How does stress affect students health during their studies?
Currently, there is an increasing awareness about the necessity of mental and emotional health. This comes in the wake of many studies and research that are done to assess the most effective ways of dealing with the overload of work. Many students are also becoming more open and willing to check out new ways of managing stress in the course of their studies.
Stress affects everyone at some point in their life. A newborn goes through some measure of it to adapt to new living conditions. A new mother goes through some stress to adjust to having kids in the house. In some cases, a bit of pressure has a positive effect. The question, however, is how much of it has a positive outcome?
We would now delve into various ways overwork affects the health status of students. We would also see the effects of stress on students and their general welfare.
Stress as the body’s response to imminent threat or danger. It’s the body’s way of defending itself from imminent harm or danger. This means that certain levels for a limited time can be considered normal. However, like any other health-related issue, excess straining doesn’t bring social effects.
Let’s imagine for a second that the body is like a rubber band. Now, rubber bands are incredibly elastic, which allows them to have a super-tight grip on whatever they are supposed to secure. But we all know that different varieties of groups have limits. No matter how elastic a rubber band is, stretching it beyond a particular length would cause it to snap and cut.
Our body functions almost similarly. The body is made to withstand specific levels of overwork. These can be increased through the adoption of stamina exercise, etc. However, when the body is continuously under distress, i.e., uncomfortable, constrained, stressed, it would get to a point where any further increase can result in severe health issues.
Since we are dealing with students, we will talk about what factors are likely to influence their feelings of stress or discomfort.
Factors contributing to stress development in students
The previous incidence of teen stress:
Learners who are undergone stress during their teenage years, as a result of one situation or the other. They have a probability of carrying those levels into their college studies. Such students usually don’t look stressed or try to compensate by being extra cheerful.
Having to foot your fees:
Tuition fees have been on the rise recently, and students prefer to opt out of taking student loans. They prefer to work, but the issue with this is that sometimes, these students are exploits for low fees. And these instances are what join college students and stress together.
For many people around the world, not just learners, daily survival is a Herculean struggle. These are impacts of the type of settlement they live in, the jobs they do, family responsibilities, etc.
As unlikely as it sounds, as parents set extra-high expectations for their kids, or set specific limits for them (associate with this, wear that, etc.) they are doing more harm than good. They should always know that there’s a thin line between meting out appropriate discipline and being downright wicked or narcissist to our children. Those whose parents place them in such situations tend to be under a lot of stress because they want to please their parents. That is already a seeded form of pressure.
Another contributing factor to stress in college could be the student’s constant efforts to keep up with standards beyond them. Many learners in various institutions can go to lengths to feel accepted, especially if the surroundings are new. Even it entails people having to pay Edubirdie to do your assignment, like everyone else, they might end up doing such. The problem is that this creates additional financial, emotional or even physical overwork for which they might not be ready for. Especially when being accepted involves engaging themselves in a string of shady activities (illegal use or abuse of cigarettes, drugs and/or alcohol), these students risk to set off series of events that can put not only them, but their families and all who care about them in really tight corners.
After looking at these factors, and keeping in mind that there are many more, we would now consider how the process acts on the body.
Now, the ‘fight-flight’ response produced by your body in distress is influenced mainly by two hormones, adrenaline, and noradrenaline. These are produced by your adrenal glands, two crescent-shaped structures with each sitting atop one kidney. This means that every human should have two adrenal glands.
These hormones act in opposing directions. While adrenaline causes increased heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate, noradrenaline works to reverse these results. Sounds like perfect teamwork, yeah? But here’s the issue: our bodies can only handle stress in small doses. When we are stressed for longer periods, soon it becomes difficult for your body to regulate your blood pressure or heart rate. Meaning if they get high, they might stay on that level or even skyrocket to higher.
What does this mean for a student?
The learner is unable to carry out their daily activities with the same vigor as before. Their movements become slower, sometimes they get late to class.
Disordered sleep patterns
Lengthened exposure to stress, in the event of large coursework loads or mismanagement of time (studying for exams 6 hours before it) means that students affected don’t get so much sleep. The average human needs about 6-8 hours of adequate rest per day. Also, we all have sleep patterns that we are accustomed to, that work for us to preserve our health. Disruptions in these sleep patterns would mean that our bodies aren’t getting enough rest to function for the day. This might lead to sluggish behavior during classes, occasional dozing (the body is trying to make up for lost sleep), and red eyes.
Loss of concentration
When your car is due for servicing and you don’t do it on time, you discover that it can work in a bad way The same happens with our mind if we don’t give it enough time to sleep and recover from a day’s stress. When we don’t allow our minds to recuperate, our brain doesn’t get the full energy supply it needs. In normal circumstances, the concentration span of the brain lies between 20-30 minutes after which it needs a bit of rest to continue staying focused.
Now, imagine having to function mentally with a sleep-deprived body. The results would never be right. Students sometimes end up answering wrongly; they meant to choose the correct answer but tick the wrong one. In the event of such becoming a constant trend, you can be sure that a learner is risking getting low grades, or even failing the course or discipline.
Depression has been on a very high rise in the previous years. And its signs have also seen in students, especially those in colleges or other higher institutions. Due to high levels of stress, they don’t have time to take care of themselves like they used to. Add that to low energy levels, and you have a youth spiraling down into ‘silent depression.’ This type can be hazardous because the sufferer doesn’t show any signs – goes to school, smiles to everyone, does school tasks, when in fact they are a ticking time bomb that could break down any moment. Such learners are also more prone to self-harming and suicide, which is why it is very essential to monitor every student in an institution as much as the authorities can.
Prolonged stress can often lead to health disorders like diabetes, obesity (in some), high blood pressure, cardiomyopathies and sometimes predispose people to severe conditions like palpitations, heart attacks, strokes and even life-altering body paralysis. Prolonged blood pressure can also cause symptoms like headaches, blurred vision, and extreme fatigue. As a result of these probable situations, students are unable to participate in classes or class assessments. They are also unable to keep up with course requirements especially if they end up being on hospital admission.
All these and other effects are quite detrimental to the welfare of any learner, irrespective of age, level of expertise or ethnicity. They also affect the further quality of life these learners are likely to enjoy, and the quality of education they end up receiving. This is why it is essential for authorities to make as many help options for students as possible:
- Hold seminars are emphasizing the significance of their mental health.
- Encourage them to keep in touch with their counselors and instructors.
- Organize initiatives that teach them to make the most out of their daily 24 hours.
- Partner with sure job givers to make the job – course balancing easier for the students.
This menace is not preventable, however, the ways we create for students to approach it can help them preserve their health to a considerable extent.
Joshua Robinson is a professional academic writer who was a teacher of psychology. He was invited to give lectures in colleges but left this activity to work from home and spend more time with his family.