By LINDSAY PERRY – Student contributor
Teenagers these days often find themselves in situations that can quickly become stressful.
Between their school work and extracurricular activities, they do not have much extra time to let loose and destress from the week. Even on weekends, a lot of older teens have jobs and some sports require practice or have games during that time.
Although sports can often be a way for teens to release stress, many students often find release in the arts. These aspects of school and community allow some students to have a break from the normal routine of the day and experience something that allows free expression of themselves.
Singing and playing an instrument in band are two examples of how students can destress while still being in school.
When asked how singing allows students to destress, Danielle P. stated “Singing makes me less stressed because it is a form of releasing energy that is built up in you. Singing and focusing on the words distracts you from everything else that is going on throughout the day.”
Playing an instrument makes you focus on reading and playing the notes instead of every emotion that is built up inside your brain. Yes, getting the notes right may be stressful occasionally, but hearing yourself play a difficult part correctly and with little effort really takes you away from the normalcy of the day and puts you into a positive zone. It makes you feel like you can conquer anything as long as you just take it piece by piece.
Even just listening to music allows the release of endorphins in the brain and lets you relax from the stress of the day or even the whole week.
When asked how listening to music gives him a chance to destress, Alex B. said, ”Listening to music takes me out of the zone. Whatever daily stressors I have, it just kind of takes them away.”
Teenagers often find that the lyrics of the songs that they hear are relatable to the situations that they may be going through throughout their lives at home and at school. Even just listening to the music itself and feeling the beat move through your body releases the tension that has been built up throughout the week due to homework deadlines, looming future deadlines of papers and projects, and even whatever is going on in your home life. Allowing yourself to become absorbed in the story of the song lets you escape from reality for a short time and be able to really step away from the situation that is making you super stressed.
Stress can also be released through the art of dance. Similar to just listening to music and letting the music move through your body, you can move freely to express how you are feeling on the inside. The motion of your body allows you to expel energy and, depending on the movement, it could make you feel so loose that you are not even sure what caused the tension to begin with. Letting the music “speak to you,” per say, allows you to let your mind go and allow your body to move by itself to get rid of the toxicity that is built up in your brain.
When asked how dancing relieves stress, Micah H. stated, “You are focused on one thing in the moment, and when you are involved in that you do not think about anything else, including stress.”
Focusing on the movement of your body and being conscious of what you are feeling with the music also allows you to take a step back and see the whole picture of what is truly going on inside.
Art itself also gives a chance for the release of stress. Drawing, painting, and other means of creating artistic pieces, gives you a chance to be free from the everyday world for the period of time that it takes to create the piece.
AJ H. said, “After a long day, there is just something serene about being able to sit down with a blank piece of paper in front of you and letting your mind go somewhere else for a while. Just letting your mind take the wheel and relaxing. To me, that is when the best art is made, when you just let it flow by itself.”
Making pieces of art can give a person the opportunity to put their thoughts and emotions into a physical representation to get those feelings out of their brain. It allows the person to be distracted by the piece and working on getting it just right. They can let go of stress for a time and take a step back in order to truly realize what they are making with their own two hands and how magnificent that is.
There are so many ways that stress can be released, but a majority of the time some aspect of the arts are involved. Creating an object through personal dedication and perseverance, along with seeing how rewarding the end result turns out to be, is definitely one way to take a person’s mind off of whatever may be causing them stress and worry throughout their everyday life. The arts are a healthy way to put emotions into a physical form to be able to cast them out of your mind and move on from them. Teenagers just need to find some short moments to be able to do these things and benefit from them so that they do not build up more stress than they can handle.
Overall, the arts are a wonderful way for teens to become less stressed from life.
Lindsay Perry is a student at Cranberry High School and a member of Cranberry Chronicles, the school’s journalism/publications group.