How might our actions change if we are open to accepting that certain behaviors displayed by children and adolescents (and adults) are not rooted in laziness or a lack of trying but rather represent an often desperate attempt to avoid failure, humiliation, and emotional exhaustion in what is perceived to be a less than supportive environment?
Stress is a physical and emotional reaction that people experience as they encounter challenges in life. When youâ€™re under stress, your body reacts by releasing hormones that produce the â€œfight-or-flightâ€ response. Your heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure go up, your muscles tense, and you sweat more. Occasional stress is a normal coping mechanism. However, long-term stress (also called chronic stress) may contribute to or worsen a range of health problems including digestive disorders, headaches, sleep disorders, and other symptoms. Stress may worsen asthma and has been linked to depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses.
Recent studies have linked screen time – including video game play – to concerning outcomes in children, including low self-esteem, low life satisfaction, and depressive symptoms. Screen time has also been found to be correlated with symptoms of ADHD in children and adolescents, even when earlier attention difficulties are taken into account.
Our efforts to identify the features of a resilient mindset represent more than an academic exercise. We believe that the more precisely we can articulate these features, the more successfully we can develop strategies for nurturing this mindset and resilient behaviors in ourselves and in our children.
Although medication treatment for ADHD has been shown to significantly reduce core ADHD symptoms in hundreds of studies, important concerns remain about it being prescribed inappropriately to children and teens who do not have ADHD. There is also evidence that many youth with ADHD who could potentially benefit from medication treatment do not receive it, and may realize poorer outcomes in as a result.
Relaxation techniques may be helpful in managing a variety of stress-related health conditions, including anxiety associated with ongoing health problems and in those who are having medical procedures. Evidence suggests that relaxation techniques may also provide some benefit on symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and may help reduce occupational stress in health care workers. For some of these conditions, relaxation techniques are used as an adjunct to other forms of treatment.