Homework, schoolwork, tests, quizzes, state exams, and more make up the pressure cooker that is modern-day school. This constant pressure stresses millions of students every single day and places mental and physical strain on the body that can potentially harm students' health. Stress is the feeling created by the body when it reacts to certain events that place tension upon one's physical, mental, or emotional state. When under constant stress, also known as hyperarousal, blood pressure rises, breathing and heart rates accelerate, blood vessels constrict and muscles tense up (Tennant). The amount of academic stress teenage students experience negatively affects their mental and physical wellbeing by taking a toll on their health.
There are two types of stress; eustress, known as good stress and distress known as bad stress. A small amount of eustress is always good; eustress motivates students and helps them concentrate on more than one task. This is good when the person feels in control and motivated. However, when there is too much stress, it can backfire and lead to worry, irritability, or even panic ("Stress on High School Students"). "Stress is negative when a person feels threatened and not in control of the situation. Those feelings instigate a powerful reaction – affecting both the brain and body in ways that can be destructive to physical and mental health" (Tennant). It can lead to a myriad of health issues and problems such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders, chronic stress, drug abuse, suicide, and more. .
"A child in a constant state of unmanaged stress is primarily focused on survival. 'Continual distress can create deficits in a child's intellectual abilities, crippling the capacity to learn.' In addition to a general stressed state, specific events can create anxiety. In the classroom this often relates to performance anxiety.