“Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.”
― Franz Kafka
What are you feeling, right now, as you start to read this? Are you curious? Hopeful that you’ll learn something about yourself? Bored? Perhaps you’re distracted by something else, like feeling excited about your weekend plans or sad because you just finished your favorite Netflix series?Emotions like these are part of human nature. They give us information about what we’re experiencing and help us know how to react.Emotions have been considered as a very integral part of human existence. “Emotion regulation processes are those mechanisms that serve to modulate, inhibit, and enhance emotional experiences and expressions, and may be both effortful and automatic.”
We sense our emotions from the time we’re babies. Infants and young children react to their emotions with facial expressions or with actions like laughing, cuddling, or crying.As we grow up, we become more skilled in understanding emotions. Instead of just reacting like little kids do, we can identify what we feel and put it into words. With time and practice, we get better at knowing what we are feeling and why. This skill is called emotional awareness.
- Emotional awareness helps us know what we need and want (or don’t want!).
- It helps us build better relationships. That’s because being aware of our emotions can help us talk about feelings more clearly, avoid or resolve conflicts better, and move past difficult feelings more easily.
Here are a few basic things about emotions:
- Emotions come and go. Most of us feel many different emotions throughout the day. Some last just a few seconds. Others might linger to become a mood.
- Emotions can be mild, intense, or anywhere in between. The intensity of an emotion can depend on the situation and on the person.
- There are no good or bad emotions, but there are good and bad ways of expressing (or acting on) emotions. Learning how to express emotions in acceptable ways is a separate skill — managing emotions — that is built on a foundation of being able to understand emotions.
Building Emotional Awareness-
Start with these three simple steps:
- Make a habit of tuning in to how you feel in different situations throughout the day. You might notice that you feel excited after making plans to go somewhere with a friend. Or that you feel nervous before an exam. Simply notice whatever emotion you feel, then name that emotion in your mind. It only takes a second to do this, but it’s great practice.
- Rate how strong the feeling is.Rate how strongly you feel the emotion on a scale of 1–10, with 1 being the mildest feeling and 10 the most intense.
- Share your feelings with the people closest to you. This is the best way to practice putting emotions into words, a skill that helps us feel closer to friends,parents.Make it a daily practice to share feelings with a friend or family member.
Adolescence is a crucial period for developing and maintaining social and emotional habits important for mental well-being.
An estimated 10–20% of adolescents globally experience mental health conditions, yet these remain underdiagnosed and undertreated.
Multiple factors determine mental health outcomes. The more risk factors adolescents are exposed to, the greater the potential impact on their mental health. Factors that can contribute to stress during adolescence include a desire for greater autonomy, pressure to conform with peers, exploration of sexual identity, and increased access to and use of technology.
Some adolescents are at greater risk of mental health conditions due to their living conditions, stigma, discrimination or exclusion, or lack of access to quality support and services.
Adolescents with mental health conditions are in turn particularly vulnerable to social exclusion, discrimination, stigma (affecting readiness to seek help), educational difficulties, risk-taking behaviours, physical ill-health and human rights violations.
- One in six people are aged 10–19 years.
- Mental health conditions account for 16% of the global burden of disease and injury in people aged 10–19 years.
- Globally, depression is one of the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents.
- Suicide is the third leading cause of death in 15-19-year-olds.
- The consequences of not addressing adolescent mental health conditions extend to adulthood, impairing both physical and mental health and limiting opportunities to lead fulfilling lives as adults.
Causes of Emotional Problems In Youth-
- having a long-term physical illness.
- having a parent who has had mental health problems, problems with alcohol or has been in trouble with the law.
- experiencing the death of someone close to them.
- having parents who separate or divorce.
- Parents or siblings physically abuse the teen
- There is an overall low rate of positive interactions and high rate of negative interactions in the family
- The family has a poor attitude toward school or education
- experiencing discrimination, perhaps because of their race, sexuality or religion
- acting as a carer for a relative, taking on adult responsibilities
- having long-standing educational difficulties.
What mental health problems commonly occur in children?
These are some of the mental health problems that can affect children and young people.
- Depression affects more children and young people today than in the last few decades, but it is still more common in adults. Teenagers are more likely to experience depression than young children.
- Self-harm is a very common problem among young people. Some people find it helps them manage intense emotional pain if they harm themselves, through cutting or burning, for example. They may not wish to take their own life.
- Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) can cause young people to become extremely worried. Very young children or children starting or moving school may have separation anxiety.
- Children who are consistently overactive (‘hyperactive’), behave impulsively and have difficulty paying attention may have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
- Eating disorders usually start in the teenage years and are more common in girls than boys. The number of young people who develop an eating disorder is small, but eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa can have serious consequences for their physical health and development.
The best way to prevent emotional disturbance in your teen is to correct the factors in their home or school life that could be contributing to the problem. Here are some steps you could take:
- Create consistency in your teen’s life and maintain a positive environment
- Provide clear expectations and direct instructions to your teen for home and school life
- Correct factors in your teen’s environment that are negative and encourage undesirable behavior
- Punish undesirable behavior while rewarding desirable behavior
- Have a plan for conflict resolution
- Invest in your teen’s life and encourage their participation and belonging at home and at school
Just like anything else in life, when it comes to emotions, practice makes perfect! Remind yourself there are no good or bad emotions. Don’t judge your feelings — just keep noticing and naming them.
Article by – Avantika Pandey
She is a BBA Student from Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women.She is a young and energetic girl who is always ready to learn new skills and enjoys writing a lot. Being a passionate writer, she not only writes but also encourages others to write.
Edited By- Shweta Mittal, team SciComm