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Health & Stress

Common Myths and Misconceptions About Adolescence

A “Common thought” or stereotype # 1: Adolescence is a time of “storm and stress”.

 G. Stanley Hall, the American psychologist, coined the term “storm and stress” in his book, Adolescence. He used this term for adolescence because he viewed it to be a time of decreased level of self-control (Storm) and increased level of sensitivity (stress). 

More recent research has shown that this is not necessarily true, as most adolescents manage to transition successfully from childhood to adulthood. And that successful transition to adulthood depends on culture and context. It can be defined not only as preventing problems but also the acquisition of functioning in certain areas of life like competence, relationships, autonomy etc. It includes positive psychological self-perceptions and social and personal skill building. A lot depends on the parenting style, socioeconomic conditions, type of friends the teenagers hang out with, as well as the availability and approach of professional coaches, educators and social workers if needed to allow better communication and understanding between parents and youth. Good parenting consists of offering comfort and support, setting clear limits and expectations for appropriate behavior, reasonable consequences on failure of meeting parental expectations, along with provision of all necessities of life.

Can you think of another stereotype about adolescence? Stay tuned for the next stereotype about adolescence.

Categories
Health & Stress

Your Gut Health and Stress

Do you know that your gut health is affected by stress and anxiety and similarly your gut issues can exacerbate anxiety? The nausea one feels in a stressful situation and the sensation of butterflies fluttering in the stomach when excited and stressed out at the same time, are well known expressions for these situations. They are, however, true expressions as our gut is sensitive to our feelings. The emotions of fear, anger, anxiety, sadness, and excitement trigger symptoms in our gastrointestinal tract. 

Our gut is called a mini or second brain, because it is supplied by a rich neural network named the Enteric Nervous System, which allows it to work independent of the brain (Central Nervous System) as well in sync with the brain. Millions of nerves connect the gut to the brain, most importantly our vagus nerve. The brain has great influence on the activity of the gut and vice versa. The very thought of food causes salivation in the mouth as well as acid release in the stomach due to this effect of the brain on gut actions. Similarly, gastrointestinal issues can send signals to the brain and cause stress, depression, or anxiety. Therefore, it is important to take into consideration stress and emotional health when trying to treat gut problems especially those which have no obvious physical cause. If your child is suffering from IBS or functional bowel problems, he or she can develop depression and anxiety. 

Luckily, we can make our gut health better and improve our emotional state through it. Want to know how? Stay tuned for more information.