Feelings change a lot during puberty. There are many things you can do to help you deal with them.
What am I feeling?
Feelings are your body responding to something that is happening to you. Sometimes feelings are easy to understand, like ‘thirsty’ or ‘hot’. Sometimes feelings are hard to understand.
Paying attention to your feelings can help you learn to understand them. You can use feelings to help you make decisions, like “Ouch, I’d better not sit so close to the fire”, or “That was mean, I don’t think I want to be friends with that person”.
Puberty & feelings
During puberty, you might feel happy one minute and sad or angry the next. This is sometimes called mood swings. Hormones have something to do with mood swings, but how you respond to them is up to you. As you pay attention to your feelings and learn to understand them you will be able to respond to mood swings better, rather than lashing out at family members or friends.
Sometimes the way people feel about their gender (being a ‘girl’ or a ‘boy’) doesn’t match their body. For more information about transgender contact The Gender Centre.
Am I normal?
Girls’ and boys’ bodies change a lot during puberty and everyone ends up looking a bit different. There is no right or wrong when it comes to body shape or appearance. Magazines and other media sometimes give us the idea that looking a certain way is important. But the most important thing is to be healthy and happy.
A healthy body image means being comfortable in your own skin and valuing who you are rather than what you look like.
Dealing with breakups
Ending a relationship can be hard to do and everyone reacts differently. You might feel sad, shocked, angry or relieved. These feelings usually soften with time. The important thing is to look after yourself. Try not to blame the other person or do anything to try to get back at them, like rush into a new relationship. It can also help to talk to someone you trust.
For more information about dealing with breakups see Relationships.
Feeling sad, stressed or anxious
Most people sometimes feel like this, but exactly what people feel and how extreme it is varies. Usually feelings like this pass, but there are things you can do to deal with them too. Check out ReachOut.com for some ideas.
Sometimes no matter what you do these feelings won’t go away. This could be a sign that something more is going on. It can help to talk to someone you trust, like a friend, family member or counsellor. You can also contact eheadspace to chat to someone about how you’re feeling.