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School Stress: How To Cope Up With Stress In School - Psychology 101

Stress, If Managed Properly, Can Be A Source Of Career Propulsion.

By Admin

Modern-day school-going children are faced with tremendous disruption which our ancestors did not have to go through. According to Anjali Rana (2019), the major catalyst of this social anomaly includes increasing academic competition and societal pressures such as parents expectations and peer pressure. Given these dynamics, certain students are better at handling stress-related issues than others. Hence, avoiding stress is just not possible as individuals have to go through these stages of life.

Before we embark further on this article, let’s shed some light as to what exactly is stress.

What Exactly is Stress?

Well, stress is basically a body’s non-specific reaction to cognitive dissonance or in lay’s men terms, environmental and social disturbances which tend to distort an individual's cognitive abilities. Stress can be physical, emotional, physiological and psychological. Under stress, an individual’s thought process tends to get clouded. Hence, among psychiatrists, this condition must be avoided, especially among children.

The present article aims to deliberate on how to spot and handle stress among children.

Also View: Is Exam Stress Such a Thing?

The Impact of Stress on Students in Secondary School

Stress can lead to devastating impacts on young students. According to Michaela C. Pascoe (2019), stress can be a source of various mental health as well as deviant behaviours among children. So much that it is observed that stress is the primary reasons why young students may fall into deviant behaviours such as smoking and substance abuse. Hence, stress should not be taken lightly.

The following anomalies are the result of stress among school children:

Sleep Disorders

Moreover, stress is also a leading cause of sleep disorders among young students as also reported by the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Stress causes irregularities in sleep patterns which disturb day to day life of an individual. Consequently, an individual academics, as well as personal life, suffer.

Physiological and Physical Ailments

Similarly, stress may also lead to physical as well as physiological problems which include metabolic syndrome, obesity and reduced insulin sensitivity etc. Also, stress can lead to abnormal weight gains as well as weight loss. Hence, stress may totally disturb an individual’s physical health.

Psychological Problems

Finally, stress can also lead to psychological problems such as depersonalisation, exhaustion, cynicism and inefficacy or reduced accomplishment. Hence, stress must not be taken as a light threat.

Sources of School Stress Among Children

There are several stress stimulants that schools have yet to acknowledge, not to say that these stimulants are wrong as schooling is all about simulating real-world stressors so that individuals could learn how to cope up with the challenges of the practical world. But instead, the aim is to spot these bulwarks that may harm an individual’s health.

The Pressure to Achieve More

According to Oxford Learning (2018), the most common cause of stress in school is pressure to achieve more. Often children are faced with immense pressure from parents and society to achieve more than others, which leave children heads overheal as there is already pressure of workload and homework assignments. Consequently, when they fail to achieve certain expectations, they eventually break down.

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Lack of Self-Management and Organisation

Further, schoolchildren often give little importance to self-management and organisation, and more so they do not give value to recreational time. Together abandoning these two elements from one’s life leads to a loss of self-cognizance, hence stress becomes a norm. Similarly, lack of sleep also plays an important role. Finally, many students do not have a proper support system in their personal lives. Hence, these factors act as a catalyst in ameliorating stress among children.

Financial Obligations

Practical life requires an individual to be realistic about numbers, not the mathematics ones, but rather the financials. Students when growing are often struck hard with the practical aspect of living which is of course the compulsion to support one’s on living. Some are good at handling these numbers while others are subject to anxiety and stress. Overall, financial worry is the top reason why students fall into stress.

Family Problems

Similarly, another practical aspect of one’s life is family problems. Family problems tend to be an important stress stimulant because the family is supportive, then an individual can progress in both academics and life, while if one’s family is not supportive and causes disturbances then it may cause an individual stress.

Romantic Relationships

Finally, a major source of stress is the compulsion to have a romantic partner. Students often become subject to peer pressure if they fail in a romantic relation

How to Recognize Stress in Children

There are numerous symptoms and signs that may indicate that students are going through stress. These include the following:

Physical Symptoms

Under physical symptoms, the most common is excessive fatigue and muscle tension, because of which an individual tends to get tired very often. Moving on, when under stress, an individual tends to sweat as well as the heart rate increases and also there have been reports where blood pressure also increases. Lastly, other common symptoms may include stomach aches and headaches.


Under emotional symptoms, the most common include self-isolation and the feeling of loneliness. In fact, the sufferers often report that under stress they feel helpless. As a result, children often become hostile as they are unable to understand their conditions.


Moving on, behavioural anomalies tend to be the most disturbing symptoms of stress. The most common include sleep disorders. Further, as mentioned above, student’s may fall prey to bad influence and may adopt habits like drug abuse. Moreover, stress may also cause binge eating and even reduced sex drive. Together, these elements can totally disturb an individual’s day to day living.


Under cognitive symptoms, stress may compel an individual to have a negative outlook on life. Moreover, stress causes difficulty in the concentration of an individual, even there have been cases of memory loss.

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Managing Stress

Following are the key takeaways of managing stress:

1. Proper Sleep.

2. Balanced Diet.

3. Regular Exercise.

4. Engaging in recreational activities.

5. Setting realistic expectations.

6. Saying no to drugs.

Also View: Why We Must Embrace a Growth Mindset?


The upshot of the discussion is that stress may lead to other critical conditions which can become complex beyond the point of return. Hence, stress should be spotted at early stages and should be managed in a proper and guided way. A good practice is to seek professional help through consultation with a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist. All in all, if stress is managed properly then it can be a source of propulsion in one’s career.

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