STRESS: How to Cope.

  • The young generation today is experiencing more stress than any previous generation.

  • We discuss many of the causes of this increased stress level.

  • We discuss some approaches that assist our young generation to cope with their stress.

Generation Z members —born in the mid-1990s to mid-2000s—are experiencing the most stress of any age group.

  • Stress in many teens is at an unhealthy level.

  • Research shows that anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicide are on the rise among teens.

  • Despite teens reporting that stress has little or no impact on their mental health there is an increase in the following symptoms:

    • irritability or anger;

    • feeling nervous or anxious;

    • feeling like crying;

    • being depressed or sad and;

    • becoming isolated.

  • Many teens do nothing to cope with their stress or do not know how to manage it.

Let’s review what is contributing to the increased stress and some actions that can help our youth cope with stress.


  • Generation Z receives constant alarmist reminders online of troubling headlines through the 24 hour news cycle.

  • Unlike previous generations they hear and become more concerned about the state of the economy, current events, climate change, immigration policy and unique cultural and social dynamics.

  • With school shootings, terrorists, politics, war, and violence they perceive the world isn’t safe anymore.

  • Teens are also engaged in the digital worlds of Snapchat and TikTok.

  • Comparing their life to that of others on social media can have negative effects.

  • Such digital connections may replace the real, deeper relationships that can help teens combat stress or cope with challenges.

  • They worry about acceptance into universities with increasing tuition costs.

  • Rising academic pressure contributes to student stress.

  • Once they graduate, the competitive job market worries them.

  • Teens may find it challenging to manage the pressures as they are not able to manage the stress like adults.


Assist youth to organize group sessions to practice communication and collaboration skills.

They can discuss topics such as:

Physical Activity:

  • Why is exercise one of the most effective stress busters?

  • What are the benefits and challenges of joining sports teams or other active group activities?

  • What are ways to exercise that don’t cost money?

  • What are the benefits of going out into nature?

  • What is forest bathing and its benefits?

  • What are some activities they might enjoy to incorporate into their routine?

  • What are some benefits of having a social component when doing physical activities?


  • Why is it important to have an adequate amount of sleep? (Adolescents should get up to nine hours a night.)

Find Their Strengths:

  • Focus on finding their strengths and find the things they’re good at, and find ways to do more of those things.

  • Do things that make them happy by finding hobbies or activities that bring them joy. (That might be playing or listening to music, going to the movies, or drawing etc.)


  • Talk to others.

  • How is it easier to manage stress when you let others lend a hand?

  • Who can you talk to? (friends, a parent, teacher, or other trusted adult.)

  • The power of active listening and the ways it can benefit us.

  • How to create a toolbox for stress by practicing perseverance, resiliency, and self-care.

  • How to incorporate games and mindfulness practices into sessions. (This can help them focus better and make their collaboration richer.)


  • Discuss the impact on mindset of eating healthy food versus junk food.

Empower Them:

  • Enable them to connect with others.

  • Encourage them to contribute to the group activities and suggest improvements.

  • Discuss why it is better to pursue excellence which is motivating and not perfection which is demoralizing. You can find information on a previous post at

  • Review tools such as breaking a task up into small parts, setting blocks of time to work, and rewarding themselves for tasks done.

  • Discuss the difference results of a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset.

  • Help them realize they are empowered and not hopeless. Encourage them to improve their interpersonal skills.

  • Encourage them to build empathy towards others.

  • Discuss and implement positive feedback on activities they perform in the group sessions.

  • Promote involvement in group activities.

You can review a post about anxiety which is related to stress at

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions please contact us.

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There is a guide available which assists parents and others working with youth.

The guide enables a person to be proactive in the success of a child’s future.

It contains activities to assist youth to gain critical soft skills.

They will become more resourceful and independent when they practice and gain these skills.

The guide is available from Our Future Leaders.

Request the Parent’s Guide here


What are you going to do to assist children to become our future leaders?

Fred Jones

Victoria, BC Canada

Fred Jones

Fred Jones

Posted in Blog and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

One Comment

  1. Fred, you mentioned Forest Bathing in this newsletter. The president of our Toastmasters club in Sechelt is a certified Forest Therapy Guide. She has done a few sessions with our club. One for the whole club in place of a regular meeting, and then one for our club’s executive before we sat down to work on our Club Success Plan. I was amazed at how relaxed and co-operative we were when it came time to work. The session walking through the forest and then having some quiet time to ourselves before the work session really got us in a good frame of mind.
    If you want any information on Forest Therapy, call Forest Bathing in Japan, I’m sure Haida Bolton would be happy to help. I’ll send you her contact information. Maureen

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