By: McKenna Weippert

Definition of Stress

Stress is a feeling that is created when people react to certain events. It is the body's way of preparing itself to deal with a tough situation. There are good and bad types of stress. These include eustress (short term) and distress (long term)

Good and Bad Stress

The fight or flight stress is considered good stress because it is designed to protect us from tough situations. For example if you want to aim high and try to get great grades, then that is good stress. Some stress is more long-term such as preparing for tests or moving to a new school. As this stress is on-going, the nervous system senses continued pressure and can continue to produce extra stress hormones over a long time. This can wear out the your body's reserves and leave you feeling very weak, overwhelmed, or even sick with a weakened immune system.

McKenna Weippert

Body's Responses and Emotions to Stress

Everyone emotionally responds in different and unique ways to stress. Some people might get nervous or worried, while others pick up habits like overeating, or chewing their nails. One extreme is, some people might act out in anger and may take it out on other people or things. Another extreme is some might internalize it and isolate themselves, develop eating disorders or even substance abuse.

Healthy Stress Relievers

There are seven healthy stress relievers that you could use if you are under stress!

1. Get active: Stress hormones are getting your body "ready for action" (even if there is no physical danger), so doing exercise helps use them up and de-stress you.

2. Get enough sleep: As a teenager, your body is growing at a very fast rate and so sleep is important for your development. Not sleeping enough can leave you feeling emotional and you may find it difficult to concentrate, all making the effects of stress much worse. Teens need nine hours of sleep every night

3. Manage your time: Too much of anything can be bad for you, so work out a plan to manage your time so that you can get your work done and have time to yourself.

4. Have fun: It is important to take a break from your problems every now and then, and allow yourself time to do things you enjoy doing.

5. Keep healthy: Choose vitamin rich foods to keep your body and mind balanced, and avoid caffeine which can increase feelings of anxiety and agitation.

6. Talk about it: It has been said that "a problem shared is a problem halved." It can really help to just talk to someone you trust. Chances are, someone has experienced something similar and can offer advice or a friendly ear.

7. Controlled breathing: Can promote feelings of calm, lower blood pressure and help you de-stress by balancing your nervous system.

Unhealthy Consequences of Relieving Stress the Wrong Ways

There are three types of consequences that you could face: physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms. Here are a list of 10 emotional symptoms that could occur when you are relieving stress the wrong way:

1. mood changes

2. lack of concentration

3. nightmares

4. panic attacks

5. anxiety

6. anger

7. depression

8. restlessness

9. withdrawing from others

10. aggressiveness

Where You Can Get Help

There are many places or people that you could go to get help with your stress, here are a few:

1. family

2. counselor

3. website

4. friends

5. teacher

6. principal