By Sydney Harada and Ozan Markeset
November doesn’t just bring us turkeys and extreme shopping. It also brings National Stress Awareness day. This day is recognized annually on the first Wednesday of November. This day focuses on identifying and reducing the stress factors in your life. Teens tend to feel trapped and pressured by stress, whether it’s caused by school, social media, friends, family, and other factors. Stress tends to result in a rise of sleeplessness, loneliness, worry, and dependence on others.
Stress is usually a response to pressure or threat. Under stress, we may feel tense, nervous, or on the edge. The stress response can also be physical. According to Kidshealth.org, the article, “What is Stress?”, stress triggers a surge of a hormone called adrenaline that temporarily affects the nervous system. As a result, when you're nervous or stressed, you might feel your heartbeat or breathing getting rapidly faster, your palms get sweaty, or your knees getting shaky. Stress can cause anxiety, high blood pressure and can weaken your immune system, and can contribute to conditions such as depression, obesity, and heart disease.
Most stress tends to be caused by social media. According to a Harvard published article by Leah Shafer, “Social Media and Anxiety”, through likes and follows, teens are "getting actual data on how much people like them and their appearance," says Lindsey Giller, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute. When a student feels trapped and occupied, it takes over their ability to focus during lectures or studying. Stress may even cause students to do poorly in their classes and drop out of school.
A poll was conducted with 36 eighth grade students here at iPrep Academy.
Which one causes the MOST stress overall?:
Teens tend to feel stressed every day. Noah de la Portilla, an eighth grader, gives some advice to his fellow students, “Stress is not something that you should let take over your life. If you feel stressed, find someone to talk to so they can help you work it out.” While others gave their opinions on the matter like Valeria Marquez, “There is so much homework school gives us that you will get stressed every day, and start to worry. There are times I can't spend time with my family because I'm busy studying, which is upsetting.” Many students tend to feel this way since schools tends to give us a lot of work.
Ms. Pedroso, the secondary school counselor, gave some advice to teens to relieve their stress in their daily lives by stating that the best way to relieve stress is to “make time for yourself and plan things out.” Whether it be reading a book, going to the beach, or taking a nap, you should make time for yourself to relieve stress that you experience in your daily life. Ms. Pedroso believes the main contributor to teen stress is that “students are unsure how to prioritize and handle all their responsibilities and obligations. Also, they do not know who to turn to and afraid to ask. The biggest thing is not having the knowledge of how to handle stress.”
When asked if she sees stress daily in teens, Ms. Pedroso responds enthusiastically: “Well, I think it's natural to have stress in your life. Even on a daily basis, it is impossible to avoid. I think it's important to keep it all in perspective. Be confident that most of the things you can handle yourself if you take a deep breath and give yourself time to think about it.”
Stress is a growing problem. Teens are not always sure on how to prioritize and handle all their responsibilities. Also, many are not sure who to ask and turn to when in need. Even though some think teen stress is a hard thing to handle, there are always ways to combat it and become a better person in the process. Remember that you can always ask someone for help.