Sydney H. Sitting on the sidelines watching some fast runners speed past the last water station on the course. These middle school girls are running to win the race. One girls catches your eye, she slows down and leisurely takes her water and walks slowly on until she is done. As you sit and watch this unexpected behavior of a first place runner in a race, you don't know that she isn't in the race to win. Cross country is her way to relieve the abundant stress that is put on her from school and peers. As she runs she lets her mind wander from the long to do list that awaits her at the finish line to only focusing on the task at hand, running. Running up the endless hills nothing floats in the back of her mind haunting her thoughts as if they were nightmares. She strolls along calm to finish the race and only then do the schedules of the upcoming days come to mind. But not everyone has found a healthy way to manage stress which is unhealthy. Stress can eat you from the inside out. The basic dictionary definition of stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. Based on my research 51 percent of kids that I surveyed classify themselves as highly stressed. Many factors contribute to middle school stress. My survey revealed that getting good grades and school success was clearly the major stress factor in middle school aged kids. Excessive school work is known to cause high stress levels in teens all across the globe.
Students claim that when they are even thinking about upcoming tests or assignments they have felt sick, started to cry or get intense headaches. Kids tend to find themselves losing sleep over studying and finishing the last of their homework for the night. Many of those surveyed didn't believe that sports were a large cause of stress but when you look at the data it makes you think otherwise. Ninetyseven percent of those surveyed play a sport and of those 61 percent spend five or more hours a week dedicated to the sport. These kids are spending as many hours at athletics as they are doing homework The time spent practicing and playing sports take away time from homework and studying. This can contribute to the stress students feel towards school and homework. I believe that teens ranked this low on the scale because exercise and athletics are a wonderful way to relieve many stress factors but it can add stress to kids that feel they don’t have enough time to complete all the homework assigned. Stress is unhealthy and causes many different things such as insomnia and eating disorders.
When surveying peers and asking them how many hours of sleep that they get per night.
Seventyfive percent said 45 hours on average. But according to Kamala Horowitz, a clinical psychologist, teens need 89 hours of sleep because at this age kids bodies are changing so much and they need a sufficient amount of sleep to let their entire body rest. This means that most middle school kids are not getting enough sleep per night to keep themselves healthy.
Insomnia is a sleep condition caused by stress, anxiety, and depression. It is a condition in which even though your body feels very tired and needs rest your brain tells you to stay awake. Experts say that this isn't an uncommon condition in young adults, it can be detrimental to long term health. This is only one of many conditions that can be caused by stress in teens. Anorexia and Bulimia are serious eating disorders that can also be associated with stress and anxiety in teens. Research shows that though these disorders are often caused by genetics many teens have been know to develop these during or shortly after middle school. You may be surprised to find that many kids who suffer from anorexia don't just want to be skinny.