People usually know stress when they feel it….but have a hard time trying to explain it!
It can also be tricky because what stresses out one person might not bother somebody else.
In general, stress means facing changes, challenges and frustrations that are difficult to manage. It can be helpful to think about things that cause stress and also how you react.
Life can feel overwhelming sometimes!
Lots of different things can cause stress, including health, money problems, school, work, and dealing with family and friends. Even bad weather can cause stress for some people. Different people can be stressed out by different things.
Some causes of stress are daily hassles, which take place most days (like remembering to take medications or doing homework). Other sources of stress are major life events that happen less often but have a really big impact when they do (like changing schools or having surgery).
There can also be negative and positive sources of stress. People usually think about negative sources of stress, meaning things they don’t want to happen (like failing a test or having a medical procedure). But stressors can also be positive (like going on a first date or going on vacation). This is because even positive stressors can mean changes that take effort to manage.
People can react to stress in different ways. We know that stress can affect:
To understand your own style of coping and your feelings, ask yourself these questions:
First things first: act soon! As soon as you’re feeling a bit stressed out, try to do something about it. It’s often easier to manage stress when it starts instead of when it grows into something much bigger!
Sometimes a person can change the actual source of stress. For example, a person who finds morning traffic and the chance of being late for school or work to be extremely stressful might decide to leave 15 minutes earlier.
However, there are many times when it’s not possible to change a source of stress. For example, it’s pretty hard to get a teacher to cancel a test! And people can’t change the fact they were born with CHD! It might also surprise you to know that a certain amount of stress is normal and can help us become stronger.
Therefore, the goal is to manage stress better rather than get rid of it. The aim is to learn ways (strategies) to manage the way we react to stress. Below you will find several strategies that have helped other people manage stress…maybe there will be one or two that you’re ready to try!
You might already do things to help you feel less tense and more relaxed, like listen to music or nature sounds or take a warm bath. You can also work with a mental health expert or search online to learn other relaxation strategies. There are many apps on meditation!
Here are 2 strategies that you might learn about:
Is the glass half full or half empty? People can think about the exact same situation in different ways. It’s all about perspective!
The way that a person thinks about a situation can impact their stress level.
The goal is to learn to think about situations in different and more helpful ways. Here are 6 thinking strategies:
A mental health expert (like a psychologist or counselor) can be a helpful resource to learn more ways to talk back to your negative thinking!
Sometimes people do unhealthy things to cope with stress (like smoke or drink or eat too much). These might seem like they help in the moment, but never work in the long run. Here are things that you can do to manage stress that work both in the short and long-term:
When we’re stressed out or feeling down, we often don’t sleep very well. It also works in the opposite direction: when we don’t sleep very well, it can affect our mood and stress levels! And it turns out that teens and young adults really need their sleep! That’s why we decided to share this list of tips that have helped other people improve their sleep.
If you want to learn more, check out the website for the National Sleep Foundation
This website is designed specifically for young people with congenital heart disease. The goal is to provide information to help people who are getting ready to move (or have recently moved) to adult heart care. We use the term ‘transition’ to describe this process. Family, friends and health care providers may also find this website helpful.
Please be advised this site does not provide medical advice. All of the content on this website is provided for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have or suspect you have a health problem, please consult your family physician. If you have or suspect you are experiencing a health emergency, please promptly visit a Hospital Emergency Department in your area. Reliance on any information provided on or provided in relation to the site is solely at your own risk. Contributors to this website are not responsible, nor liable, for any claim, loss or damage arising from the use of the information contained within this site.
Any websites linked from this website are created by other organizations. Those organizations are responsible for the information contained within their sites. We are not responsible for the content of linked third-party sites or third-party advertisements and do not make any representations regarding their content or accuracy. Your use of third-party websites is at your own risk and subject to the terms and conditions of use for such sites. Any specific comments regarding these sites should be directed toward that individual organization.
We have a simple ‘Getting to Know You’ survey that we ask all visitors to complete (we don’t ask for any personal health information). Website browsing activity will be monitored so that we can learn about the people who visit the website, how often people visit the website, and the web pages that are visited most often. This will help us decide which changes and improvements to make to the website in the future. Results from this project will be described for groups of website visitors (i.e., not for individual users).
Anyone can visit this website and most users will create their own User IDs and passwords. However, there are also Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) and pediatric cardiology programs that have officially joined the iHeartChange team and work together to keep this website going. (You can find a list of the ACHD programs in the ‘Welcome to Adult Care’ section of the website). Some of these programs might choose to assign User IDs so that they can track of and how patients from their own programs visit the website. They might even want to track this for research. If you have been assigned a User ID from a program, that program might ask us to give them information about your answers to the ‘Getting to Know You’ survey, how many times you log into the website and which web pages you visit.
Please click below to indicate that you have read the Disclaimer.
We recommend that you register by creating your own User ID and password.
This will allow you to log in again and keep track of which pages on the website you visit.
If you visit them all, you can earn a transition diploma!
If you register, it also means that you won’t be shown the disclaimer & survey each time that you visit.
However, registration is not required.
Reminder: please write down your User ID and password for safekeeping
because we don’t store your email address for password reset!
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HELPING YOU MAKE THE MOVE TO ADULT CONGENITAL HEART DISEASE CARE
Thanks for checking out our website!
This website is designed mainly for young people with congenital heart disease (CHD). The aim is to help people feel more ready to “transition” from pediatric to adult care. And we know that family, friends and health care providers might also want to check it out!
Since this is your first visit, please read our disclaimer!