Student’s life with stress, part one : The battle against it

Joselyne Garcia and Lesly Solano

Your heart is racing, you feel weak and as if you’re about to faint, your hands and fingers are tingling, you have chest pains with chills,  difficulty breathing, and feel a loss of control and terror. This is what the human body experiences during a panic attack. According to sciencedaily.com,  approximately 2.6 million American kids and teens have been diagnosed with anxiety. These panic attacks are triggered by something that is upsetting your mind and body such as stress. 

I find that the best way to deal with stress is to face it head on instead of trying to take my mind off of it”

— 12, Josh Turner

Stress causes an increase in your levels of cortisol, often referred to as the stress hormone. Elevated cortisol levels interfere with learning and memory, lower immune function and bone density, and increase blood pressure, cholesterol and heart disease. It is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances according to the Oxford Dictionary. A person can experience stress for a positive, new, real, imaginary, or negative change in that person’s life.

“I am a person that tends to be very indecisive and therefore, I think a lot because I want to make the best choice that will benefit me and those I care about,” senior, Joselyne Garcia said. “But often times the overthinking mixed with the stress is turning out to be more negative as time goes on because of the level of responsibility that adds up.”

But stress is not just a sort of fight or flight response but can also lead to further health problems like anxiety, depression, insomnia, autoimmune diseases, heart disease, weight problems, thinking and memory problems and more. Having chronic stress can disrupt nearly every system in our bodies. Resulting in aging faster, it can even rewire the brain, leaving you more vulnerable to all of the previous discussed health problems and the worst scenario can even result in death.

“My personal stress takes many forms, but it tends to show itself in the form of irritability, headaches, and drowsiness,” said Josh Turner, a senior, football player, and a member of STUCO at DHS.

While some might find it easier to just let life happen, others want to make plans and tackle the stress.

“For me personally, I find that the best way to deal with stress is to face it head on instead of trying to take my mind off of it. If I can set my mind to taking care of whatever assignment or task I have that is causing me to stress, then I am more likely to get it taken care of and out of the way so that I can relax afterward,”said Turner.

Stress, like everything else, has evolved throughout the years and is now seen differently than how our ancestors would have perceived it. One way stress has evolved is through society and technology now a days. 

“I think that stress for people nowadays is largely due to the increased rigor of our classes and responsibilities in school, but I also believe that our increased reliance upon technology as a society has made our potential pathways for stress much more numerous. That is to say that we rely so much on computers and phones in today’s world that we begin to become dependent upon them in our social and professional lives, which puts a serious strain on our minds, behavior, and positivity,” said Turner.

The introduction of technology and social media has had a direct impact on people. Often times influencing traditions and other important values within that person’s life. But social media doesn’t stand alone, other conflicts contribute to this black hole. 

“Our generation seems to be lost. There seems to be that there aren’t many incentives to push us where we would like to go,” said Garcia. “We don’t really know how to handle the life ahead of us that everyone pushes down our throats and that is a huge reason for today’s generation stress. We also face problems like national terrorism, and lack of opportunities in our countries such as jobs and education.”

Stress is not a health problem seen in just adults or teens but can emerge at a very young age.

“Being as involved as I am in school, athletics, stuco, etc, I have been stressed out ever since I was a little kid. Probably beginning around the 5th grade,” said Turner.

The time dedicated to simpler things in life has changed due to the innovations of human beings and that has affected how people function.

“People are always on their phone and withdrawn from those around them. In the past generations, due to lack of technology, life was more simple, but they had a lack of convenience,” Mr.Bates medical terminology and CNA teacher said.  

Regardless of all the negativity that is surrounded by stress, it’s not the only face to the side of the story. 

“Good things can cause stress as well, like buying a gift for someone, a new member of the family, and new opportunities,” Bates said. 

Stress can lead a person feeling pressured, depressed, or overwhelmed so, next time you feel stressed, make sure to talk to someone, take time to breath, or go for a walk. Your health before all other things comes first!