How Students Can Manage Stress

Stress is the body’s reaction to challenges. In the academic environment, stress can either give a student a boost of energy in their productivity or, most commonly, cause anxiety and negative physical and emotional reactions.

Symptoms of stress may include:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Feeling sad or depressed
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Lack of concentration
  • Having trouble remembering things
  • Having anxious thoughts or feelings
  • Change in eating habits
  • Skin and hair problems

Throughout a student’s academic career, there is a need to balance positive stress and negative stress as much as possible. Here are characteristics of the two types of stress: positive stress is temporary, like a public speech or a group project; negative stress is more permanent and causes the symptoms above. Below is a list of activities students of all ages can do in times of stress.


When an individual exercises, the brain replaces neurotransmitters called endorphins that elevates mood.

Sleep as much as you can

During sleep, a student’s brain processes the information that they have learned throughout the day. Students need 9 to 9.5 hours of sleep. Not only does it help retain the information learned, but it allows the body to heal and recharge from the day’s stress.

Eat healthy

Fruits, vegetables and protein equip the body and brain to from at maximum performance. The various vitamins and minerals found in healthy foods can also combat the symptoms listed above.

Have a social group

Sometimes, it is better to talk it out. Friends and trusted adults help students talk about their troubles is a good way to get the stress off the student’s mind. This also allows their loved ones to help and support the student.

Get into nature

According to successful CEO Nigel Cumberland, a person’s health, success, and stress levels are connected to their location. Given that, consider doing the following: walk away from pollution and spend more time outside in nature. Studies have shown that spending time in nature cleans the body of city pollution, and it allows people to admire the natural beauty of nature, which elevates their mood.

Start journaling 

Journaling allows for a student’s thoughts to be written out on paper. The simple act of journaling for 10 minutes clears the mind and boosts the student’s mood.


Laughing allows the same type of chemicals in your brain to be released as exercising does. When a person laughs, endorphins elevate your mood as well as relaxes the whole body.     

Balance your workload 

Is it really worth taking five AP courses? With a varsity sport tacked on, too? The human mind is capable of so much. However, even the mind has limitations. It’s commendable for a student to challenge themselves, but sometimes it is better for a student to take two or three AP courses instead of five. It’s important for a student to exercise good judgement when it comes to their ambitions and their health.        

Additional Resources

To read more about how students can manage stress, click on the links below.

Updated on October 18, 2018

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