3 Ways Stress Can Make Life Better

3 Ways Stress Can Make Life Better

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 In this episode of the Stay Calm, Don’t Panic! Podcast, Chris Robey and Ricky Lewis discuss the role of stress in the lives of teenagers and how stress can actually be beneficial. Unfortunately, stress is an unavoidable part of life, but Ricky gives great insight into how we can use stress to make life better. Don’t get caught up in stress, instead let’s be better equipped to see it as a positive part of life!

[bctt tweet=”Teens need to face their stress, learn to cope with it and move on from it. // via @r_lewis & @dontpanictalk” via=”no”]

In this episode, Ricky Lewis discusses…

  1. Stress is always a part of life.
  2. Your belief about stress determines how it effects you.
  3. Too much stress can be detrimental.
Ask yourself…
  • Have I noticed a significant change in the life of my teenager?
  • How can I help teens better cope with stress?
  • How can I help them see stress as a positive?
Go ask a teen…
  • How much stress do you think you can handle? What are you going to choose to handle?
  • How could stress be seen as positive?
  • Do you have a plan for how to handle the stress in your life?

In this episode, we mentioned the following resources:

About Us:

Ricky Lewis, Executive Director for Teen Life, draws on his experience working with teenagers combined with actively learning about effective coping skills for teenagers over the past 15 years. His experiences in youth ministry and with Teen Life have led to a unique perspective and approach to helping teens be equipped to handle difficulties in their life. Follow him on Twitter!

Chris Robey is the Program Director for Teen Life. Earlier in his career while working as a youth minister, Chris earned a Masters Degree in Family Life Education from Lubbock Christian University to better equip his work with teenagers and families. Chris’ career and educational opportunities have exposed him to teenagers from a variety of backgrounds. Follow him on Twitter!

Karlie Duke started working as Teen Life’s Communications Director after graduating from Abilene Christian University with a degree in Communications with a minor in Family Studies. Karlie has worked with teenagers for the past 5 years and is passionate about encouraging students to live better stories. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram!

Have a question?
If you have a question about something you heard or just want to give us some feedback, please leave us a comment below.  We would love to hear from you!
Do You Have “Grit”?

Do You Have “Grit”?

Before I had three kids in tow, I would typically go to Colorado each summer to go hiking and hopefully summit a mountain. I would look forward to it all year, imagining what it would be like to walk along rushing mountain streams, through thick aspen thickets, on up above the tree-line to where few seldom travel. The crisp mountain air and the absence of an ever-buzzing cell phone beckoned me as I prepared for this trip.


Getting to the trailhead was always so exciting. But then, reality hit. The packs are heavy and uncomfortable. The weather is unpredictable. The air was way too thin. My lungs are far too small. The altitude made me sick. It was cold. The food stunk.


You see, I typically only think about the trailhead and the peak. All of the things in between aren’t really front of mind when considering a summit. It’s the glory I’m after, not the pain.


Recently, I’ve been introduced to a concept called “grit”. When I first heard about it, I thought it was more along the lines of resiliency. The resiliency trait focuses on a person’s ability to overcome challenges and recover well from setbacks. It’s more about keeping ones head about them as they face the normal stresses of life. It’s a crucial trait for a teenager to develop as life is full of challenges and difficulties. Those who are resilient will tend to rise above their circumstances and not give into substance abuse or anxiety.


Yet, “grit” is something that builds upon resilience. It’s more of a long-term indicator of success. “Grit” can be seen as a tendency to sustain interest and effort towards long-term goals. It is more than overcoming the challenges of life as a matter of routine. We find those with “grit” having the big picture in mind and having a plan or set of goals to get them there. They know what they want, and no setback or failure will stop them. In fact, those with “grit” would know setbacks and failures are part of the journey.


We live in a fractured world that contains a lot of uncertainty. Paths are less certain to success, so many who are young struggle to have any kind of “big picture”.


In her short TED talk on “grit” and education, Dr. Angela Duckworth talks about this factor being unique in successful individuals, no matter socioeconomic, cultural, or educational level.



What is interesting about this talk is her own admission about how little they know about building this trait. There is very little doubt this trait is a factor in success, but understanding how to create this quality remains a bit of a mystery.


Yet, as I listen to this talk as well as read more on the subject, one factor continues to pop out. The individual with “grit” has a very clear and defined idea of what the “mountain top” looks like. They have dreamed about it, studied it, and have made it a part of who they are. It is paramount to their personhood that they find their way to this goal, no matter how long or difficult.


“Grit” is about vision and motivation, and figuring out what it will take to get there. As helpers of teenagers, we need to be in the business of helping students clarify their own visions for the future and help them do what it takes to get there. Point them towards others who have “grit”. Identify the fears. Encourage them when they fail. But, never let them quit.

So, what do you think about the concept of “Grit”? Do you have it? Take this quick quiz and see what it says! 

Chris Robey, Teen Lifeline’s Program Director, has worked with teens for over a decade and strives to help students see the best in themselves.