Stress management

How high school students manage stress


Keira Long, Staff Writer

Students are one of the most common victims of stress. Factors such as financial expenses, over commitment, family expectations, deadlines, and workload all induce stress in students. While a mild amount of stress is very useful and acts as a motivator for students, too much stress can interfere with their daily lives.

When built over time, stress can give rise to a host of serious problems such as depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses. Managing stress in it’s early stages can help maximize a student’s post-high school  experience and opportunities for students. 

There are three kinds of common stress triggers students experience. Social stress can put serious peer pressure on students. Dealing with new relationships, balancing academic life with social life, living with or without family members, adjusting to a new environment, can all trigger stress in students. Academic stress from strict schedules, deadlines, low grades, challenging classes, exams, responsibilities, and poor time management all lead to a buildup of stress. Daily life stress is associated with issues that are not related to academic or social life. These can include daily commutes, jobs, financial burdens, and so on.

The main objectives are to discover the extent to which stress affects students’ academic success and health and to suggest some techniques and practices to cope with stress for students. Stress coping methods are the physiological, cognitive, behavioral, and psychological methods to deal with stress. 

Another poll was taken from 29 students at Rochester High asking how they manage stress. 24 percent of the students answered sleeping, 21 percent answered listening to music,  19 percent answered reading, 14 percent answered physical activity, 14 percent answered making a list of tasks and getting things done, and 8 percent answered drinking Red Bull. 

“When I get stressed I find that sleeping helps a lot,” said sophomore Ava Sabbagh, “You can’t exactly think about anything while sleeping, so it’s really relieving.” 

Sleep has been proven to be  a powerful stress reducer. Following a regular sleep schedule calms and restores the body, improves concentration, regulates mood, sharpens judgment, and decision making. A lack of sleep can cause the body to react as if it’s in distress, releasing more of the stress hormone, called cortisol. Cortisol is responsible for your fight or flight reaction to danger, increasing your heart rate in anticipation of a fight.

“There are a few ways I manage stress,” said sophomore Jack Lynch, “The ones I find the most helpful are taking deep breaths and listening to music”.

Music can have a great effect on both the emotions and the body. Faster music can make you feel more alert and concentrate better. A slower tempo can quiet your mind and relax your muscles, making you feel soothed while releasing the stress of the day. Music is effective for relaxation and stress management. 

Deep breathing is another great way to manage stress. When you practice deep breathing, you turn on your body’s natural ability to relax. This creates a state of deep rest that can change how your body responds to stress. It sends more oxygen to your brain and calms the part of your nervous system that handles your ability to relax.

“Usually I will read if I feel stressed,” said sophomore Claire Buban. “But when it gets really bad, I sleep.” 

In a study conducted by the University of Sussex, individuals who had read for merely six minutes presented slower heart rates, less muscle tension, and reduced stress levels. The 2009 study at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68 percent. 

You can do things to handle the stress that comes along with any new challenge, good or bad. Stress-management skills work best when they’re practiced ahead of time, not just when the pressure’s on. Knowing how to “de-stress” and calm yourself can help you get through challenging circumstances.