What’s Your Dewey: 155.5 Too Tense Teens

It’s officially the silly season for teens, that time of year when things start getting desperate. The pointy end of the year where expectations from peers and adults are pressing – homework to be completed, parents to be appeased, social networks to be navigated and phone credit to be reinstated! Some teens seem to cope with minor incursions to those around them, while others flounder, taking any bystanders with them. There are quite a few guides out there aimed at teens and parents of teens on how to cope with the emotional maelstrom, and here is a quick look at just a few titles in the 155.5s  – Psychology, young adult .


A Guy’s Guide/Girl’s Guide to Stress by Travis Clark and Annie Belfield is part of the Flip-it-over Guides to Teen Emotions series that allows teenagers to get both male and female perspectives on the emotional issues that confront them. This reversible book talks about why stress happens and gives easy-to-follow advice that can help teens avoid a complete meltdown. At first glance the book seems dated (published in 2008), with a USA bias, however the offer of a ‘flip-side’ view to teen issues in an accessible format is interesting and reaffirms the idea that stress does not discriminate!

Transforming Stress for Teens, by R. McCraty, S. Moor, J. Goelitz & S.W. Sawyer teaches teens how to use HeartMath techniques to manage emotion and daily anxiety, with an aim to developing emotional resilience. The book describes how emotions can “drain your battery” and provides techniques that help control stress by showing teens how to use their heart-brain connections to regulate emotions. Emotion regulation skills like ‘heart-breathing’, help teen practitioners feel calmer, be more confident and think more clearly, to bounce back from challenging situations.
Follow this link to take a sneak peak inside: http://amzn.to/2ejJBau

The Anxiety Survival Guide for  Teens, by Jennifer Shannon begins with the introduction You are not alone and you are not to blame, listing the various types of anxiety the book addresses including Panic Attacks, OCD, and Phobias. The book acknowledges that teen milestones such as dating and taking on more mature responsibilities can leave them stuck in a cycle of worry and avoidance. The book uses both Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy to help teens identify their ‘monkey mind’ where anxiety is thought to arise.
Follow this link to get a sneak peak:  http://amzn.to/2eDvM6m


Strictly speaking, The mindful teen: powerful skills to help you handle stress one moment at a time by Dzung X Vo, is a book about mindfulness rather than teen stress. Also strictly speaking, this is not a 155.5, it’s just a little further along the shelf. However, this practical and engaging guide uses mindfulness-based techniques to help teens keep stress at bay. Simple, memorable tips can be used every day to help ameliorate stressful times, be it at school, home, work or in social situations.  The book aims to help teens uncover their inner strength and resilience to take charge of their lives.

Author Dzung X. Vo, MD, FAAP, (a British Columbia pediatrician and clinical researcher) specializes in adolescent medicine and emphasizes that resilience in young people helps them thrive in the face of stress and adversity. His multi-media material on the topic is available to purchase online and view through YouTube. There is also a Blog site dedicated to teens for teens on mindfulness. You can link to the site here: http://mindfulnessforteens.com/blog/

There are of course many other titles that help teens deal with the changes and challenges that confront them and they can sit anywhere in Dewey – like teen body image books and teen social media networking books and teen diet books and teen relationships books, to name a few other potential Dewey areas. There are so many (depending on the type of stressor being discussed), that it can be difficult to locate the right title at the right time for your teen – but I’m not stressing about it.


Nola Cavallaro


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