The American Institute of Stress is a group of doctors and health professionals that study stress. They have some research about the things that make stress for teenagers in junior high and high school. The research is very interesting so we should talk about it.
Stress is a big problem for teens. Some stress is needed to help people grow, like when you work hard in sports, or study hard for a test. Those kinds of stress are good to challenge you and to make you strong. But there are also kinds of stress that are too much, and stress that can make your body sick and your mind damaged.
The American Institute of Stress says that:
83% of students feel stress about going to a good university after high school.
65% of students worry about money trouble in the family.
35% of students cannot sleep well at night.
26% of students eat unhealthy food.
40% of students are easy to become angry or sad from stress.
51% of students say that someone tells them they look too tired or stressed.
Students who have stress have difficult times to study well. They have hard times to make good relationships with friends and family. Many times a student with stress will have heavy fatigue and their level of concentration is too low.
Stress experts tell us that teen stress comes from four different areas.
One is stress at school. There is a lot of pressure from school and parents for students to have very good scores with all their classes. This is very difficult and creates a lot of stress.
Another is social stress. If someone has trouble with friends and classmates it can give them a lot of stress. Teenagers are young adults so there are often many feelings about relationships and friendships that are new. It is a very hard time.
Some students have trouble at home. We do not know if our friends have trouble with mom or dad, and those problems can make a lot of trouble and stress for a teenager.
Another source of stress is sickness or accident or some very sad trouble like a death in the family. The stress from these is also quite big for teenagers.
So, how can we fight stress? How can we make a difference and help our friends?
That is a good question, and it is not an easy one to answer.
We know that living in the world, at any age, in any country, in any school, will have stress. Life is not easy, and no one can promise us a completely peaceful life. Sometimes stress can make us stronger, but we need to understand when stress only gives us damage too.
Maybe the most important thing for us to learn about stress, is that we should do our best to help other people around us. You are a student in your class, and a classmate to people around you. It is very important to be a good friend to other people. It is important to invite and include everyone around you to your group. Ask everyone to join your team and your activity. Tell anyone that looks alone in your class that they should join you and join your group. When someone has a lot of stress they feel better when they can make a friend, and make a human connection.
And if you are someone who has a lot of stress, please remember that you have people here at Otemae that care about you. Talk to a friend, and talk to a teacher. You know who is a good friend for you and who is a good teacher for you. Talk to them. Don’t be afraid to tell someone about your stress. Sometimes when you talk about a problem you can see it clearly. Maybe then it will be a little better.
Just remember that you are important, that the hard time is not forever, and that you have people in this school who care about you.
Let’s all be aware about stress and how we can help each other.