Have you ever been at school and were assigned two projects, three essays, and seven worksheets all in one day and started to feel an overwhelming sensation of tension and angst? Well, that wonderful feeling is called stress.
When thinking about stress, its negative connotation is most likely perceived as bad energy that fuels anxiety. But do people ever think about the positive aspects of it? Say you had a test tomorrow; without stressing, you might push it under the rug and take the failing grade. However, if you do stress out about it, you are driven to study in order to earn a passing grade you deserve. Without stress, there is no motivation to work hard and strive to be better. “A little bit of stress where it’s not holding you back and crippling you is a good thing that pushes you further to meet your goals and get motivated,” one of Huntington Beach High School’s psychologists, Mrs. Do, stated.
Stress isn’t fun to have, but you should also take into account how effective it could be in your life. That little bit of worry isn’t bad either, but make sure you’re able to monitor it so it doesn’t get out of hand.
When recently surveyed about the stress in their lives, 14 Huntington Beach High School students rated on a scale from one to five on how stressed they are about school, five representing the highest level of stress. Of these students, 53% responded with a five, and the rest responded with a four. As high school students, our lives mainly revolve around academics. As we progress into our high school careers, more responsibilities are piled onto our plates. Some students worry about getting a job, paying for their cars, thinking of colleges, or just trying to get through a single semester. Sometimes, you just need to set your life on pause and relax. Stop worrying about that test on Friday or the project that’s due in a week that you haven’t started, and pull yourself together. Don’t neglect your responsibilities, but give yourself time to figure it all out. Keep in mind that you can only take so much at a time. Start getting more sleep, stop procrastinating on things you’ll regret later, eat a good breakfast in the morning to start your day, and surround yourself with productive people.
The people you hang out with are a huge aspect of stress in your life. Think of your close friends. “Your mentality is influenced by who you surround yourself with. If you’re around people who don’t cope well, that will bring you down. But if you are around people who do cope well, have a positive mentality, and know how to deal with difficult problems, it can tremendously help you,” Mrs. Do explained.
It’s better to surround yourself with people who have the same goals and aspirations as you do. Mental health is more important than your social life or getting perfect scores, so prioritize your well-being over everything else.
From the survey, only 71.4% of students believe that they manage their stress well. Of course, everyone has different ways to cope, but stress is personalized and affects everyone uniquely. Some students interviewed found that listening to music, hanging out with friends, baking, or watching TV helps to lessen their stress at times. “Stop Breathe and Think” is an app that allows people to manage their stress; use this to take a minute to focus on yourself, and take a break on the things you are worried about.
Remember to balance yourself out. Think of your life as a scale. If you put too much pressure and tension on one side, you’re no longer balanced. Of course, there are times when people feel that they are losing control of their lives and they feel too overwhelmed, but there’s always a solution. Keep in mind that you are not alone. The people around you are probably equally as stressed as you are, and the Wellness Center and tutoring on campus is a great resource for support and guidance. Although people aren’t able to totally eliminate stress from their lives, they can lessen it. So take some time from thinking about your Spanish quiz on Friday or that project due in a week, and prioritize yourself.