Stress and What Causes It

Picture courtesy of Oakton Stress Stats

Picture courtesy of Oakton Stress Stats

Sebastian Osea, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story


  • What is Stress?


Stress is our body’s way of responding to tasks related to anything physically or mentally in our bodies.Stress is a mental or emotional tension that results from a highly demanding situation.We need stress to survive, too little can give us depression, too much can give anxiety.

There are two types of stress. Acute Stress is short term and goes away quickly. One might have an argument with a friend or when you do something new or exciting. It helps you manage dangerous situations. All people have acute stress occasionally. Chronic stress, on the other hand is more long term. You might have money problems, family problems or trouble at school. It may go on for weeks or months that you get used to it. This is unhealthy and it needs to be identified and managed.


  • Oakton stress


After receiving and reviewing the stats from the Oakton High School students, Oakton High School’s stress levels are way over the average FCPS level for 8th, 10th and 12th graders.

  • 8th grade: 29.4% FCPS: 25%
  • 10th grade: 43.5%  FCPS: 37.7%
  • 12th grade: 50.2%  FCPS: 46.5%

A survey was also conducted for Oakton High School for causes to stress. We received a total of 33 responses. (22) 66.7% of students said homework stresses them the most. (20) 60.6% picked standardized testing, (21) 63.6 % picked competing with others or getting accepted by them, (8) 24.2% picked sports and (19) 57.6% picked GPA. The rest were 1% on issues such as capstone , their future, and friends.


  • What causes stress







Social Life



A number of the stress factors that students receive come from outside forces such as the student’s social life, digital life, sports, as well as their family life. However, a large portion of their stress comes from education-related activities, such as their homework, school work, college endeavors, and competition.

What is meant by competition is the way in which students have to compete for everything. Competing to stand out, competing to be the best in a sport, competing to get the best grades, and sometimes just competing to be competent enough.

This leads to the main point, school plays a great role in a student’s life and because there is little to be done to affect a student’s personal life, the best that the county can do is help reduce academic stress.


  • Ineffective stress relief ideas


Having all 9th graders take English 9 honors

Therapy dogs (could have been more successful)


Ways to cope with stress include: recognizing the signs of stress such as difficulty in sleeping, being angered easily, being jaded or being depressed, seek medical help for existing or new healthcare problems, exercising regularly for at least 30 minutes. This can be going for a walk, running, going to the gym or playing a sport. Trying relaxing activities also help such as stress coping programs. If one uses means such as meditation or yoga, they should be paired together with additional forms of treatment. Setting goals and deciding what is going to be done and when also helps. Lastly staying connected to people who provide emotional support can help. This could be friends, family or the community.


  • Solutions to limit stress


Limit amount of time spent on homework

Stressless week

Doing fun (distracting) activities in and out of class once a quarter

Mental Health Day filled with stress relieving activities

Establish a “no homework” weekend

Better teacher communication of assignments (established common system)

The common system allows other teachers to see what else their students have to do

Countrywide AP cap

Talk to teachers and parents about what makes us stressed and how we want them to help

A day in the life of a student- A possible way for adults to have an insight into our daily lives is through a video explaining all that they must encounter during a single school day.


  • Conclusion-


Stress is healthy and normal in our lives, but Oakton high school exceeds how much stress we usually need; this causes poor health habits and anxiety. If we implement any of the solutions that the students used, it’s more than likely reduce stress levels here and improve our life at Oakton high school. If one feels overwhelmed by stress such that it is affecting their health, they should seek help from a medical professional. Not all stress is bad however. Stress can lead people to perform. For example, when preparing for a test or game. Sometimes it can be life saving too as when the body reacts to stress, you breathe faster, your muscles tense and all functions are aimed at survival.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email