According to a recent study, 45% of students in high school admit to being stressed almost every day. 61% of teenagers between 13 and 17 feel stress over producing satisfactory grades.
Experiencing school and college life can be overwhelming at times due to various factors. Starting from excelling in studies, relations with friends and peers, or managing the already set standards by teachers or parents. If the stress piles up, it can affect mental health, physical health, and even performance.
It has also been diagnosed that students who deal with stress gradually succumb to depression and anxiety. Hence, one must handle it before it goes beyond our reach. Learning stress management for college students can help students and parents be prepared to deal with any such particular situation.
Causes of Stress in Students
Isolation From Family And Friends- Living alone can surely be thrilling, but with it comes the responsibility. One has to take accountability for every action without any support system, which can sometimes be stressful.
Social Stress- With exposure to the social world, every student is prone to be addicted to this, and the constant need to keep up with their social circle can lead to a stressful life.
Financial Struggles- The rising cost of education has distressed many low-earning families and students who look after their education. This sometimes results in dropping out of school or college.
Trauma- Any shocking event can cause trauma therapy that leads to a stressful life. It might be a close one's death, accident, or relationship distress. It can also be caused by school shootings, natural disasters, or even terrorist attacks.
Academic Pressure - 70% of adolescents consider academic stress the highest concern. Parents, teachers, and coaches pressure students to excel and over-achieve in their academic careers. This eventually affects mental health and may cause other significant problems.
Relationship Issues- Any new relationship can be exciting and fun at this very age, but a student may feel significantly stressed if the connections go awry. So, one must differentiate the relations that support them and those that cause unnecessary stress.
Post-School/Grad Plans- We always dream about our future and what we want. But it is also normal if we have no plans for our next stage in life. This can stress us out and make us feel emotionally and mentally drained. It can be daunting, and this path should be trodden carefully with focus and attention.
Symptoms Of Stress In Students
There might be a number of symptoms one should look out for while diagnosing stress. We have listed some symptoms which are very common among students with stress.
- Feeling agitated, anxious, short-tempered, or depressed
- Feeling unwell quite frequently
- Frequent headaches, stomachaches, or other aches and pains.
- Cases of insomnia
- Skipping meals or overeating
- Troubled focus and lack of concentration
- High blood pressure
- Feeling overwhelmed or hopeless
66% reported experiencing stress, and 51% reported feelings of worry "during a lot of the day." Emotional stress was among the top reasons students considered dropping out of college.
Stress Management Techniques for Students
If left untreated, stress can have detrimental effects. Not only it will cause turmoil in your day-to-day activities, but it can also cause negative impacts on your grades, relationships, and mental health. Identifying and understanding the root cause can help manage stress. Here are a few techniques that will help students manage their stress.
- Get Proper Rest And Sleep- It is common for students to be sleep-deprived due to their hectic schedules and other activities. The less sleep, the more are the problems. It will eventually lead to less productivity; learning will be complex; even research has shown that sleep deprivation results in poor mood. The cognitive function, academic performance, and mental health will be impacted negatively.
- Focus On Health And Nutrition- One must focus on their diet. What you eat can boost your brainpower or drain your mental energy. A healthy diet might be the key to releasing stress or helping you study better, but it is effective at both. If your diet is balanced and nourished, you’ll be less likely to experience mood swings and energy crashes. Also, try to limit excess caffeine in soft drinks and coffee. It is a win-win situation.
- Try Visualizations- Guided imagery or visualizations have proved valuable and practical tools to help stressed students cope with academic, social, and other stressors. Many students have recommended this technique. It calms them down, detaches them from the source of stress, and reduces the stress response. You can do it by sitting in a quiet, comfortable place, imagining a peaceful environment for several minutes.
- Get Some Exercise - One of the healthiest ways to blow off steam is to exercise regularly. Many studies have shown that students who do physical exercise on a regular basis are less prone to stress and other ailments. They even handle the same amount of life, social, and academic pressure as their less active mates but are more motivated to overcome any challenge. With a hectic schedule, it may become difficult, but one has to plan and strategize for optimum output.
- Learn Meditation- Every student is busy and constantly distracted, making it more difficult for them to concentrate. With the help of meditation and mindfulness therapy, one can drown out all the unnecessary noises from their head and have an increased focus and concentration. One should incorporate meditation in their daily life, which will help them to improve their memory and also a way to relieve stress.
- Listen To Music - Who doesn't love music, right? Music is not only a fantastic source of entertainment, but it is a convenient stress reliever, too, with multiple cognitive benefits. Studies claim that relaxing music helps calm the body and mind and recover quickly from a stressful situation. Listening to music is among the best stress management techniques for students!
- Build Your Support Network - The best support is emotional support from your close person or group. It will create a protective buffer against stress. Though interpersonal relationships can become a reason for stress, most of the time, to fight loneliness and ensure one has people to lean on, we seek solace to our near and dear ones. There are many benefits of having a strong support group that makes you feel safe, listens, and understands you no matter what without any judgment.
- Practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation- This is also considered one of the great stress management techniques for students. This relaxation technique is used for relaxing body muscles to reduce muscle tension and increase calmness. Practice it by sitting or lying down in a comfortable position. Begin by tensing a muscle group and relaxing the muscle group while focusing on the sensation of relaxation. Continue this technique from your feet to the top of your head, relaxing different muscle groups. It is highly effective in improving sleep, managing anxiety, and relieving stress.
- Organize Your Surroundings - Managing everything single-handedly can be difficult, and that is why cluttered environments surround most students. Clutters can cause stress, which in turn can make one less productive. The distraction from the cluttered space can affect studies and hamper grades. So try to keep your space as clean as possible because a free space means a free and fresh mind that will keep you organized and on the right track all the time.
- Be Optimistic - Multiple benefits come from a positive outlook on stress. Positive thoughts can exponentially increase productivity with physical well-being. Optimism can significantly affect your physical and emotional health, lessening the chances of developing chronic stress. Self-affirmations can go a long way and boost your confidence, enhancing your outlook towards life. Instead of sulking over any negative thoughts, seek methods to overcome them.
- Time Management- With the rising competition and the constant need to overachieve, people left thinking there is not enough time in a day. This results in stress. Most people get stressed when they feel they are running out of time to complete a task, which overwhelms them. This is why time management is very crucial for students prioritizing their day-to-day activities. Try maintaining a routine, breaking down tasks, and, most importantly, allocating some me time for yourself.
- Give Yourself A Break - Always take a Break. Period. Whenever you feel the task is overburdening or draining out all the energy, take a break and relax. Because nothing is more critical compared to peace of mind. Do whatever relaxes your mind: read a book, watch a movie, or simply hang out with your friends. Giving yourself a break is essential to managing stress levels. You deserve it!
- Learn Breathing Techniques - One cannot think clearly when stressed. The easiest and quickest way to calm a stress attack is breathing exercises. The most beneficial point of this stress management for college students is that it can be performed anywhere, anytime.
- Start Journaling - This technique has gained much momentum recently. It is claimed that journaling can be therapeutic and lower stress levels. penning down your daily thoughts and feelings can be of great help when it comes to stress management. It will mirror your stress pattern and help you deal with it. The journal will give you a clearer picture of your life and how to manage the stressors.
- Ask For Help - When you feel the stress is not manageable, seek professional help without second thoughts. Check if your school or college offers any mental health resources; if not, find one online because many good therapy options are available on the net. Only a professional therapist can dive into your problems and determine what causes or triggers stress you out. Once the cause is identified, they prepare a mental health plan after assessing stress management strategies for students. Do not hesitate to ask for help because you are not alone!
Stress is inevitable in our lives, but we must find ways to manage it, specifically for students. With the help of stress management techniques for students, as covered in this blog, one can reduce the harmful effects of stress on our mental and physical well-being. Every student should practice these stress management techniques to have an improved life, enhance their lifestyle with confidence and optimism, and enjoy a happy and healthy life. Also, another important aspect one should remember is that stress is different for everyone, and one should never compare it with others. Mapping out your cause of stress and what can be done to minimize it can be difficult. So do not get disheartened; keep trying and seek professional help when required.
Schools and colleges offer mental health resources for the well-being of their students. You can find other resources that offer exceptional mental health services with their trained and licensed mental health therapists. Many trusted organizations have the sole motive to help out anyone in need. Reach out to them and Bid Adieu to Stress.