, the main forms of stress come from the people they look up to, mostly their parents. These kids will experience most of their stress from arguing and fighting parents, parent abuse, or lack of attention from parents.
Given that the parents are the role model for these children, it can often be very hard for them to be able to deal with any kind of stress since they have not been shown a good example.
Older children, from 9-16 years old can of course suffer from the same issues. However they will experience other kinds of stress as well. It is at this age that puberty starts to take effect, and this brings along a world of change.
This is known as the struggle of identity, and it is a major source of stress. It is at this stage that people start to form their own personalities and characters. We start to become more aware of our surroundings.
It is also the time where friendships and social situations become more and more important in our lives. These can be a major cause of stress, especially for those of us who are naturally introverted.
What can be done to relieve stress?
For individuals of this age, it is up to the parents or guardians to ensure that stress is minimized and dealt with effectively when it inevitable arises.
Firstly, sleep is a massive factor in our brains ability to regulate stress. We all need adequate sleep, but this is even more important for the 0-16 year old age group. The importance for kids of this age is that they are able to follow a routine. This massively simplifies things for them, and also gives them a feeling of security, which is a great way for them to destress.
If you want more tips on how to maximize sleep, make sure you check out my dedicated article on that here!
School is a major source of stress for anyone, and this can be minimized in a few ways. Firstly we need to help our children with their schoolwork. Feeling overwhelmed with work is a real possibility in school. Kids need to be taught a sense of work ethic which ensures that they stay on task and keep in control of their work. On top of that, if they struggle with certain classes, it might be a good idea to help them with their course work, or sign them up for extra classes if need be.
Their social relationships can also be a major influence on their stress levels. We need to make sure that our children have the opportunity to be social. Letting them enjoy an after school sport is a great way to form extra meaningful relationships. On top of that, the sport is a great way for them to vent some of the build up frustration that comes with school life!
It is vital that we let our kids pursue some of their own goals and interests in life. A lot of the time we will force things on them. Parents will force their kids to play a sport after school, or learn a musical instrument.
It might not always be easy to figure out what your child truly wants, but spending time to figure it out will really help them to develop into a successful individual!
Lastly, we have to learn to sit down with out kids and talk about their day. We have to get our kids into the habit of thoroughly talking about their day. For most children, this can sometimes seem as an impossible task. However, with some clever parenting you will always be able to discover what bothers our child.
Then we can talk about it with them and reassure them that there is a solution to every problem in life!
17-25 Years Old
At this stage in life, we see relationship and academic pressure reach new heights. It is in this age group that the vast majority of people graduate high school and university. Naturally this leads to a large amount of stress, and this is completely normal.
Society has put a lot of emphasis on getting a good job after your studies that often time we will strive for perfectionism. This sets our expectations so high, that we are bound to disappoint ourselves, even if we are doing really well in life.
On top of that, 17-25 year olds are still somewhat in their identity discovery phase. This means that there is still a large emphasis on meaningful relationships. A lot of stress can stem from a lack of these relationships.
This can be detrimental to the final development of those struggling with loneliness. Often times this kinds of stress is exacerbated via social media.
I have already created an article about the effects of social media on society, so if you want more information regarding this topic, make sure you check out why you shouldn’t live an aesthetic lifestyle!
What can be done to relieve stress?
As with the last age group, the importance of sticking to a routine cannot be underestimated! Living your life with an effective routine makes sure that you can spend all the energy you have towards your daily struggles.
Think of it like this. You have a good routine, which means you sleep enough, you place is always clean, there is food in the fridge, and you have a healthy diet and exercise regime. These are all things you do not have to worry about anymore since they are basically taken care off already.
When you go through a tough time, it is then alright to slack off on some of the above mentioned things in order to deal with whatever it is you need to.
But make sure you go back to your routine as soon as you can!
Moving on to the issue of lacking meaningful relationships, there are a few tips I can give you to better this area of your life. I have always been an introverted person, so the following tips have helped me quite a lot.
I’m a firm believer that if you are able to make yourself enjoy social situations, you will build an incredible amount of friendships. Some ways to enjoy being more social can be:
- Learn to talk about what you want to talk about
- Always aim to build a relationship that will last
- Avoid any unecessary stress
- Set boundaries for yourself
- Practice makes perfect
I am currently in this age category, and I have found that mindfulness meditation and journaling have really taught me a lot about not only myself, but also about life in general.