Stress is a real epidemic among youth.

Looking around you see kids on their cell phones, everywhere you go. The parents are not far behind with their own phones. Our children are exposed every day, to information that goes past them at the speed of light, and they are showing signs of stress as early as the age of 12.

Stress impacts every age group, but at its core, stress can damage more than just emotions; it can damage the physical body. When young kids are exposed to the tragedies of life in today’s society, such as bullying and shaming, they start to carry stress around with them and often parents, teachers and care-givers are never aware of this.

There are a few warning signs that appear in children who are stressed inside, but who don’t know how to say it. Recently a friend of mine told me of her 19-year-old niece who was wanting to quit work and college saying that she wanted to stay home and never leave. Sadly, this is the theme all over the country and world. Some children are feeling and showing signs that they are unable to handle the requirements of living an everyday life. They are pressured from within and from people around them to conform to a certain way, but feel they are never enough.

We want our children to grow up feeling free, abundant, happy and content. We desire for our children and youth to live fulfilled lives and be courageous in their mission. We want them to have healthy bodies, healthy souls and healthy minds.

Some of the early warning signs that your child is stressed are as follows:

Your child may hold his or her head down in normal conversation and not look eye-to-eye with you during conversation.

Your child may pick up smoking, using drugs and experimenting in promiscuity.

Your child may cry for no apparent reason, or seem anxious and angry with you.

Your child may rub his or her fingers until the skin gets raw and bleeds.

Your child may refrain from activities they once loved to participate in and seem to go inward.

The signs of stress on the outside, are rarely seen but the stress on the inside is the real culprit. Too much mental suppression can cause the adrenaline glands to exhaust themselves, cause ulcers of the stomach and a number of physical problems if not managed.