How to live a calm and relaxing life for teenagers

Do you ever notice how some people always seem to have it together? They’re calm and happy with both feet firmly planted on the ground, even amidst turmoil. Like a mountain that stands tall and strong, they weather the many storms that come their way. They seek out blessings and uncover them like the beautiful hidden gems that they are. Magic seems to find them each day, inviting an authentic smile to cross their lips.

Others, not so much. When similar turmoil is thrown their way, they tend to experience more difficulty dealing with the turbulence. Stress levels rise when life chucks its curve balls at them. The silver lining is difficult for them to see in the haze as they struggle to find their joy and feel stuck in their situation.

It’s easy to say “Look on the bright side,” or “Keep a positive mindset” so that everyone can be a part of the happy-go-lucky group. But sometimes in the throes of life we forget just how powerful we are in creating our own destiny.

In my own roller-coaster ride of a life, as well as in the work I’ve done as both an executive coach and an entrepreneur working with a diverse group of clients, vendors, and employees, I’ve seen and experienced the full spectrum of dealing with life’s adversities.

In my observations, I’ve noticed that, at the end of the day, attitude is everything. It will make you or break you. But, it’s not as simple as just flipping a switch to turn that powerful positive mindset to the ‘on’ position. It takes gentle reminders and some good, old-fashioned work.

When you’re feeling the effects of stress and struggle, try to connect with some of these top habits shared by calm and happy people and allow the light to shine in:

Living the Quiet Life

By Leo Babauta

When I first started simplifying my life, about 8 years ago, I remember my life being much busier.

I would say yes to everything, and go to lots of social stuff, and drive everywhere doing a crazy amount of things, rushing wherever I went. By crazy I mean it can drive you a bit insane.

These days I know a lot of people who do an amazing amount of socializing online instead of in person — chatting and sending messages and tumbling and posting pictures and status updates. While I understand the need for social connection, I also recognize the addictiveness of it all, to the point where we have no quiet.

Quiet space is incredibly important to me these days. I like my quiet mornings where I can drink a nice tea, meditate, write, as the day grows light and the kids are sleeping. I like quiet on my runs and long walks, so that I can process my ideas, give my thoughts some space, reflect on my life.

The quiet space I allow myself has made possible my writing, but also all the improvements I’ve made to my life: healthier eating, the exercise habit, meditation, decluttering, procrastinating less, etc. Because the quiet space allows me to be more conscious about my actions, and gives me the time to consider whether what I’m doing is how I want to live my life.

And so, while I still socialize, I live a quieter life now. I have my quiet mornings of meditation, tea and writing, but also my nice runs, some time drinking tea or working out with a friend, alone time with my wife, reading with my kids, and some time alone with a good novel.

Is every minute one of quiet? No, the kids make sure I have some noise in my life, and I’m grateful for that, but the quiet is also in how I respond to the noise. A quiet response is one that absorbs the force of noise, with compassion, and doesn’t throw it back with equal force.

Today I wish the quiet life upon you.

  • Create a little quiet space in the morning.
  • Meditate for 2 minutes a day (to start with). Just sit and put your attention on your breath, returning when your thoughts distract you.
  • When you feel the urge to socialize online, pause. Give yourself a little quiet instead.
  • When you feel the automatic urge to say Yes to an invitation, consider saying No instead, unless it’s something that will truly enrich your life.
  • Don’t take music on a run or walk. Instead, give yourself space with your thoughts.
  • When someone talks to you, instead of jumping in with something about yourself, just listen. Absorb. Reflect their thoughts back to them. Appreciate their beauty.
  • Make time for the people closest to you. One-on-one time is best. Really pay attention to them.
  • Make time for creating, with no distractions.
  • Spend some time decluttering, and creating peaceful space.
  • Create space between your automatic reaction, and your actions (or words). Even one second is enough. In that space, consider whether your reaction is appropriate.
  • Instead of rushing, take a breath, and slow down.
  • Pay attention to sensations of whatever you’re eating, drinking, doing.
  • Have a daily time for reflection.

You don’t have to do all of these, and certainly not all at once. A slow, happy progression is best.

In the quiet space that you create, in this world of noise and rushing and distraction, is a new world of reflection, peacefulness, and beauty. It’s a world of your own, and it’s worth living in.

How to live a calm and relaxing life for teenagers

As the coronavirus spreads and more cases of COVID-19 pop up, it can feel hard not to panic — even though keeping calm is one of the main pieces of advice health officials are giving us. On top of the spread of disease, the spread of misinformation is also rampant, only serving to heighten fears. If you’ve started to freak out about the coronavirus, and feel like the world is just one big germ, you’re definitely not alone.

“I’ve had several patients come into my office and the first thing out of their mouth is worries about the coronavirus,” Ariella Silver, PsyD, director of the Psychology Training Program at Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center, told Teen Vogue.

Since the likelihood that you’ll get COVID-19 if you live in the United States is still relatively low, it can feel like the anxiety about getting it is more severe than your actual risk. So, how can you cope with coronavirus anxiety? We talked with Silver, a psychologist, and Neha Nanda, M.D., medical director of infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship with Keck School of Medicine at USC, to get you the information you need.

Know the Facts

The first thing Silver recommends to patients worried about the coronavirus is to arm themselves with the facts — and no, TikTok doesn’t count as a reliable source of information.

“Teens have so much access to content on social media, but I’m suspect on how much hard science rises to the top,” Silver said. “Let’s go onto the CDC website, the authority on the situation, and learn together and clarify some of the things we think we know. All of a sudden, some of this misinformation starts to drop away. That in and of itself will relieve some anxiety.”

Like Silver mentioned, the CDC can help you figure out what’s real and what’s not when it comes to the coronavirus. The World Health Organization is also putting out factual, up-to-date information and answering common questions about the outbreak.

Figure Out What You Can Control

One of the scariest parts of an epidemic that has no clear endpoint like the one we’re experiencing is feeling like we can’t control our own lives or bodies. Disease is random, and that can feel scary. Rather than focusing on the things you can’t control, Silver recommends figuring out what you can control, and running with that.

“Any time you’re anxious, I encourage that [you] find your access of control,” she said.

According to Nanda, there are quite a few things you can do to take control and keep yourself healthy. She recommends avoiding close contact with people who are sick, avoiding touching your face, disinfecting frequently touched objects, and washing your hands often for at least 20 seconds each time. If you don’t have access to soap and water, Nanda recommended using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content.

“It’s important to remember that remaining calm and practicing vigilant hand and respiratory hygiene is the most effective way to combat any further spread,” Nanda told Teen Vogue. “And if you are feeling ill, stay home and be sure to communicate with your doctor when needed.”

While these are practical steps that are mostly in our control, it’s true that sometimes our best efforts just aren’t enough. If you start experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (like coughing, shortness of breath, or fever) and think you might have been exposed to it, Nanda said you should call your health care professional, and they can guide you toward next steps. This is also where it could be helpful to remember the facts, as Silver said above. Most illness caused by the coronavirus outbreak is mild, according to the World Health Organization.

Practice Relaxation Techniques

Sometimes the facts aren’t enough to calm your coronavirus anxiety. That’s totally valid, and that’s also why we have relaxation techniques.

“There are so many [relaxation techniques] but there are some really basic ones [like] belly breathing or deep breathing,” Silver said. “You can do it just about anywhere. Take a very deep breath in through your nose for four seconds, and out through your mouth for four seconds. You should feel your lungs and chest cavity expand as you breathe in and drop as you breathe out.”

Other techniques include progressive muscle relaxation and mindfulness, Silver said, and the list certainly doesn’t end there. You can try things like distracting yourself by singing your favorite song, focusing on things you can touch and feel, writing in a journal, and more.

Speak Up

It might feel scary, but telling the people in your life that you’re experiencing anxiety about the coronavirus can be super powerful. According to Silver, not only will speaking up about your anxiety help stop people from talking constantly about the epidemic, it will probably relieve those around you too.

“Tell the adults around you. Let them know you’re having an uptick in anxiety,” she said. “Also, [tell] your peer group — it’s totally okay to tell your friends, ‘I’m maxed out on the coronavirus talk today. Let’s talk about anything else.’ I’m sure the whole group will be relieved to get out from under that cloud of panic.”

Silver is totally right: You’re not the only one experiencing anxiety because of this outbreak, so voicing that can be a relief for you and others who might be struggling but haven’t said anything about it. Additionally, Silver said it’s okay to opt out of the constant coronavirus updates on social media and the news. It can feel hard to log off, especially if you want to feel informed. But Silver said constant refreshing of the news goes beyond collecting the facts, and into a potentially panic-inducing place.

“Be self-aware and attuned to what’s giving you that anxiety. If constantly reading every story is making it worse, that’s not staying informed, that’s overwhelming your system,” she said. “Go onto the websites that we know are giving us accurate, updated, and fact-checked information. Don’t take it all in all at once.”

Talk to a Professional

If you have access to a therapist or other mental health professional, it can be helpful to talk to them about your anxiety. This can be especially true for people with existing mental illness, who might feel triggered. For people with obsessive compulsive disorder or who are germaphobic, Silver said the advice to increase hygiene practices could feel triggering.

“Bring it up to a mental health professional if you have one. Find that balance and realize [preventative advice] is not advocating hand washing every five seconds,” she said. “That’s not the preventative recommendation. Stay in check.”

Ultimately, Silver said it’s about finding balance.

“It’s that balance we all have to hold,” she said. “This is serious, but we have the resources to stay calm and engaged in our daily life.”

“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.”

Aristotle said this more than 2,000 years ago. And it still holds true today. What is the true purpose of life, if not to live a happy life until we die?

Happiness is one of the most sought-after goals in life, yet for many it seems to be elusive. It’s easy to delude ourselves into thinking, “When I just have that nice house and new car, then I can be happy.” But in reality, happiness is available to all of us, right now. A big house or a new car won’t actually make you happier; it’s the simple joys in life that bring true happiness. Read on to learn 15 simple ways that you can start living a happier life today.

1. Do What You Love
If your passion is playing soccer, writing poems, or teaching children how to swim, make time to do it. You’ll find that when you’re doing what you love, you’re filled with joy. How much better does that sound than forcing yourself do something you don’t like?

2. Help Others
Sometimes after we’ve achieved our own personal goals, we still feel empty inside because we haven’t made a meaningful contribution to someone else’s life. When we volunteer or help others, it feels good to just be of service to someone else. The impact we make feels fulfilling and is a big potential source for our own happiness.

3. Be Thankful
When you think of all the things that you have to be grateful for, you realize how blessed you already are. Without even realizing it, we take our basic necessities for granted — a roof over your head and plenty of food to eat. By appreciating the things that you already have, you’ll begin to feel happier in your life.

4. Share With Others
When we share our thoughts, our time, and our abilities with others we feel better for it. A life lived without sharing can become lonely. When you share with others, they’ll feel great towards you and help you to feel more joy in your own life.

5. Smile More
Practice smiling more and see how it affects you internally, as well as those around you. You can always afford to give a smile. Smiling can make you happier — even if you have to force it, you’ll still feel better.

6. Exercise
When was the last time you went to the gym or worked out? Exercise reduces stress and releases endorphins, also known as a “runner’s high.” Playing sports is a fun way to exercise as well, whether it’s kicking around a soccer ball or shooting hoops.

7. Seek Out a Life Coach
A life coach will help you to evaluate your life and why you’re not feeling happy in it. Maybe you’re holding limiting beliefs or you have an emotional block without realizing it. By speaking to a life coach, you can uncover why you’re actually unhappy and what you can do to feel better.

8. Find Ways to Manage Stress
Don’t let stress rob you of your birthright to be happy. You deserve to be happy, and it wouldn’t be right to let stress get in the way. Practices such as meditation can help you to manage stress better and feel great.

9. Eat Healthy
It’s much more challenging to feel truly happy when you’re sick. But when you eat right, you feel better both physically and mentally. And you’ll avoid that guilty feeling that you just pigged out on junk food.

10. Spend Time With Your Loved Ones
There’s no replacement for spending quality time with your loved ones. We’re social beings, even if you’re an introvert or a loner. People love spending time with their friends and family for good conversation, bonding, and some laughs. Life’s too short to live it completely alone.

11. Dump Negative Thinking
You already know that negative thinking will bring you down. So how do you stop it? Become more aware of it and try replacing your negative thoughts with some positive ones. Spend less time with negative people and more time with positive people.

12. Give More Gifts
You don’t have to give expensive gifts; sometimes a poem, a quick note, or a thoughtful email will brighten someone else’s day, and yours. Share what you can give to all the wonderful people in your life.

13. Forgive and Forget
Holding a grudge will harm you more than the person you’re holding it against. Ask yourself, “What would it take for me to let go of the past?” and notice how you feel when you let go of your anger for a few seconds. Focus instead on a bright future and you’ll feel better for it.

14. Take a Walk in Nature
Spending time out in nature can be very refreshing and renewing, especially when you’re living in an artificial, manmade world. Taking a walk in your local woods or park and getting some fresh air can allow you to appreciate the beauty of the natural world.

15. Be Yourself
As Steve Jobs said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” Accept who you are, just be yourself, and you’ll feel a world of difference.

Want to be happier? Click here to learn how you can live a happy life with life coaching. A life coach is a professional who helps you to be happier, reach your goals, and find your true purpose in life. See how a simple shift in your thinking and attitude towards life can make you feel a whole lot happier.

Even when things are going well, OCD can hijack your day. Obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors — and the anxiety that comes with them — can take up massive amounts of time and energy.

Though medication and therapy are the main ways to treat this lifelong condition, self-care is a secret weapon with plenty of side benefits.

Food and mood. The only thing more important than eating healthy food is eating it regularly. When you’re hungry, your blood sugar drops. This can make you cranky or tired. Start with a daily breakfast, and try to eat small meals more often instead of big meals at lunch and dinner.

  • Nuts and seeds, which are packed with healthy nutrients
  • Protein like eggs, beans, and meat, which fuel you up slowly to keep you in better balance
  • Complex carbs like fruits, veggies, and whole grains, which help keep your blood sugar levels steady

Steer clear of caffeine, the stimulant in tea, coffee, soda, and energy drinks. It can kick up your anxiety levels a few notches.

Continued

Stick to your prescriptions. It can be tempting to escape OCD with drugs or alcohol, but they’re triggers in disguise. Drinking alcohol might feel like it offsets your anxiety, but it creates more before it leaves your system. Same goes for nicotine, the stimulant in cigarettes.

Sleep on it. Anxiety can make it hard to sleep. But sleep is important for good mental health. Instead of expecting to lie down and drift off to dreamland, create a sleep routine that sets your body up for success. Swap the time you spend looking at screens for 10 minutes of relaxing music or a warm bath. Dim noise and lighting and adjust the temperature in your bedroom so you go to sleep, and stay asleep all night.

Get active. When you feel anxious, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. It’s helpful in small doses but harmful at high levels. Regular exercise keeps your cortisol levels in check and benefits everything from your bones and organs to the numbers on your scale.

Continued

Take your meds. It may be common sense, but it’s important to takeВ the right dose at the right time. If you forget to take it, or decide to skip a dose, it could set off your symptoms. Talk to your doctor if side effects are an issue, or before you take anything new, including over-the-counter medicine and vitamins.

Seek support. Don’t hold it all in. Help is as close as your phone or computer. Sometimes the simple act of saying out loud what you’re thinking can lower anxiety and give you some perspective. In addition to your doctor, find a therapist, OCD coach, or support group to connect you with people who understand.

Learn to relax. Your body can’t relax if it doesn’t know how. Relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, taking a walk in nature, or drawing a picture teach your body how it feels to be calm. Try a few to find what works best for you, and spend 30 minutes a day on it.

Celebrate victories. Learning how to live with OCD takes time. Like any other goal, you’ll have successes and setbacks. Yes, it’s important to work on your OCD, but it’s just as important to step back and cheer the big and small progress you make along the way.

Sources

OCD-UK: “Understanding Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).”

Mind (UK): “How can food affect mood?”

Mayo Clinic: “Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).”

Anxiety and Depression Association of America: “How to Take the Power Back from Intrusive Thought OCD.”

Anxiety and Depression Association of America + Beyond OCD: “Relief from OCD: A Guide for People with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.”

International OCD Foundation: “From the Experts: 25 Tips for Succeeding in Your OCD Treatment.”

Lots of people stress out about talking in front of the class or getting laughed at if they make a mistake in front of an audience. Feeling nervous before a performance is natural — and part of your body’s way of helping you do your best. The “stress hormones” (like adrenaline) that your body produces at times like these can actually help you focus.

But when worry and stress about performing get to be too much, these hormones give people that “red alert” feeling — the one that causes you to feel cold or sweaty, get butterflies in your stomach, or feel like you can’t think straight.

These tips can help you manage that feeling:

  1. Be prepared. You’re less likely to freeze up if you’re well prepared. Rehearse as much as you can and practice — alone or in front of others — at every opportunity. Practice until you feel relaxed and ready. Nothing calms nerves like the confidence that comes from knowing you’re prepared.
  2. Psych yourself up. Instead of dwelling on what could go wrong, rev up some positive energy. Watch a football team before they run onto the field. They get in a group and pray or sing a team song to pump themselves up with positive energy and team spirit. You can do this whether you’re performing alone or as part of a group. Have a friend give you a pep talk. Give yourself one too. Tell yourself, “I got this!” “I’m ready to do this — here goes!” or, “This is going to be fun!”
  3. Learn ways to chill. Young performers, such as Olympic gymnasts and music soloists, talk about how important it is to prepare for the pre-performance jitters as well as the performance itself. At certain types of competitions, there’s quite a wait before it’s your turn to perform. Some people take along inspirational photos, put together a playlist to help them relax, or learn yoga and breathing techniques to help them feel calm. Some people need to be active to relax, others need to be still and calm. Find out what technique works for you, then make a plan to use it in the downtime before a big performance.
  4. Don’t be afraid of the nervous feeling. When you feel performance jitters, don’t freak out! Don’t let the feeling stop you or intimidate you. Just let it be there. Remind yourself it’s natural, just your nervous system revving up to get you ready and set to go. Know that it’s up to you to manage it to your advantage. Use your positive pep-talk and calming strategies to do just that. Then, go for it!
  5. Look after yourself. Before big performances it’s easy to let taking care of yourself slip as you spend too much time on rehearsals and practice. You’ll look and feel your best if you get enough sleep and eat healthy meals before your performance. Exercise can also help you feel good, and along with sleep and nutrition, is an excellent way of keeping those stress hormones from getting out of control.

More on this topic for:

  • Social Phobia
  • Shyness
  • Stress & Coping Center
  • Stress

Note: All information on TeensHealth® is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995- The Nemours Foundation. All rights reserved.

Do you ever notice how some people always seem to have it together? They’re calm and happy with both feet firmly planted on the ground, even amidst turmoil. Like a mountain that stands tall and strong, they weather the many storms that come their way. They seek out blessings and uncover them like the beautiful hidden gems that they are. Magic seems to find them each day, inviting an authentic smile to cross their lips.

Others, not so much. When similar turmoil is thrown their way, they tend to experience more difficulty dealing with the turbulence. Stress levels rise when life chucks its curve balls at them. The silver lining is difficult for them to see in the haze as they struggle to find their joy and feel stuck in their situation.

It’s easy to say “Look on the bright side,” or “Keep a positive mindset” so that everyone can be a part of the happy-go-lucky group. But sometimes in the throes of life we forget just how powerful we are in creating our own destiny.

In my own roller-coaster ride of a life, as well as in the work I’ve done as both an executive coach and an entrepreneur working with a diverse group of clients, vendors, and employees, I’ve seen and experienced the full spectrum of dealing with life’s adversities.

In my observations, I’ve noticed that, at the end of the day, attitude is everything. It will make you or break you. But, it’s not as simple as just flipping a switch to turn that powerful positive mindset to the ‘on’ position. It takes gentle reminders and some good, old-fashioned work.

When you’re feeling the effects of stress and struggle, try to connect with some of these top habits shared by calm and happy people and allow the light to shine in:

How to live a calm and relaxing life for teenagers

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How to live a calm and relaxing life for teenagers

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