The teenage years are known for their tumultuous emotions. Even though the average teenager appears to be carefree to most adults, they go through a lot of stress and peer pressure. It is easy for a kid between 13 and 19 years of age to feel overcome by things going on around them. There’s the academic pressure of keeping their grades up, dealing with relationships, love affairs and in some cases cyber-bullying which is quite prevalent today. This pressure makes teens be at a vulnerable place emotionally most times.

 

A recent study on teenagers showed that over a quarter of the respondents showed signs of stress with more than 30% reporting stress headaches and another 26% having altered sleeping patterns due to pressure. More than 25% reported snapping at their family or friends because of emotional stress while 25% showed indications of mild depression.

 

A significant factor that affects a teen’s stress level is how they deal with it every day. One of such coping mechanisms is through playing video games. Whether by playing competitive or cooperative games, studies have shown that a teenager expresses a lower level of stress after playing video games. There is also a study that showed that video games served as a coping tool for teenagers that were going through stress, especially after being exposed to stressful conditions. Video games sometimes form part of the recovery experience. Action-based video games also served the purpose of sharpening cognitive abilities like reaction and reflex speed. Gamers think faster on the fly and solve more problems.

 

Music is also another way that teenagers cope with stress. In research of about 400 teenagers, the results showed that listening, singing, writing or dancing to music showed the same effects as antidepressants in teenagers. Listening to music can be quite relaxing for a youngster and have the same impact as a mindful meditation session. Music helps to increase the feeling of relaxation, provide an emotional release and also reduce the sense of loneliness. The positive effects are even stronger when the teen plays an instrument or writes music.

 

Music and video games are activities that a youngster can turn to when they need to experience life at their own pace without worrying about many issues that are pressing on their minds.  Achieving game milestones increase self-confidence, same as writing a musical piece or learning to play an instrument. These are safe ways of releasing stress through everyday activities.

 

Every child is unique and may not benefit from the same activities that other peers do, yet music and games are universal in the positive impacts that they have on a younger’s mental health. They are safe ways of relieving teenage angst and stress without getting in trouble. When next you see your adolescent sibling or friend playing a game or music, they’re not just killing time. They may be calming their spirits, recharging their emotional batteries and having fun at the same time.

For more information please call Maggie Pollio – Houston Piano Consultant at 832.594.7267 or maggie@houstonpianoconsultant.com.