Life is not all about sunshine and rainbows. It never fails a chance to show you ‘who the boss is.’ Everybody, from every age group, someday or other, finds himself/herself in a situation that might ‘make’ them or ‘break’ them. Our body’s reaction to such situations defines stress. Some of us come out strong, while some fail to do so.
Stress is your body’s hormonal response to working under pressure and out of the comfort zone. It encourages one to be in his/her best form and gives the ability to perform better. However, if the body starts releasing these stress hormones in ‘a little too much’ quantities, it may hamper the quality of life and performance. Stress can be self-generated or imposed. In case of students and young kids, stress can be provoked by the pressure to excel in the examinations, to win a match, or a feeling of being lonesome and threatened. It can additionally be evoked by comparisons, relationship trauma, physiological transformation, inequality, etc.
Continual stress may give rise to various emotional and physical repercussions like depression, anxiety, stroke, hypertension, neurological disorders, immune disturbances, sleep disorders, gastric disturbances, etc. Studies have also shown that it may also aggravate skin problems, breathing difficulties and sexual impairments in a very few cases.
We now know what havoc stress can be to our bodies and it’s functioning. Let’s have a look at a couple of symptoms that can help you identify the signs of stress in your kids and help them to cope up with it well in advance.
- Jaw clenching and teeth grinding, stammering and lips trembling – if your kid is experiencing any of these frequently, be alert, something is bothering him/her too much.
- Sudden and frequent headaches – if your physician couldn’t give you any concreate cause for the headache complaints from your little one, you can safely blame it on stress. It is one of the major cause of headaches in most of the cases.
- Neck aches, back pain, muscle spasms and muscle contractions – Although these symptoms are common with adults, but frequent complaints from kids is something you should worry about.
- Dizziness and tremors – if your kids face shaky hands, legs or fainting too often, you should get them checked with a physician. If there isn’t any deficiency of vitamins & minerals, its stress that’s causing these symptoms.
- Buzzing or popping sounds in ears – We often treat this as our kids’ trick to avoid studies or grab attention. Don’t forget to pay your keen attention, it might be because of stress.
- Excessive blushing, sweating, goose bumps – We all love those chubby red cheeks when our kids blush, but too much and too often can point towards something wrong.
- Dry mouth and swallowing problems – Kids are prone to a range of respiratory and gastric infections that lead to such symptoms. If that isn’t the case, it’s due to stress that your child might be experiencing.
- Frequent cold and infections – need we explain it? It’s body’s way of alarming you, something isn’t perfect with your kid’s health.
- Unexplained or frequent ‘allergy’ attacks – Sneezing, rashes, breathlessness, and/or fast and deep breaths are all signs of stressful period in your kid’s life.
- Sudden change in appetite – although kids keep making fuss about food and their choices, however of you notice some drastic changes in the appetite (either increased or decreased), you can blame it on stress. Your child might also complaint of nausea, frequent stomach pain and/or heartburn.
- Abrupt and unexplainable mood swings – if you notice unreasonable, abrupt laughs, tears or aggression; increased anxiety and nervousness; or increased heartbeat, chest pain or palpitations you can be sure that the kid is in too much of stress.
- Insomnia – if the child experiences difficulty in sleeping, sees nightmare, or wakes up often during the night in a state of confusion, it indicates lack of peace of mind.
- Indecisiveness – Difficulty in making decisions, trouble learning, and lack of confidence and concentration is also hugely visible in kids who suffer with stress issues.
- Problem in communication – Hesitation in expressing opinions, emotions or virtue and inability to understand and follow common commands is also a sign of stress that our kids’ behavior tell us.
- Frequent crying spells or suicidal thoughts – Sense of meaningless life is generally seen in elder kids suffering from chronic stress
In addition to above mentioned signs and symptoms, behavioral changes and change in habits are also seen in some children. Stress directly affects the working of the brain and ultimately disturbs the body functions.
Additionally, stress causes inefficient performance, intolerant behavior and poor judgement of the situation. The child also experiences inability to keep the mind calm and relaxed and loses control over his actions quickly and frequently. The worst part is, stress generates the sense of negativity around the sufferer, which lowers the self-confidence.
Having said all that, we would still say, stress isn’t bad always. Many a times it helps one to push himself/herself to gear up and take up challenges of higher level. Although when persists, it can exacerbate serious health problems.
Stress, in today’s world is omnipresent and occurs in individuals of all ages. We should devise our own means to deal with it and try to beat it with positive actions. One should identify the stress related events in the lives of our kids and loved ones and help them to fight it out.
Take a chill pill, ‘stressed’ is just ‘Desserts’ spelled backwards.
Note – These signs and symptoms can strike with some other ailments as well, so it is important to consult a qualified doctor and take a specialist’s advice and counselling.