Academic pressure is defined as “an experience in which a student is burdened by the demands of time and energy to achieve specific academic goals.” Most students that struggle with academic pressure also experience academic stress. Academic stress is the “body’s response to academic-related demands that exceed adaptive capabilities of students.” Research has found that excessive levels of academic stress can result in an “increased prevalence of psychological and physical problems like depression, anxiety, nervousness, and stress related disorders.” The most effective way to solve academic pressure is to cultivate and hone a wide array of coping mechanisms to diffuse stress. There is no single way to handle academic pressure that is universally applicable, as every young person is unique. However, there are several ways to reduce stress that can be seamlessly integrated into one’s life, such as:
- Eat nutritiously: food is the fuel one’s body needs to sustain itself. Eating healthy snacks and well-balanced meals can help give your body the essential minerals and nutrients required to function at its best.
- Exercise or engage in movement regularly: exercising is one of the body’s natural ways of releasing endorphins, which help to reduce pain and increase pleasure, making you feel happier, less stressed, and enhances your overall mood.
- Get creative: engaging in creativity can be an excellent emotional outlet, stress-reliever, and mood booster; consider painting, sculpting, ceramics, cooking, etc.
- Laugh at the funny things: research shows that laughter can boost one’s immune system, ease pain, enhance relaxation, reduce depression, and alleviate stress.
- Explore relaxation methods: test out as many different relaxation methods as you can to figure out what resonates with you best. Consider trying meditation, yoga, reading, listening to music, journaling, etc. to help quiet your mind. Research has found that meditation can help lower blood pressure, reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, improve insomnia, and more.
- Breathe: practicing deep breathing techniques can effectively help with relaxation and stress management, which subsequently mitigates academic pressure.
- Improve your sleep hygiene: Go to bed at a decent time to give your body and mind sufficient rest. Developing and maintaining healthy sleep habits can help you stay mentally, physically, and emotionally fit.
Ultimately, finding ways to reduce the production of stress hormones will not only promote mental relaxation but will also help to alleviate, or at the very least reduce academic pressure. Still, some teenagers will require more support than others when navigating academic pressure. Educators are there to support you through your academic journey, so do not be shy in advocating for yourself and asking for help when it is needed.
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