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3 ways to beat teen stress how your faith can help

In Mean Girls, Lindsay Lohan plays the role of Cadie, who was home-schooled in Africa until her parents moved to Illinois. Her strong academic background should help the transition to a public high school. Instead, she deliberately fails tests in order to capture the attention of a boy. She deals with the stress of not knowing where to sit in the cafeteria by eating in a bathroom stall.  By trying to fit in with a popular clique, Cadie loses her own values. Relationships, school, making decisions about the future – all of these can lead to stress. But faith leads to healthy options in the face of stress.  

1. Keep a journal.

Write down your feelings about the situations that are most stressful. This can help you discover patterns in your relationships with others. Pray to God to help you in the areas of your life that need healing. Make note of God’s response to your prayers.

2. Celebrate Holy Communion.

When your body goes too long without food, the physical stress becomes too much and you lose strength. The same is true for your spiritual life. Through the Eucharist you share “an intimate union with Christ Jesus.” (CCC 1391) Seeking this closeness helps during times when you don’t feel strong spiritually.

3. Experience God’s forgiveness.

If you have hurt another, share your behavior in the sacrament of reconciliation. Not only will you receive forgiveness, but after reconciliation, a person usually feels “peace and serenity of conscience with strong spiritual consolation.” (CCC 2305) Next time, put yourself in the other person’s place before you act.