Stress has become a pervasive problem in everyone’s life. It has not even spared children. Teenagers and kids these days deal with a lot of pressure. A lot of factors contribute to this pressure. This includes:
- A strong desire to outperform
- The pressure to score well
- A lot of peer pressure
- Standing out from the crowd
- Involving oneself in multiple extra-curricular and co-curricular activities
- Maintaining a balance between studies and other activities
This pressure comes at the cost of the happiness of children. Happiness is essential when it comes to leading a healthy and stress-free life.
Symptoms of Stress
Stress affects everybody. The lifestyle of people going through stress also becomes unhealthy. It makes you feel low and brings your spirits down. Some of the most common symptoms of stress include:
- Staying irritated
- Feeling restless
- Increase in nervousness
- Dissatisfaction with oneself
- Constant feeling of sadness
- Feeling low
- Personality Disorders
- Under confidence
Stress brings out the worst in you and inhibits you from enjoying your life.
How does stress affect you and your body?
Stress affects the well-being of any human, especially kids as they are more vulnerable to stress. It also affects children emotionally. It leads to depression, which can make their lives extremely difficult. Some kids may also experience panic attacks, anxiety, etc. This emotional stress then leads to physical strain.
Some people start binge eating when in such situations. Most of the kids avoid going outside to play and try to cut themselves off from any activity which they previously enjoyed. This results in loss of innocence in kids at a very early age, and brings in the devil named anxiety. At a time when kids should be experiencing new things and exploring, stress takes away their motivation, and becomes a huge burden on their shoulders.
People who are under stress observe an increase in heartbeat, fast breathing and slow reflexes. It feels as if your brain is in flight mode. This stress makes children susceptible to many major diseases which might make their childhood miserable, and, if not dealt with in the right time, can follow them well into adulthood.
The Biological Process of Stress
Our brain releases a hormone called Cortisol which gives temporary stress relief as it helps people to deal with short, stressful periods. If a person is under stress all the time, excessive Cortisol is released, which can hamper the growth of the cells and can sometimes also lead to degeneration of cells. The person or kid might suffer from multiple learning disabilities and memory issues. Kids might face difficulties in recalling the topics which have been covered in school and other important facts from their memory.
Introduction of Stress-Free Curriculum and its benefits
In today’s world, education has become stressful for kids, and they often take it as a burden. Children are scared of various assessments, tests and exams, and they take a lot of stress when it comes to performing well.
A stress-free environment at schools has become a prerequisite for both the child and his or her parents. A school is a place where a child spends a major part of his life, and his behaviour is affected by the environment which envelopes him. An ideal school should be the one where education is imparted to the children in a stress-free environment and also, where the children are guided well on how to deal with stress if you are under it.
A stress-free curriculum is the need of the hour. The primary purpose of education is to help you to bring out the best in you, and this will be impossible to achieve if the child is under any kind of stress. The main goal of a stress-free curriculum is to make learning an enjoyable experience. The kids should be trained to take exams as a fun test of how much they know. Unhealthy competition leads to a lot of problems, even with peers.
A stress-free curriculum will ensure a healthy evaluation system which does not bring the morale of the students down. More than grades, it aims to focus on a feedback mechanism where a child is made to understand his weaknesses and the ways to overcome those and become a better student.
The demography of the classrooms these days have changed drastically. A kid might be good at math but might be interested in pursuing a career in music. The kid needs to receive support from the people he stays with. Parents must also be educated about the benefits of a stress-free learning environment. This curriculum aims at making the children confident and self-reliant. It eliminates the requirement of mugging up thick textbooks.
Benefits of a Stress-Free Curriculum
A stress-free curriculum will remove the element of uncertainty as a daily schedule would be posted. A clean classroom reflects positivity and will bring out the best in children. Also, this gives a platform to the students to discuss their problems with the teacher-in-charge privately without any inhibitions. Students will also be given ‘brain-breaks’ in the form of extra-curricular activities of their choice. This aims at breaking the monotony and making the school life more exciting. Also, various stress management models will be implemented in the regular curriculum to ensure a stress-free environment.
Some schools are now transitioning and implementing the stress-free curriculum and St. Xavier’s High School, which is one of the best schools in Noida Extension has implemented it already. Their progress is commendable. Among the schools in Noida-Extension, St. Xavier’s High School has stepped out from the crowd and made itself stand out from all the other schools not only to schools in Greater Noida West but inthe Delhi-NCR region as well. It has made use of the resources available and has transformed the campus into a stress-free zone where the students can enjoy themselves while going through the learning process. With the implementation of this approach, the school is considered as one of the top schools in Noida Extension. This stress-free environment has brought out the best in children, and they happily admit that learning was never this fun.