What you need to know:
- It is important to keep stress under control.
- When left unchecked, stress can harm your physical and mental health.
- There are many different ways to manage stress, including taking breaks, enjoying fun activities, getting adequate sleep, and talking to someone about your problems.
As a student, you may feel like you are constantly under pressure. There is so much to do and not enough time to do it.
It can be difficult to find time for yourself between classes, homework, exams, and social obligations. And when you do have a few minutes to relax, all you can think about is the massive pile of work waiting for you.
Impact of stress on your life
Stress is a feeling of pressure or tension. It can be caused by events such as exams, job interviews, or a death in the family. It can also be caused by everyday problems like money troubles or a difficult relationship. In students, stress is often caused by the pressure to succeed academically.
Adverse effects of stress can include
- Difficulty sleeping
- Feeling overwhelmed or stressed out
- Feeling anxious or irritable
- Chest pain
- Less motivation
- Behavioural changes such as drinking or drug abuse, eating disorders, and social withdrawal
- Make a list of the things that are causing you stress and try to address them one at a time. For example, if you are stressed about school, plan to study for your upcoming exams.
- Get organised. Make a schedule and stick to it. This will help you feel more in control of your life and less stressed. Procrastination often leads to stress. Try to avoid putting things off.
- Exercise regularly. Physical activity is a great way to reduce stress and improve your mood.
- Take breaks. When you are feeling overwhelmed, take time to relax and rejuvenate.
- Be available for fun activities. When you are stressed, it's easy to forget what makes you happy. Schedule time for activities you enjoy.
- Get adequate sleep. Most people need around eight hours of sleep per night. When you are tired, it's harder to deal with stress.
- Have realistic goals and expectations. There is a difference between what you want and what you can actually achieve. Do not put too much pressure on yourself.
- Talk to a friend or family member about it. They may be able to offer some helpful advice.
- Talk to a counsellor or therapist if you feel overwhelmed or stressed out.
Long term effects of stress
Stress impacts health leading to conditions such as depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders.
Depression is a severe mental illness that can have a negative impact on your life.
Symptoms of depression include feeling sad, hopeless, and worthless, losing interest in activities you once enjoyed, changes in appetite or weight, difficulty sleeping or oversleeping, and fatigue.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek help from a doctor or therapist.
Depression can be treated with medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes. It is important to seek help if you are struggling with depression, as it can lead to serious health problems if left untreated.
Anxiety is another mental illness that can have a negative impact on your life.
Symptoms of anxiety include feeling nervous, tense, or worried, having racing thoughts, feeling like you will lose control, sweating, dizziness, and nausea. Like depression, anxiety can be treated with medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes.
It is important to seek help if you are struggling with anxiety, as it can lead to serious health problems if left untreated.
When you're stressed, it can be hard to sleep. Stress causes your body to produce a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol makes it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
People who are stressed have trouble getting deep, restful sleep which can lead to fatigue, irritability, and a decreased ability to focus.
To promote good sleep, practice sleep hygiene. Create a peaceful environment, bedtime routine, and relaxation techniques.
Stress can also lead to chronic pain and eating disorders.