Today’s teens are totally stressed. Based on the self-help classic, The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook, this evidence-based guide will help you develop a game plan for reducing stress so you can focus on reaching your goals.
Are you feeling stressed out? You aren’t alone. Between school, tests, friendships, dating, the latest drama on social media, college applications, and a bunch of confusing physical changes, it’s no wonder that stress is a major mental health issue for many of today’s teens. The good news is that there are simple ways you can reduce your stress and reach your goals. This workbook will show you how.
With The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook for Teens, you’ll learn to understand the underlying causes of your stress. You’ll discover practical mindfulness and breathing techniques to help you calm your mind and body in moments of worry and anxiety. You’ll also find tips for moving past “what ifs” and “shoulds,” strategies for managing negative thoughts and emotions, and tools to help you develop your own personalized plan for dealing with stress.
If you’re ready to move past stress and worry and start focusing on your bright future, this workbook has everything you need to get started today.
Teens need mental health resources more than ever. With over 1.2 million copies sold worldwide, Instant Help Books for teens are engaging, proven-effective, and recommended by therapists.
Foreword vii To Teens Reading This Workbook ix Section I You Say You’re Stressin’ but What Does That Mean? Activity 1. Your Sources of Stress 2 Activity 2. How You Cope with Stress 6 Activity 3. Creating Your Game Plan 10 Activity 4. Keeping a Stress Diary 13 Section II Relaxing Your Stressed-Out Body Activity 5. Slow Deep Breathing 20 Activity 6. Progressive Muscle Relaxation 25 Activity 7. Shifting into Automatic Relaxation 29 Section III Focusing Your Attention to Relax Your Stressed-Out Mind Activity 8. Meditation 34 Activity 9. Mindfulness: Five-Senses Awareness 38 Activity 10. Visualization 42 Section IV Working Your Way Through Worry Activity 11. Your Sources of Worry 46 Activity 12. Your Thinking Mistakes 51 Activity 13. The Key Question: Where’s the Evidence? 54 Activity 14. Overthrowing the Tyranny of “Should” 58 Activity 15. Following the Path of Value 62 Section V Working Your Way Through Fear Activity 16. Building a Plan to Work Your Way Through Fear 66 Activity 17. Building Your Act-Brave Ladder 70 Activity 18. Putting Your Working-Your-Way-Through-Fear Plan to the Test 75 Activity 19. Imagining Your Way Through Fear 79 Section VI Solving the Problems in Your Life So That You Don’t Stress About Them Activity 20. Identifying the Problem (and That’s Not Always Easy) 82 Activity 21. Brainstorming Possible Solutions and Keeping an Open Mind 85 Activity 22. Examining the Pluses and Minuses and Deciding What to Try First 89 Activity 23. The Power of Constructive Worry 94 Section VII Communicating Clearly and Saying No Activity 24. Clear Communication Begins with Good Listening 98 Activity 25. Clear Communication Includes I-messages 102 Activity 26. Clear Communication Sends the Correct Message 106 Activity 27. Four Steps to Saying No 109 Section VIII Putting It off Just Heaps It on Activity 28. Breaking It Down to Move Things Along 114 Activity 29. Cutting a Corner to Move Things Along 117 Activity 30. Procrastinating Less to Stress Less 120 Section IX Managing Stress That Angers You So You Can Manage Anger That Stresses You Activity 31. Your Sources of Anger 126 Activity 32. Identifying Your Anger Stages 131 Activity 33. Using Coping Thoughts and Actions to Cool Down 135 Activity 34. Creating Your Anger Management Plan and Putting It to the Test 139 Section X Eating Right, Eating Well—Just Try Not to Eat to Calm Down Activity 35. Your Eating Right, Eating Well Profile 144 Activity 36. Developing Your Eating Right, Eating Well Plan 147 Section XI Exercising Your Way to Less Stress Activity 37. Selecting the Best Exercise for You 152 Activity 38. Developing Your Exercise Plan 155 Section XII Space Matters: Creating a Calm Environment Activity 39. Creating a Calming Space 162 Activity 40. Harnessing the Power of Your Calming Space 166 Wrapping Up 168 Acknowledgments 169
Michael A. Tompkins, PhD, ABPP, is codirector of the San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy; assistant clinical professor at the University of California, Berkeley; and a diplomate and founding fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. Tompkins specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders in adults, adolescents, and children. He is author or coauthor of numerous articles on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and related topics, as well as seven books, including three books published by New Harbinger Publications: Digging Out, OCD: A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed, and Anxiety and Avoidance. Tompkins serves on the advisory board of Magination Press, the children’s press of the American Psychological Association. He is a certified supervisor and trainer for the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy and the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. Tompkins has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, on NPR, and has presented over 250 workshops, lectures, and keynote addresses on CBT and related topics.
Jonathan R. Barkin, PsyD, is a licensed clinical psychologist, partner at the San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy, and assistant clinical professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Barkin has extensive experience in the treatment of severe anxiety disorders. He specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders and obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders in children, teens, and adults. Barkin presents lectures and workshops to professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Foreword writer Matthew McKay, PhD, is a professor at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. He has authored or coauthored numerous books, including The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook, Self-Esteem, Thoughts and Feelings, When Anger Hurts, and ACT on Life Not on Anger. McKay received his PhD in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, and specializes in the cognitive behavioral treatment of anxiety and depression. He lives and works in the greater San Francisco Bay Area
“This is simply a great workbook. Although written for teens, it will prove valuable for others, too: as self-help for adults, as an adjunct to treatment for therapists, and as a guide for parents of younger children. Tompkins and Barkin teach you powerful skills in a highly readable and interesting way, using real-life examples and step-by-step instructions. It will be so worth it to work through the exercises. You will undoubtedly reduce your stress, increase your well-being, and significantly improve your life.” —Judith S. Beck, PhD, president of the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy
~Judith S. Beck, PhD
“‘I’m so stressed!’ The average age of my clients is about sixteen years old and I hear those words all too frequently. I know that I will be recommending this workbook to my clients (though I believe adults will find it equally helpful). It is accessible, on point, and very engaging! I also really like the pacing of the activities. This book is a wonderful resource! Thank you, Tompkins and Barkin.” —Joan K. Orrell-Valente, PhD, former assistant professor in the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco; currently in private practice in San Francisco, CA
~Joan K. Orrell-Valente, PhD
“In The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook for Teens, Tompkins and Barkin provide a masterful, clearly written book to help teens effectively cope with anxiety and stress. In a time in which so many teens are experiencing distress, this book promises to be a highly useful resource for its readers.” —Eric Storch, PhD, All Children’s Hospital Guild Endowed Chair Professor in the departments of pediatrics (primary), health policy and management, psychiatry and neurosciences, and psychology at the University of South Florida
~Eric Storch, PhD
“Adolescence is becoming an increasingly stressful time for young people, and valuable resources are needed by teenagers as well as the professionals who care for them. The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook for Teens—expertly written by Tompkins and Barkin—powerfully fulfills this important mission. This is a comprehensive tool kit which makes the empirically based skills for mitigating stress in young patients accessible to teens and clinical providers through engaging text material, compelling exercises, and actionable forms. The workbook is an invaluable resource prepared by master clinicians that will be reached for again and again to help stressed-out teenagers.” —Robert D. Friedberg, PhD, ABPP, professor and director at the Center for the Study and Treatment of Anxious Youth at Palo Alto University
~Robert D. Friedberg, PhD, ABPP
“Adolescents and young adults seem to be more stressed than ever. Now, there is a book that offers relief. The strategies in this workbook have been studied by researchers and used by therapists for decades, and here they are presented in an accessible, easy-to-digest format designed specifically for teens. The book is engaging and filled with helpful activities. Readers will learn tried-and-true strategies for calming their minds and relaxing their bodies. Any teen who feels stressed out by the challenges of school, friendships, family, money, or other areas of life should check out this book!” —Martin M. Antony, PhD, professor of psychology at Ryerson University, and coauthor of The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook and The Anti-Anxiety Workbook
~Martin M. Antony, PhD
“This is a hands-on, useful, and well-written workbook. The text and exercises are useful, clear, and written in an accessible way. This book will help teens build their capacity for dealing with anxiety and stress while developing skills and healthy habits that will have lifelong benefits. I will be recommending this to parents and teens frequently, in addition to using some of the techniques myself.” —Nelson Branco, MD, FAAP, pediatrician at Tamalpais Pediatrics in Larkspur, CA; and assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco
~Nelson Branco, MD, FAAP
“This book is an excellent resource for clinicians. It is chock-full of easy-to-understand-and-apply lessons that can be used as handouts for therapy clients. It can also be used as a self-help book for motivated teens struggling with anxiety. I recommend it highly!” —Mary A. Fristad, PhD, ABPP, professor of psychiatry, psychology, and nutrition at The Ohio State University, and member of the Neuroscience Research Institute
~Mary A. Fristad, PhD, ABPP
“In these pressured times we live in, every teen is a stressed teen, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Now more than ever, teenagers need tools to take charge of what can feel like the runaway train of worry. Stress may be a part of life, but teenagers are eager for relief. They just need to know what works.In The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook for Teens, young people will quickly find easy-to-incorporate, effective tools to make a difference in the way they see their lives, and live their lives. Parents will do well to pick up a copy for their teen (and borrow some strategies for themselves)!” —Tamar Chansky, PhD, author of Freeing Your Child from Anxiety and Freeing Your Child from Negative Thinking