RELIEVING STUDENTS' SCHOOL-RELATED STRESS
The term “comic relief” relates to a humorous act or a witty dialogue in a serious literary work to reduce tension or intensify the impact of the particular dramatic action. Similarly, #ComicRelief is a UK-based charitable organization doing funny things (i.e Red Nose Day) to raise the money they can use to eliminate the root causes of social injustice and alleviate the sufferings of those living in poverty around the world.
Since 1985, members of #ComicRelief are doing comedy shows on TV and other funny things in homes, workplaces, and schools to raise funds. In reality, the organization’s fundraising strategy not only alleviates stressful life situations of the poor but also reduces work and school-related stress. For instance, funny moments during Red Nose Day in primary and secondary schools temporarily relieved students’ study and other school-related stress.
The study shows that most students experienced a large amount of stress in school. The causes and extent of this school-related stress include student’s own pressure to excel, frequent and large amount of homework, extra-curricular activities and chores, demands from teachers, and pressure to get a scholarship.
Other studies, on the other hand, found grades, parents’ expectations, and getting along with other people who have different beliefs as sources of stress. Choosing sides and finding allies, difficulties in peer interactions, exams, use of public restrooms are also identified as prevalent school-related stressors.
Students that are severely affected by school-related stress experienced physiological and cognitive symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, shortness of breath, and others while those with cognitive symptoms commonly experienced catastrophic thoughts, humiliation, insanity, and gradually losing self-esteem. In worse cases, students' avoiding unpleasant symptoms may refuse to attend school.
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Way of Relieving School-Related Stress
Watching and enjoying #ComicRelief funny activities in school can greatly reduce school-related stress. However, students can take some positive steps relieve their stress. They can get involved stress moderating leisure and enjoyable physical activity. Reduce pressures imposed by demanding schoolwork by being more organized, schedule activities and prioritize schoolwork over non-school activities.
Learn to say “No”, adopt a positive attitude, avoid stressful situations, eat a well-balanced meal, sleep early, take the time to relax, and talk about your problems to others. Since stressful situations increased blood pressure, students can benefit from progressive relaxation, yoga, meditation, listening to music, watching funny videos, deep breathing, and exercise.
Stressors in schools are directly related to students’ inability to cope with a lot of tasks as well as the conditions of the school environment. School authorities, such as teachers having unrealistic and unreasonable expectations can be a prime source of stress. In college, for instance, stress from a strict curriculum, conflicting class schedules, enormous workload, and dealing with relentless professors is very common.
Students, therefore, must develop positive thoughts patterns and responses on stress. These include the ability to overcome difficult moments through productive thinking, letting off steam through proper breathing, relieving physical and mental tensions through exercise, and doing something they truly enjoy. Some effective stress relievers include music, sports, gardening, doing some arts and crafts projects, and participating in church or civil activities.
School-related stress is inescapable thus, it is always best for students to improve their problem-solving skills, maintain high-level of self-esteem, have fun and be assertive in confronting stressful situations.