It can be difficult to pinpoint when a teenager needs help. With adolescence comes mood swings and irritability, which can leave you wondering if their hormones are out of whack or if they’re struggling to deal with internal turmoil.
When a teenager is having a hard time dealing with anger, anxiety, or other challenges in their life, it may cause them to act out. As a result, you probably find yourself feeling exhausted and overwhelmed with how you can help them.
For troubled teens whose mental health is suffering, share these tips to help lead them on a path to a more positive outlook on life.
5 tips that may help your troubled teen
1. It’s ok to ask for help.
When struggling with mental health, it can be easy for your troubled teen to get trapped in their head. This pressure and overthinking can cause them to spiral, but their negative thoughts make them scared or embarrassed to use their voice.
If you have a troubled teen, it’s essential to make them aware of the effort and bravery it takes to admit that something is troubling them. Asking for help is never a sign of weakness — it’s a sign of strength. It shows that they are willing to do the necessary and challenging work, recognizing that they don’t need to face their struggles alone.
2. Maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
Change can be a trigger for many troubled teens. With so many changes happening at once, your child may feel as though they’re grasping at straws to keep everything the way it is.
Helping your teenager maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle can help them feel more confident facing the obstacles that being more independent can cause. There are a few ways for you to help guide your troubled teen to a healthier lifestyle.
To ensure your teen has a clear mind and can think clearly day in and day out, they must receive an adequate amount of sleep every night. It is recommended that teenagers get 8–10 hours of sleep every 24 hours. Although you can’t force your teenager to get ample sleep each night, you can remind them of the importance and stress that they get to bed at an early hour, and help them build healthy night and morning routines.
Apart from sleep, your teenager should also be exercising regularly. Performing physical activity regularly has been shown to help individuals release built-up tension and relieve stress. While exercise is an easy way to tire out your troubled teen’s mind and body (helping them get a more sound sleep!), it’s also a way for them to release any emotions that might be weighing down on them.
By introducing exercise, an earlier bedtime, and a consistent routine into your teenager’s life, they’ll be more at peace in their mind which will help them think more clearly and feel productive.
Remember, it also helps to model these behaviors so they are seen as positive and normal. If you have routines and habits that support a healthy lifestyle, it is easier for your teen to follow suit.
3. You are in control.
If your teenager is feeling down or depressed, it can be difficult for them to remember what makes them so special. Remind them that they are in control of their life and can reframe any negative thoughts they may have about themselves. As a way to boost their confidence and make them recognize the personality traits that make them special, work with them on sharing daily affirmations with themself.
By starting and ending each day with daily affirmations, they will begin to believe their own words as true. They simply need to remind themselves of all their valuable traits! They are smart. They are loved. They are talented. They are powerful. They are passionate.
Daily affirmations allow them to highlight their positive traits and help squash any negative thoughts that might be floating around in their heads. Their words and reminders can trump any degrading thoughts, and over time, your teenager will realize the truth and strength behind their words.
4. Find a coping mechanism that works for you.
It can be challenging for a troubled teen to feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel — and if they’re forced to use a coping mechanism that isn’t right for them, it can leave them feeling even more isolated than before.
No individual is the same, which means that while some coping mechanisms might work for most people, everyone is different. It’s important for you and your teen to identify a coping mechanism that can help them ease their mind and release any built-up stress that might be eating away at them.
While some teenagers may prefer to see a therapist and face their challenges head-on with a licensed professional’s help, others might find more comfort in expressing their emotions through creating music. From therapy and music to meditation, yoga, and journaling, there are many ways for your teen to release the emotions they’re feeling in a healthy and manageable way.
5. Build a support team.
When you’re going through heavy times, it’s important to surround yourself with family and friends to help lift you when the going gets tough. Working through mental health issues can be a slow and bumpy process, but with the right team by their side, your teen will feel supported throughout the entire process.
Without supportive family and friends, it’s easy for your teenager to feel ganged up on — which will only slow down their healing.
If your troubled teen doesn’t feel comfortable opening up to you or other members of their family, help them find a support system they can lean on. Whether that means signing them up for therapy, driving them to a support group, or helping them find virtual support online, you’ll be helping them maintain a positive mindset by allowing them to express their feelings and emotions to a group they trust.
If your troubled teen’s behavior is getting out of hand, it may be time to seek treatment from a professional therapist. At Help Your Teen Now, we can help you find the right support system for your teenager.
Call Help Your Teen Now for a free consultation to answer all your questions about teen help programs like residential treatment centers.