Stress and Anxiety in Adolescents? Try poetry (letter to the editor)
As a sixteen-year-old girl living in the midst of a pandemic, severe climate change, political and civil unrest, and the college application process, I am undoubtedly experiencing an overflow of emotions. Me and many of my teenage comrades, I’m not only stressed out by my teenage schoolwork and part-time work issues, but also by the future of the world and all the issues that adults have today. have not yet resolved.
Not to mention that about 49.5% of teens suffer from a mental disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, which adds to the confusion that already reigns in our underdeveloped brains. So, I ask this question: How do teens express these constant complex emotions? The answer is a passion that I pursue that has helped me overcome most of my difficult days in high school: poetry.
Poetry is a form of literature made up of stanzas that can be shaped as the writer wishes. It can be nursery rhymes, figurative language such as pictures or metaphors, stories, descriptions, etc. Basically, it can be written in any format that the writer believes will allow his ideas to be expressed the most. Due to the wide range of creative potential and the unrestricted aspects, poetry can be an effective emotional outlet for teens around the world. Poetry is different from many forms of writing because it connects to the emotional properties of your brain, which include the amygdala, nucleus accumbens, and cerebellum.
Poetry, along with music, opens up that feeling of empathy and allows people to express themselves in fun and creative ways. Poetry is also related to the posterior cingulate cortex and the mid-temporal lobes of the brain, which affect mindfulness and stress levels. Therefore, the sense of empathy and mindfulness that poetry opens up in people could help teens discover their true feelings and finally understand them. Poetry allows me to express how I feel in a way that others might understand.
For example, if I felt overwhelmed by my to-do list and couldn’t escape these responsibilities to participate in something fun, I might write a poem about being tied to a chair in a room without a window. It allows me to visualize my suffering and to better represent what is going on in my brain, which makes me feel like I’m not in the dark about my own emotions. It also allows me to be creative which helps you in all areas of life such as problem solving, coping with difficult situations, boosting your confidence and energy, reducing stress. and how your brain works in unusual ways.
I fell in love with poetry, and I know that if more teens put in an effort it could tackle their constant headaches and guide them to a mentally stable future. I now leave you with this quote from the English novelist and poet Thomas Hardy: “Poetry is emotion put in measure. Emotion must come from nature, but measure can be acquired through art.
(Julianna Raimonda is a grade 12 student from Richmond.)