A girl in a wheelchair is looking stressed

Stress and me

Stress is a common feeling we get when we feel under pressure. For young people, stress may be uncomfortable, but by itself is not a bad thing. A small amount can be good and motivate us to meet our goals. But too much stress, when it feels out of control, can impact our mood, our well-being, and our relationships with people around us. This is why it's important to manage out stress.

Luckily, there are ways to stop stress getting out of control.

Some situations present unique forms of stress. Learn more about mental health and HIV and managing the stress of being a young parent.

Signs of Stress

Stress changes your feelings. You may feel:

  • nervous,
  • moody,
  • tearful,
  • sad,
  • quick to anger,
  • depressed, or
  • desperate

Stress impacts our bodies. You may have:

  • headaches,
  • shoulder pain,
  • stomach or jaw pain,
  • frequent colds or infections,
  • weight loss or gain,
  • dizziness, or
  • rapid breathing.

Stress changes the way we think. You may struggle to:

  • concentrate,
  • remember,
  • organize,
  • plan, or
  • make decisions.

You may also notice that you spend time dwelling on problems and find it difficult to slow down your thinking or switch off, especially on social media.

Stress changes the way we act. You may:

  • stop participating in activities you usually like,
  • refuse to go to school, or
  • stop studying well.

Causes of Stress

Many things bring pressure to young people. These may include:

  • school, homework, tests, and getting along with friends,
  • life changes, like graduation, university, or work,
  • being too busy,
  • feeling unprepared, or not knowing how to do things.

Other things that can contribute to stress include poor sleep and diet, trauma, or change in circumstance, including the death of a friend or family member.

How to Handle Stress

To take action, check out these resources:

Previous Next