Stress related to learning and performance can affect students in many ways, and this stress can have a serious impact on education and individual development.
Below we look at how stress affects students:
Anxiety: students often experience anxiety about learning and school performance. The exams, tasks and pressure to perform can make many students feel tense and anxious.
Low self-esteem: Failure to meet consistently high expectations can lead to low self-esteem and self-respect. Students may feel that they are never good enough in school.
Depression: prolonged stress and feelings of poor performance can cause depression. Students may lose interest in school activities and lose their zest for life.
Sleep problems: excessive stress can often lead to sleep problems. Students may find it difficult to fall asleep or sleep fitfully, which has a negative impact on their alertness and performance.
Headaches and abdominal discomfort: stress can also cause physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach upset and muscle tension.
Low achievement: high levels of stress and anxiety can hinder students’ performance at school. Stress can make it harder for them to concentrate and can be a distraction from learning.
Depression and drop-out: Severe stress and high anxiety can contribute to students dropping out of school or failing to complete the required course of study.
Isolation: stress related to learning and performance often leads to isolation. Students may withdraw in social relationships because they feel they cannot meet expectations.
Conflicts: due to stress and anxiety, students may be prone to conflicts with schoolmates and teachers, which can lead to a disruptive school environment.
Stress related to learning and performance is therefore a serious problem that can have a negative impact on students’ physical and mental health, educational achievements and social relationships.
Schools and families have an important role to play in providing students with stress management and support to help them cope with the pressures of learning and improve their educational experience.
What methods can be used to help students manage stress?
Open conversations: in schools and families, it is important to develop open and understanding communication with students. Listen to students’ concerns and feelings and make sure they can share their concerns about stress.
Stress management techniques:
Breathing exercises: students can be taught breathing techniques that can help them relax and reduce stress.
Relaxation exercises: relaxation techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation or meditation, can help students relax and reduce anxiety.
Exercise: regular exercise helps reduce stress and improve mood. Schools should provide opportunities for students to exercise.
Time management: students can be given advice on time management techniques to help them manage school tasks and commitments more effectively.
School support: in schools, it is important to have student psychologists or school counsellors available to help students develop stress management strategies.
Family support: families should also support students, for example by participating in homework or learning activities, and by being helpful and understanding.
Hobbies and leisure activities: it is important for students to have hobbies that help them to relax and unwind.
Social connections: through school activities and friendships, students can find a supportive community.
Identifying sources of stress: students can be invited to help identify sources of stress in order to understand what causes stress.
Positive thinking: developing positive thinking and problem-solving skills can help students manage stress.