Stress During Study: Causes and Preventions
By Space Coast Daily // March 12, 2021
Studying at a university is an opportunity to get an excellent education and make your way in life. But it is also serious stress, a big emotional shake-up for those who have just graduated from school.
In general, education is considered one of the strongest stress factors, so we decided to tell you why it is stressful and how to deal with it.
The causes of academic stress
First of all, let’s note that academic stress occurs as a result of increased intellectual pressure and great changes in the students’ way of life. In order to cope with stress and to increase the body’s resistance, it is necessary to understand the reasons why studying becomes stressful.
If you let it go on its own, you can make a lot of problems with your health, psyche, and, as a consequence, with your studies. Stress appears in the lives of students for a variety of reasons. We will not tell you about all of them, but we will tell you about the most common ones.
Change of scenery
Admission to the college is directly associated with a change of environment and social circle. And this is one of the main factors affecting the psycho-emotional state of the student. This factor is made up of smaller factors such as:
■ the weakening of control and authority on the part of parents and school teachers;
■ the need to take care of oneself;
■ living in rented apartments or a dormitory (when studying in another city);
■ change of social circle;
■ change of interests;
■ misunderstandings with groupmates or roommates;
■ financial difficulties.
If a student is not psychologically prepared for such things, a change of environment can make him/her more sensitive to the impact of other negative factors as well.
Mental and Physical Stress
Besides, going to college is also a huge stress on your body. It includes large amounts of information to study, more intensive classes, and independent search of knowledge.
At some point, there is so much information that the student even wonders who can do my homework. It also includes anxiety about future tests and sessions. In addition to this, it is worth mentioning the failure of the usual schedule.
If the emotional stress is prolonged, it can easily turn into prolonged and even chronic stress. This should not be allowed to happen, as professional medical help may be needed to deal with the stress.
Above we mentioned the general factors of academic stress, but there are also subjective ones that relate to each student individually. They as well as their number are caused by the lifestyle a person has.
The subjective factors can include:
■ conflicts with teachers
■ conflicts with other students
■ personal life features
■ poor nutrition
■ lack of sleep
■ lack of rest
■ harmful habits (smoking, alcohol, and drug addiction).
The degree of psycho-emotional pressure arising under the influence of stress depends on the student’s readiness for independent life, attitude to study, and the level of his/her responsibility for what happens to him/her.
The stages and symptoms of stress
Noticing the stress is easy enough – you just need to notice changes in your body, and they can be of three types, based on the stage of stress:
■ Anxiety Stage. In response to stressful factors, the human psyche reacts with anxiety. Anxiety acts as a signal for the body to mobilize its protective potential. This stage is very easy to notice.
■ The resistance stage. The body reaches a state that allows it to cope with stress on its own. As a rule, this stage does not disturb the person, especially if he or she successfully resolves the problem.
■ The exhaustion stage. Stress reaches this stage if the action of the stress factor continues for a long time. The body’s resources are depleted, it becomes increasingly difficult to cope with stress, and in the end, the stress completely overwhelms the person. As with the first stage, the third stage is very easy to notice.
Canadian researcher Hans Sellier described these stages in detail in his studies back in the middle of the 20th century, but even today this information is still relevant. If the condition begins to correspond to one of the listed stages, it is worth wondering if you are dealing with stress. To do this, you need to pay attention to the symptoms.
Common signs of the effects of stress are:
■ loss of energy,
■ poor appetite,
■ sleep disturbances,
■ nervousness, irritability,
■ loss of concentration,
■ loss of information assimilation,
■ poor memory.
All this has a very bad impact not only on the well-being of the student, but also on his/her performance because it affects absolutely all body systems, and as a consequence, there are changes in all spheres of life.
The consequences of academic stress
Because of stress, students don’t absorb and remember information well, they don’t want to attend classes, they don’t prepare effectively for exams, and their overall performance drops. If a student neglects a healthy lifestyle, drinks a lot of coffee and caffeinated drinks, eats a poor diet, rest little, etc., the situation worsens, affecting the physiological level.
Additionally, there can be a decrease in self-esteem, a deterioration of mood and well-being. This can lead to the occurrence of bad habits and addictions, for example, such as cigarettes, alcohol, medications, and drugs. This is how a person tries to deal with difficult circumstances.
Numerous scientific studies also indicate that even after the stress factors stop working, it takes a long time for the body and psyche to recover and come back to normal. And this is another good reason why stress should not be allowed to progress and worsen.
How to deal with stress at university
The most effective methods of dealing with stress include modifying behavior, reconsidering your attitude to what is happening, getting rid of worries about what is not working, mastering ways to get rid of negativity. For this, psychologists recommend several techniques:
■ Keeping a diary. It is proved that it is very useful to transfer thoughts and emotions on paper. It allows you to get rid of negativity and unload the psyche.
■ Doing sports. Thanks to them, a person feels better mentally and physically.
■ Emotional release. If sport for some reason is not an option, you can break a plate, scream into the pillow, break something that you don’t feel sorry for – this is a great way to achieve peace of mind.
■ Activity changes. The more “unusual” days will be in your life, the better for your body and mind.
How to prevent stress at school
Avoiding stressful situations is quite simple. To do this, you need to follow a number of simple recommendations:
■ Watch your self-esteem and keep it at an appropriate level.
■ Maintain knowledge levels.
■ Train your memory.
■ Develop a sense of humor.
■ Rest actively.
■ Take a shower.
■ Getting a massage.
■ Practice aromatherapy.
■ Have a cultural pastime.
■ Take vitamins.
Don’t take your life carelessly, take note of everything we’ve talked about, and stress will never hurt you. We wish you good luck and good marks!