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SCHOOL STRESS: LOWER STRESS, BETTER GRADES

Cortisol to the Un-Rescue

The physical symptoms of stress are well known; and their negative effects are felt all too often, especially by students in the classroom. Kids with anxiety about school get rapid heartbeat, increased respiration, and dilated pupils when stressed and their brains stop working as sharply as before. In response to stress, the human brain releases cortisol, which helps us deal with short episodes of stress. The problem begins when students are under constant stress because cortisol can damage cells in the hippocampus, causing problems with learning and memory. Cortisol also gets in the way of the brain’s neurotransmitters making it difficult to access existing memories, or to lay down new ones. This has obvious ramifications for the classroom.

The body and the brain respond to stress with a complex cascade of hormones and neurotransmitters. A fight or flight reaction may be useful in some situations, but it is highly detrimental in the classroom. Whether anxiety stems from test taking or from an unstable home environment, the brains of students experiencing high levels of stress look different than those who are not; and those brains behave differently.

The Brain Shifts Gears

We are wired to respond to emergencies instinctively, not thoughtfully. That way we’ll have a better chance of, say, outrunning a bad guy. So when our fight or flight stress response is activated, stress hormones actually turn off the parts of the brain that allow us to focus attention, understand ideas, commit information to memory and reason critically 

Young and Burned Out

A recent survey reported that 65% of university students today feel overly stressed, balancing part time jobs and school, worrying about class work and anguishing about the future. Young people should be happy, not overwhelmed. Their lives shouldn’t be filled with worrying about getting good grades and making future plans. They need to understand that stress is working against them, making it even more difficult to get to where they want to go before their heads explode.

Before our modern day students get to complete burnout, it is possible to reduce stress significantly. It’s not that complicated. Indeed, there are some easy ways to beat stress in school effectively. Here are some ideas to lower stress as suggested by wellness experts.

Eat Healthy

Eating fresh ingredients and lots of fruit is very important; they’re good for the immune system and can help relieve stress. When busy and tired, avoid fast foods. Cooking real food from scratch can be both therapeutic and healthier.

Work Out a Bit 

Doing sport at least once a week is the best way to reduce stress. It helps your body produce endorphins, which make you feel good. Even daily walks of 30 minutes can help reduce stress levels but it's even better to work out intensively. Even if you don't feel like it at the time you will feel the benefits afterwards.

Meditate

It might sound simple, but sitting quietly for 10 minutes a day can really help with stress levels. If you've never tried meditation before, it's worth a go.

Good breathing techniques can put you in a more relaxed state as they send oxygen surging through your bloodstream, helping to calm you down and beating the stress.

Take a Break

Short breaks between assignments can help you switch off. Longer breaks are also important, like taking the weekend off to relax? Make time for fun and for yourself. It will help you get back to work ready and refreshed.

Pet a Pet

Spending time with animals is good for your health. It is a scientific fact that the body releases hormones that make you feel happy and can decrease the amount of stress in your system when you pet an animal.

Sleep Baby Sleep 

Sleep is always the best medicine and some people find that small 20-minute naps can help increase productivity. And don’t spend too much time on social media sites and answering emails, texts and phone calls. Sociability is fun, but too much of it and too much computer time can lead to more stress.

Do Not Smoke

Some people say they smoke to relax, but scientific studies have confirmed that nicotine suppresses the hormone serotonin, which fights stress. Another good reason to quit.

Look at the Bright Side

If you made a mistake (and this is easy to say), put it behind you, learn from it, and move forward. Things might seem bad, but if you try, there is usually something positive to be found.

Let Music and Laughter be thy Medicine

Listening to music can help calm you down and put you in a better frame of mind. If you're feeling stressed, putting on some calming music while you work could really help. They say that laughter is the best medicine, and it's really true. Laughing out loud increases oxygen and blood flow which automatically reduces stress.

Not taking life too seriously can help everyone live a better and easier life. Make time for yourself, find ways to reduce stress because it will help you achieve more and get you where you want to go faster and healthier.

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