Stress management is defined as the capability to maintain and remain in control of the situation when people, situations or events make excessive demands. Stress symptoms include mental, social, and physical manifestations. Major stress symptoms include exhaustion, loss of appetite or increased appetite, headaches, crying, sleeplessness, and oversleeping (Kalia 2002, p. 56). Many stressed individuals, especially teenagers, try to escape stress through other mechanisms such as alcohol, drugs, or other compulsive behaviour which, in many instances, do not work. Additionally, feelings of alarm, frustration or apathy are associated with stress.
Stress can be caused by health conditions or threats, danger, life changes, and everyday challenges. The symptoms associated with stress are attributed to the activation of the fight-or-flight response. The responses lead to increases in the levels of substances, such as cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine in an individual’s blood stream (Lehrer, et al. 2007, p. 67). This leads to an increase of the heart rate and blood pressure of an individual’s bloodstream. Physical manifestations include the constriction of the veins under the skin, dilation of the pupils, lung airways and the blood vessels of the heart (Lehrer, et al. 2007, p. 67). Further, a decrease occurs in the digestive and immune systems leading to an increase in glucose levels. In Australia, stress amongst the youth is manifested through behaviours such as smoking, drinking and drug abuse. These traits are mostly associated with the minority groups, a situation attributed to poverty. Australians are more susceptible to stress than their counterparts in America. Research indicates that work place stress is the most prevalent and has had great effects on the Australian economy. The country loses as much as $14 billion on absenteeism cases annually due to various stress-related cases (Stranks, 2005, p. 34). Students, most notably female students, aged between 15-24 years are more likely to be affected by stress in relation to their elders. Stress in learning is indicated by poor results, school drop-outs and, in addition, to poor health. Many students are thus advised to be in control of their life and endeavor to manage any negative triggers such as drinking, smoking or drug abuse that can result to drug addiction. Counseling teachers in various colleges emphasizes on self-confidence and the desire to meet the set individual targets which allows one to remain focused and avoid the aforementioned negative triggers. Stressed young people need to set goals that they can achieve, thus, the virtue of assertiveness is very important as it assists in achieving the set goals (Crampton, et al. 2007, p. 56).