Stress: The Problem We All Face In High School
The transition from eighth grade to being a freshman in high school is an overwhelming change. Students go to a completely new school, with new teachers and students from different schools. All experience stress whether it be from loads of homework, issues at home, relationship problems or another cause. It does not matter how popular a person is or how many AP classes he or she might have; stress is highly evident for everyone in high school.
Stress Soars In Student Life
Nguyen Kim Tran
Alhambra High School’s student body has had its fair share of stress as the school year continues to roll by. A survey by the American Psychological Association, reported that teens believe that their stress is excessive and far exceeds the stress levels of adults. Similar to adults, students view school as a stressful environment because of the responsibilities and evaluations they get from teachers and peers. High schoolers see school as the determining factor for their future. This constant pressure from their environment to perform well can consequently lead to stress, and if not dealt with properly will result in the depletion of their health. A little bit of stress is fine, but as we all know, too much of anything is bad.
It may be shocking, but for some, school is not always the main stressor, it can be a reliever. Stress can also come from home. A nationwide poll done by the National Public Radio, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health found that “by far the leading reason [for high levels of stress] was poor health. Either they or someone in their family was really sick, or they were overwhelmed by the death of a loved one.” It is hard to accept the fact that some people do not have the luxury to worry about other matters when they are trying to cope with a situation that hits home. Some students can use school as an escape from the reality at home.
As we get older, there comes more responsibility and struggles that may lead to stress. Something that most students stress out about is their future and what colleges to apply for, and whether they will be eligible for that college. Students may also stress out about the SAT or ACT and not doing as well as they wanted.
Some symptoms that may occur from too much stress are headaches, nausea and body aches. When symptoms such as nausea happen, it is because our brain becomes more alert of the sensations that go on in our stomach. Stress is a natural reaction physically and mentally for both good and bad situations and can benefit health and safety.
For instance, when a person slams on the brakes to avoid an accident, the heart rate increases and the body becomes more alert of the situation. According to American Psychological Association, this acts as a fight-or-flight situation. Sometimes when we are stressed, it can help us avoid dangerous situations also known as fight-or-flight. Overall, stressing can be helpful for students by making them more motivated to complete tasks.
What’s up? Not Stress Levels!
It is not surprising for students to get stressed when they have multiple projects and assignments. Consumed by the massive amount of work, students may see overcoming stress as impossible. However, there are various ways to overcome stress even in the most difficult situations.
According to the American Psychological Association, moderate amounts of exercise can help one relieve stress. For example, a 20-minute walk, run or swim when stressed can lower stress levels for several hours. To explain this, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America found that physical activity produces endorphins which act as natural painkillers and can improve one’s ability to sleep.
In addition to moderate exercise, Help Guide states that social engagement is the quickest and most efficient way to reduce stress. Communicating with others can make one feel safe and understood. Furthermore, by speaking to others and creating a network of close friends, one can improve their resilience to life’s stressors, meaning they will be able to recover from stress faster. Even when one is stressed, there are several ways to stop it from progressing. Instead of staring at a homework assignment blankly for 20 minutes and becoming more stressed by the minute, students can try to go out for a 20-minute exercise or speak with friends or family members to stop stress in its tracks.
1. Stress does not cause gray hair, but it may cause hair loss.
2. Not all forms of stress are defective. Some provide protection by improving the immune system, and increasing brain activities.
3. According to a poll from CNN, a major cause of stress is money.
4. Stress makes the blood in a person’s body clot slightly, in order to prepare for an injury. This blood clotting may kill healthy brain cells.
5. The Chinese invented the stress ball, which was thought to relieve stress by applying force on pressure points on the hand.
Source: National Institute of Mental Health