Balancing school work and extracurricular activities, while meeting expectations of family members, is very time consuming and stressful. However, managing stress is important because it affects emotional equilibrium and physical health.
Demanding classwork, homework, balancing personal and school life, and parent expectations are factors of school stress.
Sophomore Alexa Fedak says, “I have to worry about all the homework, taking all these tests, and public speaking.”
Stress is the physiological reaction to external or internal problems. Some ways to manage stress are through exercise, avoiding caffeine, getting more sleep, meditating, or keeping a stress diary.
Exercising regularly can help you stay in shape, maintain good health or even provide a distraction. It also produces endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that reduce stress and improve the ability to sleep.
Another way to reduce stress is getting more sleep. A teenager should receive on average 8 to 12 hours a night. Increases in energy, improved memory, and sharpened attention are all results of more sleep.
Keeping a stress diary is another good way to cope with stress. A stress diary is filled with stress-related topics. It helps manage stress levels, gives objective information on causes of stress, and is a place to record your feelings.
Meditation is also a great way to relax and relieve stress. Meditating includes a selection of soothing sounds while performing unique poses. It benefits brain activity, mood, and strengthens the whole body.
Freshman Brooke Wehringer says, “I personally deal with stress by thinking about something positive, so I do not think about what I’m stressing about too much. I also go outside to exercise, watch TV, or talk to a friend to keep my mind off things. By doing this, I make myself happier and less stressed.”
Too much stress can be harmful. Some symptoms of being overstressed would be anger, irritation, or sleeping difficulties. It can also cause problems in immune, cardiovascular and nervous systems. Some examples would be causing anxiety, muscle pain, high blood pressure, and more.
Health psychologist Kelly McGonigal says, “It turns out that how you think about stress is also one of those core beliefs that can affect your health, happiness, and success. As we’ll see, your stress mindset shapes everything from the emotions you feel during a stressful situation to the way you cope with stressful events. That, in turn, can determine whether you thrive under stress or end up burned out and depressed.”
What about school makes you stress?