Most mental health disorders are diagnosed during the teenage years, therefore promoting mental wellness is crucial since it improves the quality of life as well as overall wellbeing. Here are some ways by which you can improve your teen’s mental wellness.
Mental wellness should have a larger significance in teenagers’ daily lives. Often teenagers are taught and told about mental health, but they are not taught about practicing mental wellness in their daily lives. Mental Wellness should be taught to all youth, so they can maintain both their physical and mental health. Mental wellness includes a variety of different things and can take a different form in different people. It includes your overall well-being such as sleep, eating habits, exercise, taking breaks when needed, and talking about your feeling.
Mental wellness is the ability to adapt to changes, deal with trauma, and bounce back from the significant stressors that life presents, and it is just as important as physical health. It helps teenagers manage unpleasant feelings and the uncertainties of life, as well as protects them from risky substance use as they grow.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Millin Sangha Gujral, Counselling and Clinical Psychologist and Founder of Happy Strokes, shared, ways by which you can improve your teen’s mental wellness.
Ways to improve your teen’s mental wellness
1. Check in with your teenager and encourage them to always share your feelings.
2. Spend some time with your teenager doing some simple activity together that you both can enjoy like making dinner or doing gardening or painting.
3. Always remind your teenager that you are always there for them and that you value their thoughts and feelings. This helps create a bond between you and your teenager.
4. Try to notice and praise your teenager for doing something well even something as small as picking up after them. This help reinforce the good behaviour.
5. Teenage years are where the child learns about independence. Make sure that you give your teenager appropriate space and time to be on their own. This is a normal part of growing up.
6. We all get an influx of emotions from time to time. When angry try to walk away to calm down and talk to them about it later.
7. Try being honest and transparent with your teenager. You can share with them when you have big feelings so that they can understand they are not alone experiencing them. It helps them know their feelings are okay.
8. Model the behaviour you want your teen to learn from. Try to become their role model. As children learns most of their behaviour from parents.
9. Try to ensure that your teenager practices self care and has coping strategies in place which they can use when experiencing stress.
10. Social media has become an important part of every teenagers life. Ensure that it is used in moderation and check in if the exposure is causing the teenager stress or impacting their mental health.
11. Practice mindfulness together with your teen. It helps recenter your focus to the present and helps deal with stressors more efficiently.
12. Help your teen inculcate a habit of journaling their thoughts and feelings as it helps us deal with the big emotions and separate our thoughts from our feelings. It helps us understand our thoughts and feelings better and hence cope well.