Stress and Students


By
Dr. Gaurav Sethi
 


ABSTRACT- Education has been the primary focus of different governments for centuries. From the dynastic and feudal era wherein scholars emerged to buildup the European Renaissance, to the uprising of civil rights movements in the industrial era, education has been proven as a tool that can make, or break, a whole society.In the Third World setting, governments work hard to make sure that their universities, colleges, and basic education centers continue to provide a mechanism that can make its citizens intellectually capable, so as to contribute to the national economy (Hardcastle, 2010). Relatively, many have succeeded in their crusade. However, many perceive that quality schooling comes with a price many poor families cannot afford to pay. Developing countries such as Mexico, India, Brazil, Egypt, South Africa, Malaysia, and Thailand have superb educational systems that contributed much in the welfare of their people (Hardcastle, 2010).Education is a primary human right (UNICEF, n.d.). Every child is entitled to it. It is imperative to our progress as individuals and as societies, and it helps pave the way to a booming and creative future..Ultimately, Education is about engaging and guiding students to learning. Education enabled students to grow not only academically but morally, spiritually, socially, physically, psychologically also. The main reason is that education has become global and universal and is easily available to the persons who want to study. To have global and universal vision of education is not a drawback but it is a boon to the students.

The nature of the students in a classroom is, hence, a major preoccupation on the part of the teacher. But when we're constantly running in emergency mode, our mind and body pay the price. Besides this, today's education is becoming the source of one bad thing that is STRESS. First the stress was extended to the life problems only but now it is found in students. 

Key Words:     Stress, Global And Universal Vision, Emergency Mode

I. INTRODUCTION

Stress is a normal physical response to events that make we feel threatened or upset our balance in some way. When we sense danger whether it's real or imagined the body's defenses kick into high gear in a rapid, automatic process known as the "fight-or-flight" reaction, or the stress response. The stress response is the body's way of protecting us. Stress is simply a reaction to a stimulus that disturbs our physical or mental equilibrium. In other words, it's an omnipresent part of life. The degree of stress in our lives is highly dependent upon individual factors such as our physical health, the quality of our interpersonal relationships, the number of commitments and responsibilities we carry, the degree of others' dependence upon us, expectations of us, the amount of support we receive from others, and the number of changes or traumatic events that have recently occurred in our lives. Children, teens, working parents, and seniors are examples of the groups who often face common stressors related to life transitions. Excess stress can manifest itself in a variety of emotional, behavioral, and even physical symptoms, and the symptoms of stress vary enormously among different individuals. People under stress have a greater tendency to engage in unhealthy behaviors, such as excessive use or abuse of alcohol and drugs, cigarette smoking, and making poor exercise and nutritional choices, than their less-stressed counterparts. The symptoms and signs of poorly managed stress will be different for each person.

II.  STRESS AND STUDENTS

Stress has become an important topic in academic circles. Students are becoming well educated but having stress in their life  like getting some position in the class, scoring good marks, winning competitions,clearifing the competitive exams in order to take admission in the reputed institutions,fulfill the dreams of their parents, earn livelyhood etc. Stress in academic institutions can have both positive and negative consequences if not well managed. Academic institutions have different work settings compared to nonacademic and therefore one would expect the difference in symptoms, causes, and consequences of stress. It is important to the society that students should learn and acquire the necessary knowledge and skills that will in turn make them contribute positively to the development of the general economy of any nation. It is important for the institutions to maintain well balanced academic environment conducive for better learning, with the focus on the students' personal needs. Students have different expectations, goals, and values that they want to fulfill, which is only possible if the students' expectations, goals, and values are integrated with that of the institution.

There are evidences that school issues are generally a concern felt among adolescents around the world, although for Asian societies, the pressure to perform in school is more acute. Similar cases have been reported in India also.

Academic stress, conceptualized as a disturbance induced by a student's appraisal of academic stressors, is common in children, and often leads to psychological and somatic distress. A child's development can be understood within the context of relationships in his or her environment.

The pressure to perform well in the examination or test and time allocated makes students  very stressful. This is likely to affect the social relations both within the institution and outside which affects the individual person's life in terms of commitment to achieving the goals. Knowing the causes of students stress will make the educational administrator know how to monitor and control the stress factors that are responsible for the students' stress? Often, graduate students perceive that faculty exert great power over their lives and feel that they live in a state of substantial powerlessness. Another source of stress is the difficulty of achieving social intimacy. It is difficult to find a mate or maintain a relationship with an existing one. Graduate students tend to lack the time and/or the opportunity to develop interpersonal relationships. Fear of academic failure related to these tasks is a definite stressor. Stress is simply a fact of nature -- forces from the inside or outside world affecting the individual. The individual responds to stress in ways that affect the individual as well as their environment. Because of the overabundance of stress in our modern lives, we usually think of stress as a negative experience, but from a biological point of view, stress can be a neutral, negative, or positive experience.

In general, stress is related to both external and internal factors. External factors include the physical environment, including your job, your relationships with others, your home, and all the situations, challenges, difficulties, and expectations you're confronted with on a daily basis. Internal factors determine your body's ability to respond to, and deal with, the external stress-inducing factors. Internal factors which influence your ability to handle stress include your nutritional status, overall health and fitness levels, emotional well-being, and the amount of sleep and rest you get. Modern life is full of hassles, deadlines, frustrations, and demands. For many people, stress is so commonplace that it has become a way of life.Strees effects students' academic performance also.

III.SYMPTOMS

COGNITIVE SYMPTOMS

* Memory problems
* Inability to concentrate
* Poor judgment
* Seeing only the negative
* Anxious or racing thoughts
* Constant worrying

EMOTIONAL SYMPTOMS

* Moodiness
* Irritability or short temper
* Agitation, inability to relax
* Feeling overwhelmed
* Sense of loneliness and isolation
* Depression or general unhappiness

PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS

* Aches and pains
* Diarrhea or constipation
* Naweea, dizziness
* Chest pain, rapid heartbeat
* Loss of sex drive
* Frequent colds

BEHAVIORAL SYMPTOMS

* Eating more or less
* Sleeping too much or too little
* Isolating self from others
* Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
* Weing alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
* Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)

IV.CAUSES OF STRESS

COMMON EXTERNAL CAUSES OF STRESS

* Major life changes
* Work
* Relationship difficulties
* Financial problems
* Being too busy
* Children and family

COMMON INTERNAL CAUSES OF STRESS

Not all stress is caweed by external factors. Stress can also be self-generated:

* Inability to accept uncertainty
* Pessimism
* Negative self-talk
* Unrealistic expectations
* Perfectionism
* Lack of assertiveness

MANY HEALTH PROBLEMS ARE CAWEED OR EXACERBATED BY STRESS, INCLUDING:

* Pain of any kind
* Heart disease
* Digestive problems
* Sleep problems
* Depression
* Obesity
* Autoimmune diseases
* Skin conditions, such as eczema

Peer pressure is most commonly associated with youth, in part because most youth spend large amounts of time in schools and other fixed groups that they do not choose and are seen as lacking the maturity to handle pressure from friends. Also, young people are more willing to behave negatively towards those who are not members of their own peer groups. Stress and anxiety in children and teenagers are just as prevalent as in adults. Negligence of parents, high expectations in academic or other performances, abused childhood, growing up tensions and demand for familial responsibility etc. the main causes of childhood and teen stress. Parents who are not emotionally available for their children or lack positive coping mechanisms themselves, often spur stress in their offspring. Stressed children start showing signs of emotional disabilities, aggressive behavior, shyness, social phobia and often lack interest in otherwise enjoyable activities. Students make many transitions during their years of schooling: from home to school, middle to high school, and high school to college or work. These transitions are usually major events  in the lives of students and parents. Common student issues and problems include study issues, money worries, relationships, housing, family pressures, and culture and identity. Depression is very common and affects as many as one in eight people in their teen years (Students). Depression is a strong mood involving sadness, discouragement, despair, or hopelessness that lasts for weeks, moths, or even longer. Change in mood, tiredness, pains, weight loss or gain, appetite, and anxiety are all symptoms of depression.

V.CONTROL OVER STRESS

* Manage Your Time
* Connect with Others
* Talk It Out- don't Bottle-up emotions
* Take a "One-Minute Vacation"
* Monitor Your Physical Comfort
* Get Physical
* Take Care of Your Body
* Laugh
* Know Your Limits
* Seek Out Compromise
* Have a Good Cry
* Avoid Self Medicating
* Look for the Positive
* Believe in God!
* Learn how to manage stress
* Learn how to relax
* Take a Deep Breath!
* Become aware of the interpersonal dynamics in your child's neighborhood or classroom
* Parents and teachers can work together to find ways to reduce bullying and help children learn alternative ways of interacting with each otheR.
* Encourage the children to join a "Banana Splits" or other program (if available) for students who are no longer living with both biological parents.
* When parents are not living together, it is still important that both parents keep an active interest in the child's school progress.
* Seek help from the mental health professionals at school if your child experiences symptoms of stress that interfere with school work or relationships with others.
* Parents and teachers should be careful to avoid communicating any negative or competitive views about one parent or the other to their children.

Stress is a part of every student's daily life. Leaving home or commuting daily; managing finances; living with roommates; and juggling work, classes, and relationships all contribute to the normal stress of being a student. In addition, it is not uncommon for students to feel stressed and anxious about wasting time, meeting high standards, or being lonely. Stress can also come from exciting or positive events. Falling in love, preparing to study abroad, or buying a car can be just as stressful as less-happy events. Too much stress can seriously affect your physical and mental well-being. Recurrent physical and psychological stress can diminish self-esteem, decrease interpersonal and academic effectiveness, and create a cycle of self-blame and self-doubt.

VI.References

[1]. Elias, M. J., Tobias, S. E., & Friendlander, B. S. (1999). Emotionally intelligent parenting: How to raise a self-disciplined, responsible, socially skilled child. Nevada City, CA: Harmony Books.

[2]. Karren, K. J., Hafen, B. Q., Smith, N. L., & Frandsen, K. J. (2002). Mind/body health: The effects of attitudes, emotions, and relationships (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Benjamin Cummings.

[3]. Lantieri, L. (2002). Schools with spirit: Nurturing the inner lives of children and teachers. Boston: Beacon.

[4]. Lingren, H. (1998). Children and stress. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Extension (Neb Facts).
 

                                                                                                                                                                               

   Published on IndianFaculty.com: 17/06/2013

 Source: E-mail 17/06/2013

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