The leaves are changing, and so are your grades…


(Nathan Breban - Peak Press)

The leaves are changing, and so are your grades…
How stress can impact your academic performance, and how you can fix it

            As the seasons change and students get settled in into school once again, they may quickly meet a dilemma, a drop in their grades. Especially seen in high school & college students, more specifically seniors, students may seem overwhelmed with the amount of work that they now must endure. Autumn is a strange season for students, for it lies right between summer break and the rest of the school year. This time in the year makes it easy for students to lag in their studies because they may still be used to the low amount of work that schools all over the nation provide at the beginning of the school year. Whether it be quizzes, tests, or possibly even midterms, this sudden surge of work can interrupt a student’s workflow, increase their stress, and ultimately lower their grades.

According to a study published in 2016 by the American College Health Association, researchers found that over 34% of the college students they surveyed had reported that stress negatively affected their academic performance. Some psychological studies on students also revealed that chronic stress does not just reduce their performance in school but can also have many long-term side effects. Stress is caused by the sequence of hormonal changes that initiate our “fight or flight” psychological response, which shuts down parts of the brain to optimize our levels of chemicals such as adrenaline and lowers our capability of critical thinking.

Of course, there are also ways to help relieve such stress and help students get back into their normal routine. Many clinical studies show that something as simple as a power nap can help relieve some stress, (and help you get more sleep too!) Power naps are very efficient stress relievers because they, of course, help give you a normal amount of sleep. This is very important because most students; and adults, don’t usually get the recommended amount of sleep due to their workload. Missed sleep can easily hinder daily performance because it can lower your attention span, judgement, vision, and many other things than can simply just ruin your day.

Meditation & exercise are also very efficient stress relievers, for they are also the most common forms used by people. Both exercise and meditation have been clinically proven to help your body produce chemicals that not only make you feel happy, but better. Stress is known to have very negative effects on the body, such as lowering your immune system, which can make you sick. Exercise and meditation have been known to help boost the production of chemicals that improve such systems. Dopamine, your feel-good chemical, has also been linked to being boosted by these activities. These chemical activities going on inside your body will not only make you happier, but healthier at the same time. Eating healthily is another great way to help relieve stress and to help improve your brainpower. Many healthy foods allow your body to produce chemicals that can help your brain process information as well as helping you keep in shape. Not only does this help improve your academic performance, but it also will reduce your stress because you will feel more self-confident.

Lastly, having certain responsibilities can have positive effects on your brain. This happens because you may value yourself more for being able to accomplish a task. One of these activities includes taking care of a pet. Being able to have goals and completing them is very self-rewarding, helps you feel like you’ve accomplished something, and increased your levels of Dopamine.                                                                                                      

Stress is extremely common among the entire populace of the Earth. It is prominent in our daily lives and is virtually unavoidable. Therefore, it is important for people to know stress-relieving tactics to help them live better and more productive lives. Because, let’s face it, students and working adults have it the worst out of all of us.

For more stress relieving tips for you students and/or adults alike, click here.