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Help your Teen Take Care of their Mind by Taking Care of their Body

Do you have an adolescent who struggles to calm down? At times does your teen tend to overreact and feel the world is coming to an end when faced with seemingly minor challenges? These relatively straightforward tips can help you teach your child how to take back control of their emotions, instead of living a life dictated by them.

Most people know they “should” be eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and engaging in regular exercise for good physical health, but did you know that these factors play an essential role in helping young people manage their moods, and cope with difficult emotions during adolescence? Professor of Psychology Dr Marsha Linehan actually developed a set of skills she termed ‘Emotion Regulation Skills’ that comprise these very physical health strategies. In fact Dr Linehan created the ‘PLEASE’ acronym to help young people (and their parents) remember how to take care of their minds by taking care of their bodies. The ‘P’ in PLEASE which stands for ‘Physical Illness’ will be discussed in this blog post and the rest of the acronym will be explained in the following posts.

Have you ever noticed that your adolescent son or daughter is more sensitive when sick with a cold? Or when they have a headache, or are physically injured? Perhaps you have noticed this in yourself? Or maybe you have noticed you are more likely to feel upset when you are suffering from a hangover? This is because when we are sick or experience pain, we are not only physically compromised but we become emotionally vulnerable too. This can mean we feel less able to cope with our usual demands, and are more likely to struggle with difficulties and to become emotional. In order to give ourselves (and our teens) the best chance to manage our emotions, we must take good care of our bodies. This includes scheduling regular physical health check-ups with a GP, Dentist, Optometrist etc and not putting off seeing a health professional when a health concern arises. It also means taking prescribed medication exactly how the Doctor advised (usually at the same time each day, setting an alarm as a reminder to take medication can ensure you don't forget) and keeping on top of any existing health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and chronic pain. By following these tips yourself, you are not only giving yourself the best chance at optimal physical health, you are encouraging emotional resilience too. Additionally you are modelling responsible health behaviour to your child, which helps shape their current and future behaviour as well! Stay tuned for the next part of the acronym.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with myself or another of our friendly Psychologists, contact True North Psychology on 07 3856 0004 or enquire on our website.

Learn more about Megan on our team page.

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