How to Balance Stress Due to School

Two Parts:Taking Action InitiallyManaging Stress

At one point everyone feels the stresses of school taking a toll on them. It's important to keep your perspective and deal with stress in a positive way. Sit back and let go of your worries and read this stress reducing article.

Part 1
Taking Action Initially

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    Recognize your stress. You've probably done this already and come to this article for help. If you're not sure, know that school-related stress is extremely common and teen stress rates have been found to be higher than those of adults. [1] Look for the following stress symptoms in yourself:
    • Increased/decreased appetite
    • Unintended weight gain or loss
    • Sleep troubles
    • Frequent colds and other illnesses
    • Headaches
    • Stomach aches and/or nausea
    • Increased anger, irritability, and/or aggression
    • Forgetfulness, confusion, and/or disorganization
    • Frequent mood swings
    • Social withdrawal[2]
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    Recognize that stress is natural and happens to everyone. In a natural environment, stress is healthy and useful. If a prehistoric human ran into a predator, for instance, their body would operate differently to help the human fight or run. After the encounter was over, the body would return to normal. But in modern times, threats, take the form of duties and work, which hover over people for a long time. When prolonged in situations like that, stress is unhealthy. The stress you're trying to avoid is this kind, the long-term kind.
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    Identify the source of your stress. Be as specific as possible. Is it a certain class? Are you being harassed or bullied? Is it a mean or intimidating teacher? It will be best to focus your efforts on the most stressful area(s).
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    Take action. Stress is a serious problem when you have too much of it for too long, so if you feel the need to switch or drop classes or talk to administration, do it. Look at the issues listed above if you're uncertain-- these are awful things to have to live with. If your school is dismissive of the problem, it might even be worth transferring. If the problem is less major-- struggling with a certain class, for example --see if you can get assistance from a teacher, counselor, or parent/guardian.

Part 2
Managing Stress

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    Have a planner or calendar. When you don't write down your assignments, they clutter up your already-busy mind. Writing down due dates and test days will help you keep track of it all.
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    Prioritize. Schools assign a lot of work, and if you often get confused about where to start, you're not alone. Take into consideration due date, grade value, and what teacher assigned it. If you have a math test worth 20% of your grade tomorrow, you should probably save the project due next month for another time. However, if it's a quiz worth 5 points, you might want to focus on the project. Keep in mind, also, the strictness of the teacher you're dealing with. Will the teacher fail you if you don't hand a paper in the minute she asks for it? If so, focus on her assignments. If your teacher is more relaxed about due dates, you can probably hand in a paper a day late or so without a problem.
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    Don't procrastinate. If you have a large project to do, dedicate a bit of time to it each day so you don't have to worry about the due date. The very concept of big project can cause stress; the bit-by-bit method will make it seem much less intimidating.
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    Be willing to say no. Many people feel guilty about saying no and end up agreeing to do everything that is asked of them. If you have too much on your plate, say so! You'll thank yourself for it in the long run.
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    Have stress-relieving methods. Sometimes you just need to put the work away for a minute to calm down. Taking breaks is among the methods you can use to relieve stress. Others include taking a walk, getting some fresh air, reading, listening to some music, or having tea or hot chocolate. Try different things to see what soothes you. When you find what works, use it when you're stressed, but also on a daily basis to keep your brain relaxed so that when a challenge comes, you'll be ready to deal with it without stress.
    • Controlled breathing might help if you don't have any options. Taking deep, slow breaths gives you something else to focus on and supplies your body with more oxygen for thinking things over.
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    Focus on your achievements. If you finished seven assignments last night and didn't have time for an eighth, be proud of what you accomplished. Worrying over what you could have done doesn't help. Sometimes you can't do everything, and that's okay! Take pride in your efforts.

Tips

  • Having a checklist or to-do list might help. It's satisfying to see each item getting crossed out one by one.
  • If you have a problem and can't do anything about it, then don't stress over it; you can't control it. If you have a problem and can do something about it, don't stress over it-- do the thing!

Warnings

  • Don't do the work because you think you won't finish it anyway, it's better to have something done than nothing done at all.
  • Get a good night's sleep so you're rested and have energy. Don't stay up until the crack of dawn working, it won't give you good qualities, teachers will notice and you will not get good grades!

Article Info

Categories: Managing Stress | School Stuff