Stress Plays a Role in Every Teen’s Life


Leah Frank

Daily Stress of a High School Student

Stress is found in every aspect of one’s life. Good stress or bad stress, we all have to deal with these daily annoyances. As a teenager, it’s very easy to argue that we have a lot more on our plates than the average adult. We have school, work, extracurricular activities, and most importantly preparing for the next stage of life, whether that’s college or taking a leap year. Yet what exactly does stress do to your body? Does stress have any positive aspects?

Our body is designed to deal with daily stress but if we take on too much, it starts to take a toll on our bodies. When your body’s nervous system is affected by stress, it starts to release the chemical Adrenaline. Although adrenaline can sometimes be a good thing, a little too much can cause memory and learning impairment as well as depression. It can also lower your immune system causing you to be more susceptible to viruses and colds. You are more likely to suffer from a breakout during high periods of stress. Short term stress can cause your blood pressure to spike or your heart to beat faster. Long term stress has much more devastating effects. It can lead to stroke, heart attack or heart disease in addition to narrowing of the arteries. You could also develop ulcers or severe heartburn. Stress can also cause your digestive tract to do a bunch of horrid things. You can also expect your muscles to be tighter and to cause pain throughout the body and more frequent headaches. One statistic says “Seventy-five percent to 90% of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints”.

Stress doesn’t only affect the body, it also affects behavior and emotions. You can suffer from anxiety, restlessness, lack of motivation, easily irritated or angered, depression, and sadness. Some are more prone to outbursts, either overeating or not eating enough, drug or alcohol abuse and social withdrawal. Stress not only has effects on you but everyone else around you.

We all know that stress has a bad reputation for doing nothing but bad to us. Stress can have a positive effect on our bodies if properly managed. You could use stress to your advantage by using adrenaline to go for a run or win the big game or even ace a test. You can use it to motivate you or it can destroy you. That’s easier said than done because lets face it, usually stress wins. It’s all how you look at stress and your opinion on it.

As Mrs. Hoyle said in her interview, “Some stress is good but when it starts to overwhelm your life, that’s when it starts to get ugly”. Mrs Hoyle also stated that she believes that some stress is good; that it keeps you on your toes.

Carley Remick, a senior at Ipswich, answered that she gets most stressed out about “School, work, sleep, money and social life”. When asked the biggest stress in her life right now, her answer was school. Applying for colleges, studying for tests and quizzes; trying to make her last year in High School count.

So what now? You’re freaking out about a test, the big game that’s coming up or that college application due date is coming up. What do you do to calm yourself down? Here is a couple of things you could do to take your mind of the thing that’s stressing you out.

Try to stay away from drugs or tobacco; they will suppress the emotion but the stress will come back even when the high fades. Also avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol intake. Here are some additional tips on how to avoid stress.

Go for a run or do something active, get those endorphins moving.
Meditation or Yoga
Talk to a friend or family member
Take a couple of deep breaths
Look forward to an upcoming event that you’re excited about
Read a book
Get a lot of sleep and eat a balanced diet
Always keep positive

There are many ways to get rid of stress. Life is all about balancing. As William James once said, “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another”.