The age old question of student workload has bothered many administrators for a while. Many have questioned if the routinely 3.5 hour process of filling out algebra equations is even worth it. Every night students hold their breath as they study for a Mesopotamia quiz, endure little hours of sleep, and sacrifice play and quality family time. Many even have to drink a rotten glass of milk for dinner as time does not permit them to blend a fresh banana-strawberry smoothie. This time crunch mixed with a dozen homework assignments has put many students at risk of severe health conditions, which if not corrected can be detrimental to their success inside and outside of school.

One such issue is stress. Stress is a body’s reaction to a challenge. A survey commissioned by UniHealth, the Uk’s first health wellbeing and messaging platform, surveying 1000 first and second year university students showed that 82% of  students in the UK suffer from stress, 20% percent of college students said they feel stressed most of the time and 13% said they have been diagnosed with depression, anxiety or another mental health condition. Stress is commonly perceived as bad, but it is important to know that it can actually be good in certain situations. For example, it can help you perform better in certain situations and in times of danger. Stress can be either acute, episodic or chronic depending on how serious the symptoms are. Acute stress is the most common form and is the result of current or anticipated stressors. Episodic stress is basically acute stress that happens frequently. It is accompanied by worried thoughts based on your immediate surroundings. Chronic stress is a constant stress that continues to linger at you and makes you feel stressed in nearly all situations.  

When talking about stress, it is important to explain the risk factors that take place. There are four primary types of stress symptoms: physical, emotional, behavioral and cognitive symptoms. Physical symptoms occur on or inside the body. Some examples include headaches, heartburn, unusual changes in weight, flushed skin, and chest pain. Emotional symptoms occur within the mind and are mainly processed in the amygdala. Some emotional symptoms include a sense of isolation, irritability, sadness, reduced desire for activities once enjoyed, pessimism, and restlessness. Behavioral symptoms are demonstrated by the way in which one acts or conducts oneself. Some behavioral symptoms include changes in eating or sleeping habits, pacing, nail biting, increased use of drugs, and frequent isolation. The last type of stress symptom is cognitive. Cognitive symptoms are related to the way the brain works, learns, educates, and experiences thought, senses, and experiences. Some common cognitive symptoms include a lack of concentration, frequent worry, impaired speech, unwanted thoughts, anxious thoughts, and memory impairment. It is important to know these symptoms so that we can identify them in ourselves and others in time to prevent them from escalating.

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Almost everybody faces stress at one time or another. However, that does not mean that unnecessary stresses are inevitable. There are many ways to help and reduce stress. Some strategies are to get plenty of sleep, think positively about the current situation and about the future, get plenty of fresh air, exercise, and talk to someone. It is important for students not to procrastinate in their assignments, as one of the major causes of stress amongst students is concern about meeting academic demands on time. Lastly, another major stressor amongst students is social anxiety. Students spend most of their time around peers. Being a victim of bullying can be detrimental to students’ psychological condition, so it is important that students know how to get help, how to choose the right friend groups and and how to manage conflicting situations in order to have a healthier lifestyle in and outside of school.

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