How to Deal

What is stress?

Stress is the emotional and physical strain caused by your response to pressure from the outside world.

When you feel stress, your body typically begins to produce chemicals such as adrenaline to prepare you to deal with whatever is causing the stress. These changes increase your heart rate and prepare your mind to be alert and make quick decisions and your body to perform physical activity. After the stressful situation has passed, other chemicals are released to return your body to a more normal state, and you will probably feel a little worn out.

This natural stress response helps us to deal with changes in our enviornment and emergency situations. However, ongoing stress that doesn't give your body a chance to rest and recover can be harmful and cause problems. The negative feeling we associate with stress is usually related to ongoing stress that causes tension, anxiety and seems to drain away all our energy.

What causes stress?

Stress can be caused by the pressure you may feel from homework, emotions or interactions with other people. The constant changes you experience as your body grows and you advance through school and gain more responsibilty on your way to becoming an adult can cause you to feel stress.

How do I know if I'm stressed?

stressCommon stress reactions include tension, irritability, inability to concentrate and a variety of physical symptoms that include headache and a fast heartbeat. Any of these symptoms may indicate you are stressed.

Keep in mind that some stress is a normal part of life. It's impossible to live without some stress. And most of us wouldn't want to, because it gives life some excitement. But if stress gets out of control, it may harm your health, your relationships and your enjoyment of life.

How should I handle stress?

Here are some tips for handling stress:

  • Learn some breathing techniques
  • Eat healthy
  • Change the situation before it causes stress
  • Change how you think (stay positive)
  • Turn to friends and family for support
  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid caffeine, junk food and binge eating
  • Get the right amount of sleep
  • Laugh

Where should I turn for help with stress?

When you're feeling stressed, talk to a parent or other trusted adult such as another adult relative, your healthcare provider or the school nurse or counselor. Talk about how you're feeling and together try to identify what things in your life are causing stress and what you can do about it.


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