Academic stress due to school-related pressures is increasing with heavy coursework, the pressure to succeed, and the constant social pressures.

I’m Abby Woelfel, a therapist at Cedar Tree Counseling, and in this article, I will explore three common triggers that cause academic stress and suggest some tips to help adolescents and teens navigate this challenging season of life.


1. High Expectations From Parents & Peers


The pressure to meet expectations from parents and peers can become unbearable, leading to feelings of anxiety and despair. To reduce stress, encourage open communication and listen to your teen’s concerns without judgment.

For example: If your teen is feeling stressed about their grades, try to shift their focus to the learning process. Encourage them to talk openly about their concerns and listen without judgment. Help them understand that their worth is not defined by their grades and that it’s important to be kind to themselves.

By emphasizing the process of learning instead of just the end result, you can help your teen reduce their stress levels and build a healthier relationship with academic success.


2. Fear of Failure


The pressure to perform well academically can lead to feelings of increased anxiety. Anxiety can result in poor academic performance, which can only intensify the stress levels.

The fear of failure stems from the notion that academic success is the ultimate measure of an individual’s worth. It can become a vicious cycle in which adolescents try to reach unattainable standards.

To reduce stress, help adolescents find healthy ways to cope with anxiety.

Encourage regular exercise or other stress-releasing activities such as running, dancing, or swimming. They can try relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.

They can also find healthy outlets for their emotions, such as journaling, drawing, or talking to a trusted friend or family member.

You can also encourage them to set realistic academic goals and celebrate every small win. This can help them build confidence.


3. Overload of Coursework & Extracurricular Activities


The constant demand of coursework and extracurricular activities often lead to feelings of overwhelm and anxiety.

To reduce stressors, teach them the importance of time management and how to prioritize their tasks. This can include using a planner or calendar to schedule study sessions and assignments or breaking down large assignments into smaller, more manageable tasks.

Or, consider dropping certain activities altogether.

Reducing academic stress is essential to prevent burnout and promote mental and physical well-being. As a parent or caregiver, it’s important to take proactive steps to help adolescents and teens reduce stress levels and cope with them more efficiently.

Make sure to emphasize the value of learning and development, not just academic success, which will help foster a positive academic environment for adolescents and teens.

And if you need additional support, schedule an appointment for your teen today. We’re here to help.

Abby Woelfel

Abby Woelfel

Adolescents and Adults

I understand how challenging it can be to move forward in a way that helps you feel like you have a handle on things instead of juggling yet another overwhelming situation.

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