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Stress, Mental Health Functioning, and Stress Management Interventions

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❶Our bodies function best when we get adequate sleep.

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These hormones rouse the body for emergency action. As a result, our heart pounds faster, muscles tighten, blood pressure rises, breath quickens, and senses become sharper. These physical changes increase our strength and stamina, speed our reaction time, and enhance our focus, thus preparing us to either fight or flee from the danger at hand. This reaction to a real or imagined danger is called the stress response.

The stress response is the body's way of protecting us. When working properly, it helps us to stay focused, energetic, and alert. In emergency situations, stress can save our life by giving us extra strength, or for example, spurring us to slam on the brakes to avoid an accident. The stress response also helps us rise to meet challenges.

It keeps us on our toes during a presentation at work, sharpens our concentration when attempting the game-winning free throw, or drives us to study for an exam when we would rather be watching TV. But beyond a certain point, stress stops being helpful and starts causing major damage to our health, mood, productivity, relationships, and our quality of life.

It is important to understand that our body does not distinguish between physical and psychological threats. When we are stressed over a busy schedule, an argument with a friend, a traffic jam, or a mountain of bills, our body reacts just as strongly as if we were facing a life- or-death situation.

If someone has a lot of responsibilities and worries, chances are that their emergency stress response may be 'on' most of the time. The more our body's stress system is activated, the easier it is to trip and the harder it is to shut off. Leading a long-term stressful life can even rewire the brain, leaving us more vulnerable to anxiety and depression.

Chronic stress disrupts nearly every system in our body. It can raise blood pressure, suppress the immune system, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, contribute to infertility, and speed up the aging process.

Problems related to sleep and digestion, obesity, autoimmune diseases, and skin conditions such as eczema are some other health problems that or caused or exacerbated by stress. The ability to withstand stress differs from person to person. While some people seem to thrive on the excitement and challenge of a high- stress lifestyle, others crumble at the slightest obstacle or frustration.

The ability to tolerate stress depends on many factors, including the quality of a person's relationships, general outlook on life, emotional intelligence, and genetics. The situations and pressures that cause stress are known as stressors. We usually think of stressors as being negative, such as an exhausting work schedule or a rocky relationship or death of someone close.

However, anything that puts high demands on us or forces us to adjust can be stressful. This includes positive events such as getting married, buying a house, going to college, or receiving a promotion. Also, to an extent, what causes stress depends on our perception of it. Something that is stressful to a person may be enjoyed by someone else. For example, a person may get stressed while going to office due to his anxiety that traffic will make him late, while another may find the trip relaxing and enjoy listening to music while he drives.

Stress can also be self-generated. It may occur due to children and family, being too busy, inability to accept uncertainty, pessimism, perfectionism, lack of assertiveness, unrealistic expectations, etc. The most dangerous thing about stress is that it can easily creep up on us, to the extent that we get used to it. We start to feel familiar, even normal, and it takes a heavy toll without even our noticing how much it is affecting us. The signs and symptoms of stress overload can be almost anything.

Simply tackling more difficult assignments can demand stress management techniques. Requiring students to interview older students and educators, as well as research the Internet on the subject, could help them prepare for the stresses of academic challenges. The mating game is filled with eustress, but it also involves distress, and is among the greatest causes of stress on students. The school environment itself can be a cause of stress on students.

Students moving into secondary education find it challenging to constantly move around to classes. Those matriculating to tertiary education are challenged with leaving home and establishing a new life in a new setting.

Both can cause stress on students. Colleges pressure high school students to engage in extracurricular activities such as choirs, clubs, sports, band, or volunteer work. The presence of these on a student application can go far toward acceptance.

Once in college, extracurricular activities still cause stress on students, since their presence on a job application is also an asset. Like dating, peer relationships can provide eustress or distress. As peers apply pressure in regard to dress, behavior, choice of friends or music, and many other areas of life, that pressure can become a huge cause of stress on students.

High school workloads, and later college workloads, are heavy for many students. For secondary students planning on tertiary studies, high school grades are important. So is the number of subjects. As a result, students may overload their schedules. In college, where a financial investment has been made, students may overwork to reach their goals and benefit from the money spent. Workloads at either level are causes of stress on students. A lack of time management also causes stress on students, whether secondary or tertiary.

Balancing academics, dating, peer activities, and home life can be difficult. Toss in a part-time job, and the challenge increases. Finally, students at either level experience stress from parental pressures. Parents want their children to succeed in school.

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Most of the reasons for so much stress fall into one of three categories: academic stress, that is, anything to do with studying for classes, financial stress, which has to do with paying for school, and personal stress, which is stress associated with personal problems in .

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College Students and Stress Essay Words | 6 Pages. College Students and Stress Today a college education can overload students with too many stressful situations. Not only does Stress overload today's college students, but it is also the leading cause of personality disorders.

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Before long, the stress of everyday life in college shows itself in many different ways, such as the expectations of making an "A" in every course, the fear of doing poorly on tests, and worrying about failing a course.3/5(7). Essay on College Student Stress Coping College students facing academic, social, and other stresses such as finances and how to cope with them. The most common stress most college students face is the stress from the work load that is common in a higher education system.

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Stress comes from variety of sources and does not seem to impact everyone in the same way. What is stressful to one person may not cause stress for another. In small doses, stress helps you to stay focused, energetic, and alert. Apr 09,  · The Causes of Stress for College Students Stress is basically defined as an applied force or system of forces that tends to strain or deform a body. It is usually caused by something that is out of the ordinary from everyday life, things like tests, family problems and loss of job.