There is a direct correlation between stress and kids. All children experience stress, from the moment that they are born. However, not all stress affects kids the same way. Some types of stress, such as bullying, violence, or verbal abuse, can make the problem worse for kids and lead to other more serious problems.1 This type of stress can cause kids to become aggressive, have difficulty paying attention in class, or have problems with their grades. A lack of social skills, such as not responding appropriately when faced with new situations, can also lead to a lack of academic success and can also make kids and stress affecting kids worse.
The negative effects of stress on kids can be reduced through being able to identify and deal with stress. The first thing kids need to learn is how to relax and control themselves when they feel anxious or overwhelmed. It is very important that kids get enough sleep, and that they develop a good coping mechanism if they have to deal with difficult situations that do not easily respond to relaxed actions or reactions. Being able to express frustrations effectively is also important, as is having a structure in one’s daily schedule. Another important aspect is having appropriate boundaries with peers and having positive social skills.2
The main way to reduce stress and to keep kids from feeling stress affecting kids is to recognize the effects that stress has on kids and to be able to recognize when a child needs help. For example, if a child is constantly being picked on in a negative way, it is likely they are being negatively affected by stress and this stress will manifest physically. Children who are able to express what they are feeling and have boundaries are usually able to reduce the effects of stress on kids. Also, if there is a specific problem causing the stress, the best approach is usually to talk to the child’s teacher or parents and find a solution to the problem.
What is Stress?
Stress is the body’s reaction to pressure. Many different life events or circumstances may cause stress to a person. It’s often most commonly triggered when something new, surprising, or threatens our sense of control over a particular situation and when we feel we have very little control over such a situation.3 It can also be caused by various forms of failures or negative events in a person’s life, for example, a breakup or bankruptcy. Stress also has many causes other than these two major ones, including the natural ebb and flow of emotions that occur in each of us from time to time. Stress also has many emotional as well as physiological effects on the body and mind of an individual.4
Some of the more common physical symptoms of stress include nausea, sweating, restlessness, increased heart rate, and headaches. Emotional signs of stress are harder to recognize because they’re subtle. Some of the more common emotional signs of stress are feelings of frustration, guilt, depression, anger, resentment, anxiety, insecurity, loneliness, lack of motivation, and boredom. The only way to really recognize the emotional signs of stress is to recognize the cues that come with each one. For example, if you ever wake up in the morning unable to get out of bed because you’re constantly worried about an upcoming deadline, then you probably are feeling stressed.5
Some other physical signs of stress include dizziness, insomnia, headaches, weight gain or loss, acne, hair loss, stomachaches, menstrual problems, frequent urination, indigestion, irritability, and mood swings. Emotional signs of stress are more difficult to recognize because they’re usually more subtle. For example, if you start worrying about your family instead of taking care of yourself, then you may feel insecure. However, if you start worrying about losing your job or not having enough money to make ends meet, then you may feel insecure because of the stress you believe is looming over your head. Stress symptoms can make it difficult to diagnose exactly what is stressing you out, but knowing the signs can help you to determine whether or not you’re being stressed out and can help you to take steps to reduce the stress you’re feeling.
Dealing With Stress Symptoms For Kids
Dealing with stress symptoms for kids can be tricky. These symptoms are sometimes confused with normal anxiety, but they can be much worse. The symptoms are usually more intense and last for longer periods of time. It can get to the point where your kids can start worrying about when their next panic attack will be.6
Most kids experience a little stress every day, but when it builds up into a full-blown episode, it is called an anxiety attack. These attacks occur more often in people who are stressed out, which can make them even more likely to have an attack at some point. While some people have just a small amount of stress in their lives, kids tend to have much more.7 They need that extra push to make things better. When they can’t rely on you for that push, they may resort to picking on you or other family members.
Kids are more sensitive to anxiety and stress than adults are. As a result, they are much more likely to develop symptoms of stress and anxiety. Some symptoms that may occur in children include: crying more often, constant bickering with siblings, physical harm, and a lack of focus. While these are all very common signs of stress, there may be other symptoms that you or your child might be concerned with.8
If your child has any stress symptoms for kids, you need to determine what is causing it. It could be anything from a change in school to a new sport. One way to help is to encourage good behaviors in your child. Make sure that they know that you support them and their interests. They may also need to find new activities to keep them busy so that they don’t get bored.
Children often outgrow their childhood anxiety and stress. It’s important to remember though that some children do not mature until they are an adult. So if you have noticed that your children are worrying more lately or are withdrawing into themselves, it may be time to talk to them about it. Don’t assume that it’s just part of growing up.
Dealing with stress symptoms for kids is something every family needs to do from time to time. Make sure you talk with your kids about the impact of stress on their lives. Get them to realize that although it can be stressful at times, it will only ever be beneficial to them as they mature. If they accept this truth, it will help them grow as individuals who are happy, healthy, and well adjusted.
What Are the Effects of Stress on Children?
What are the physical, emotional, and mental health effects of stress? Well, it is quite possible that stress has effects that range from just short-term to very long-term. Even in the most optimistic cases, stress can cause changes in your behavior, your emotions, and your body that can leave you feeling tired, lacking in confidence, and even more likely to get sick. How can we avoid or cope with stress? Here is a look at the physical and mental health impacts of stress.9
- Physical Effects Stress can affect your children physically in a variety of ways. Some studies show that children under pressure tend to increase their heart rate and blood pressure rates. This increase in physical activity leads to increased levels of cortisol, which is a chemical associated with increased stress. Cortisol affects your appetite, making it hard to lose weight. Other physical effects of stress on children include ulcers, headaches, dry mouth, and sleep disturbances.
- Emotional Effects Stress has an emotional component as well. Many children will suffer some sort of performance anxiety when faced with stress. They will have trouble keeping their minds focused and in some cases, they may exhibit signs of depression. These effects can manifest themselves as low self-esteem, poor memory retention, and other types of emotional disorders.
- Mental Health Effects It has also been shown that stress can have a detrimental effect on children’s mental health. Children who are constantly put into stress-filled situations will often develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Those who are repeatedly placed in stressful situations will develop symptoms of adjustment disorder, such as a persistent worry about money, health, and school. They may also suffer from low self-esteem and poor self-concept.
What are the effects of stress on children? Any form of stress can have harmful effects on the body and mind. Physical symptoms include headaches, stomachaches, diarrhea, and increased blood pressure. Emotional symptoms include irritability, depression, and mood swings. Mental health problems include insomnia, inability to concentrate, and loss of concentration and memory.10
The good news is that stress impacts everyone differently. It is important for families to be aware of how stress affects the physical, mental, and emotional health of their children. By being aware of the many effects that stress can have on our bodies, we can become better caregivers and take steps to reduce stress levels and prevent its negative effects.
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1 “Helping Children Handle Stress – HealthyChildren.org.” 29 Dec. 2020, https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/emotional-wellness/Pages/Helping-Children-Handle-Stress.aspx Accessed 6 Sep. 2021.
2 “Lack Of Social Skills Behavior Description – PBIS World.” https://www.pbisworld.com/behavior-descriptions/lack-of-social-skills/ Accessed 6 Sep. 2021.
3 “Stress: Signs, Symptoms, Management & Prevention – Cleveland ….” 28 Jan. 2021, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/11874-stress Accessed 6 Sep. 2021.
4 “What makes us stressed? – Mental Health Foundation.” 26 Mar. 2021, https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/s/stress Accessed 6 Sep. 2021.
5 “Stress: Signs, Symptoms, Management & Prevention – Cleveland ….” 28 Jan. 2021, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/11874-stress Accessed 6 Sep. 2021.
6 “Childhood Stress (for Parents) – Nemours Kidshealth.” https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/stress.html Accessed 6 Sep. 2021.
7 “Stress in childhood: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” 27 May. 2020, https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002059.htm Accessed 6 Sep. 2021.
8 “How to Spot Stress and Anxiety in Children – Verywell Family.” https://www.verywellfamily.com/how-to-spot-anxiety-and-stress-in-children-620518 Accessed 6 Sep. 2021.
9 “Effects of Stress on the Developing Brain – NCBI.” 21 Sep. 2011, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3574783/ Accessed 6 Sep. 2021.
10 “Mental Health Conditions | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness.” https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions Accessed 6 Sep. 2021.