You will get through it

How to manage and cope with stress

“I am so stressed out!” How many times do we hear this phrase daily? There are many factors that induce stress, and we need to change our perspectives on our situations, especially during this time of our lives.

Parents are always teaching us lessons by making us do chores or grounding us after we make mistakes because they are trying to prepare us for the future. The type of person that we push ourselves to be as a teenager determines the type of person we are as adults. If you spend your teenage years being lazy and never doing any work, then that is how you will be in the future, but if you push yourself now to take advantage of your situations and work hard, then your future is pointed in that direction.

“Stress is a top health concern for U.S. teens between ninth and twelfth grade,” the American Psychological Association said. “Psychologists say that if [teens] don’t learn healthy ways to manage that stress now, it could have serious long-term health implications.”

Health implications range from headaches, stomach pains and anxiety to over- and under-eating, depression and even years shed off of your life. It is imperative that we find the positive in things, or simply try not to complain, so we can live the best life possible.

People stress about different things depending on their age and stage in life. Sixth graders, ninth graders and eleventh graders are all experiencing different changes in their lives, all of which can induce stress, but they each stress about different things.

“I would rate [my stress level] at probably a nine,” sixth-grader Will Franklin said. He said his stress level is due to lack of sleep, schoolwork and tests. Many St. George’s students agree with Franklin, reporting that a majority of their stress comes from schoolwork and lack of sleep.

Freshman Emma Bennett also rates her stress level at a nine. Her stress primarily comes from English class.

“While the teacher is awesome, it is probably the main reason for having so much homework,” Bennett said. “The workload is tough, and any freshman would agree.”

One way that Bennett and other students reduce their stress levels is by altering the way they dress.

“I just dress comfortably so I can pay better attention in class. Not dressing up gives me more time to sleep, so not looking the best is an easy sacrifice to make,” Bennett said.

This is one great example of altering little things in your life that has an impact on your attitude and, in turn, your stress level. While freshmen stress about grades, tests and their appearance, juniors tend to receive their stress from completely different aspects of their life, including standardized test scores, procrastination, balancing social and academic life and applying to college.

“I guess I could manage time better, but there’s still assignments constantly being thrown at me,” junior Maggie Glosson said. “It can be very overwhelming.”

Stress is an inherent part of life. It will happen regardless of what you are doing, but it is how we cope and manage our stress that determines the path we go on. Our attitude has everything to do with our stress levels. The way that we view the situations we are in and deal with them determines our character.

The best way to reduce stress is to find the positive in everything and complain less. Instead of complaining about how much you need to study for the world’s most impossible math test, think about the tears of joy you will have when you get a good grade on that test.

When you want to complain about something, bite your tongue and hold it in. This is easier said than done, but it provides fast and easy results to improving your mood and reducing stress levels.

If schoolwork is the source of your stress, talk to your teachers. Here at St. George’s, we are extremely fortunate to have an understanding and compassionate faculty. If you have a lot on your plate, talk to a teacher about pushing back a due date or other ways to get your grades up.

If you just need a break from everything, surround yourself with friends and go to dinner, or to the movies, or do something spontaneous. Having a little time carved out to decompress is important, too, so make sure you can find some time for yourself to relax and watch Netflix.

It is crucial to try to reduce your stress in every way possible. Besides making you unhappy, stress can have major health implications. When you do feel stressed, remember the good things in your life and take a deep breath. You will get through it.