When I was a teenager, I remember thinking “What are they on about, this is the best time of my life!” every time an adult said, “I wouldn’t want to be a teenager again!” Now I’m an adult…I get it.
It’s all about me!
I thought I was having the time of my life and of course, I was, rules didn’t apply to me and it was all parties, being reckless and looking forward to my obviously incredibly fulfilling adult life. It isn’t until you grow out of adolescence that you realise how immersed in yourself you really were. I don’t recall thinking of others with love and admiration as I do now. Of course, adolescence is that period in your life where you might be considered the “most selfish”, you have no real idea of what awaits you and no real grasp on emotion or any real control over them.
Adolescence is overwhelming. The surge of hormones rushing through your body for a sustained amount of time will inevitably have an effect on how you view the world around you, now I think of it it’s very much like having constant PMS for 8 years!
I wanted to talk about adolescence because that’s when I started getting my anxiety, or should I say that’s when my anxiety got me (read about my experience with anxiety in a previous article "What is Anxiety Disorder"). I can remember the day it started, the moment I first felt that gut-wrenching “fight or flight” reaction, but to this day I still wouldn’t be able to tell you why it started. Many of you may have children and you may be nervous about their teenage years or you may already have teenagers and you can’t work out what they really want.
Do you remember the film Gremlins? I kind of think of myself as a teenager like Gizmo. Cute, fluffy and lovely on the outside; I’ll be your best mate and comrade one moment, but if you step out of line and feed me (or don’t feed me) after midnight I turned into a raging hormonal monster seeking allies and unsavoury characters to complain about you to.
It's true, as a teenager no one understands you, and god forbid as an adult you utter those words that turn every teenager into a wet Gremlin… “I was your age once!” and of course it was true but those words still make me shudder with anger now.
We think as adults we might have a pretty good idea of how to control our emotions. As someone who has suffered from anxiety half their life, I like to think I can manage it and calm myself down but as a teenager, I don’t recall having the ability to do that at all! Every little thing that happened in my life was the most serious thing to ever happen! Everything that was said or done came with a “life-altering” consequence and was a huge deal!
The Discovery Journal for Teens
So, my purpose for this is not to make you understand what being a teenager is like...you all know that already. My purpose is to explain how a journal such as The Discovery Journal could provide help and understanding to your own teenagers.
Being a teenager is just chaos. The parties, friendships and even relationships to a certain extent are exciting but that much adventure and adrenaline inevitably leads to confusion. When everything that happens in your life holds the same intensity and priority how does a young mind separate them?
Well, that’s where the Discovery Journal can help. At a young age, the idea of sitting down and writing for what could be long periods of time, cutting into those busy schedules isn’t ideal and the one thing a teenager is highly unlikely to do is to talk to their parents (or at least that’s the last thing I thought about doing) and speaking to their mates could turn out to be the blind leading the blind.
The Discovery journal is a perfect alternative; impartial, non-judgemental and won’t give you back stupid advice!
Being that the diary is broken down into easily digestible sections, there is no time commitment required, with each section being “as and when”.
With emotions already laid out just ready to be circled and acknowledged there is no need for an already confused teenage mind to search for the write words and less feeling like homework.
Determining who is a friend and who is a bully when you are young is tough, you can’t determine who is contributing to your growth and who is stunting it, but with the Discovery Journals rating system, it's easier to see a pattern of behaviour with friends on a wider scale.
The mood calendar in every journal takes seconds to complete and encourages creative use of colour becoming more relatable to a young mind.
To find out in more detail about the benefits of the Discovery Journal take a look at our previous blog "Making Mental Health Manageable".
If you have a teenager that you think could benefit from having a neutral outlet, you can pick up a journal from £17 in the online store.