Finding the Right Amount of Stress
A student’s life is met with numerous events and milestones. A common constant throughout their lives is stress. The term "stress" has more than one connotation. For instance, Richard Lazarus, a notable psychologist, has developed a theoretical perspective on stress that defines it as an instance where an individual’s demands exceed their social and personal resources which they are able to utilize. Therefore, the strains of stress are unavoidable throughout a human’s life.
Other definitions of stress come from Hans Selye, a scientist in the field of endocrinology, who categorized the term as “mutual actions of forces that take place across any section of the body, physical or psychological.” In other words, stress stimulates a response from the human body towards unpleasant circumstances.
The coping strategies associated with stress are countless. Students may feel the need to keep their issues to themselves. Furthermore, experts are able to categorize the most common coping strategies of stress into two different bases’, problem and emotion-focused coping.
The problem-focused coping strategy is associated with individuals that actively find ways to mitigate the stressors in their lives. An instance where a student engages in problem-solving techniques may include, solving family problems, such as general disagreements and quarrels, or actively studying for a test they might be stressing over, in order to become better prepared for the test.
Emotion-focused coping shows individuals relying on activities that alleviate the tensions caused by stress. For example, students that choose to ventilate their emotions caused by their daily stressors to their peers are engaging in emotion-based coping. This strategy is more useful to apply if the individual lacks the power to manage the stressors that they are forced to endure.
Despite the legitimacy of the coping mechanisms mentioned above, stress is still unavoidable. However, there are ways in which stress can be managed properly. Supporting yourself provides groundwork to a reliable technique in mitigating stress symptoms. For instance, engaging in group discussions with friends, practicing an activity you wish to excel in, or even doing nothing altogether (just relaxing), can provide a better support system for working on yourself.
As mentioned earlier, confronting the issues that face you is an exceptional way to manage your stressors in life. Avoiding the unpleasant but important situations in your life will only feed your stress. For instance, If you encounter a disagreement with a friend, it is best to first discuss the issue with a third party in order to get a different perspective and brainstorm solutions after gaining a wider scope on the problem.
Moreover, tackling stress is a recurring battle in everyone’s lives. The tactics in which you decide to employ in order to deal with these situations are what decides how you move forward or backward in your life.
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Suldo, S.M., Shaunessy, E. & Hardesty, R., 2008. Relationships among stress, coping, and mental health in high-achieving high school students. Psychology in the Schools, 45(4), pp.273–290.