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Stress Part 1 - What is Stress?

Found in: Secondary


What is stress? And why do we stress?

Unfortunately, stress is a part of life and you will undoubtedly feel stressed at one point or another. Although being a teenager can be stressful in itself, it is not the only reason you may be feeling under pressure. At some points, you will feel stressed and overwhelmed by everything. You can stress over family problems or the expectations people have for you. As well as exams, homework, assignments, and anything of the like.

Stress is a response that humans have when they are put under pressure. One thing that can stress you the most is change. Change is everywhere and you can’t avoid it and being a teenager there is a lot of change. Your body is changing, the work you are doing at school is changing, the people you are surrounded by are changing and sometimes family life is changing. The important thing is to remember that you are not alone in this and although you can't eliminate stress you can reduce it but first you have to recognise the symptoms. Common symptoms of stress can be seen if you have difficulty sleeping, have mood swings, bite your fingernails, have negative thoughts or trouble concentrating. To avoid these symptoms and reduce stress some methods include meditating, deep breathing, unplug from electronics, go outside, think positive. All of these relax you so that you can put things into perspective and reduce your overwhelming stress.

Stress has its toll on everyone but it becomes less frightening once you understand it. When in fear, danger or any situation that needs a sudden action we react by a response known as “fight or flight”. When in a situation that you consider dangerous your brain triggers the release of the chemicals, which make your body respond. Two important chemicals that play a part in this are adrenaline and cortisol. Effects of these chemicals include increase in heart rate, skin goes cold and your pupils expand. When stressed you will react and your brain will release certain chemicals but if you are constantly stressed you will constantly be in “fight or flight” mode which is a danger to your health because the cortisol can build up and without relaxing it can affect your body negatively.

So, remember sitting down, put things into perspective, take a deep breath and relax.

Written by Morgan H and Mackenzie H, edited by Amber B, model is Josh J and photography by Joshua C-H

Morgan and Mackenzie Hugh