How students can respond to stress & overcome it

How students can respond to stress & overcome it

Stress, as understood in layman terms, is the inability to cope with the daily pressures of life. In today’s world, stress has become a person’s new best friend, with many psychologists and counsellors using this term to diagnose their patients.

Stress in students was not common in older days. But now, children also seem to have made stress an ‘escape route’ to  avoid current situations. It is so unfortunate that innocence in our children is replaced by the word ‘stress’.

Stress has become a common word in our daily conversations and it is mostly seen in the age group of pre-teens and young adults. The reason of stress in the lives of the student is coming from faulty nurture and nature. With the parents themselves being stressed, the burden is often forwarded to their children.

Different responses

As a child grows up in a stressful environment, it takes a toll on his or her personality. The child, as a result, learns not to cope with the pressure in stressful situations and makes them anxious as well.  As a result, they get overwhelmed with pressure. The present situation is due to many reasons such as anxiety in parents, peer pressure, classroom performance and a demoralising environment.

Chronic stress, if ignored for a longer period, can lead to a mental and physical breakdown. It has been dealt in various ways by different people. Each student  responds differently to similar situations of stress. This means that it would be wrong for any student or faculty member to simply dismiss the stress faced by a certain student, just because others are not experiencing the same level of stress.

Stress is not always a bad thing. The right amount of stress will encourage a student to study more and try hard. This kind of stress is known as positive stress. It adds short-term tension to the body that provides a rush of adrenaline in order to overcome certain challenges. However, positive stress also has some noticeable effects such as anxiety, fear, headaches and nausea. However, these side effects vanish when the challenge is overcome.

When students are not able to bounce back from the stressful situations, it is called as negative stress. The stressful period does not come to an end in their life and it takes a toll on the body and cause physical, mental and emotional problems. As the exhaustion continues, adrenal fatigue sets in, which makes it more difficult for the students to cope up with the crisis and as a result, it becomes difficult to continue their studies in a positive way.

Immediate attention

Stress is best dealt as soon as it’s been felt. In order to comprehend stress, the students need to know the early signs of warning. Stress and adrenal fatigue bring about the depletion of crucial hormones and neurotransmitters that control many functions in the body.

The symptoms of stress can be seen in physical, mental and emotional stages. Symptoms of stress include fatigue, headache, nervousness, lack of appetite and irritability. If students are experiencing these symptoms, they are suffering from stress and need immediate help.

Leaving it unaddressed and untreated for longer periods of time can lead to depression. This is a very serious issue and may require professional help. Dealing with stress requires willpower, awareness and empathy. Here are some tips to help one overcome stress:

Think positively.Act immediately, take professional help.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Parents and teachers should recognise, empathise and understand the stressful situations students face. Additionally, students can also be given training in stress management techniques through activities like counselling. All these activities help students deal with stress effectively.

(The author is a criminal psychologist based in New Delhi)

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