Words: Melinda Gwanzura
Students have been required to take classes like health since early childhood, so when it comes to mental health, students assume they know what to do. However, what most people seem to overlook is the major role your mental health has on one’s overall physical health.
According to U.S. News and World Report Education, Centennial High School is one of the nation’s most academically competitive schools, mostly known for its students’ outstanding standardized test scores.
Sara Khawaja, a sophomore at Centennial High School said, “Centennial High School definitely is a very academically focused and challenging school. It’s hard sometimes, especially the weeks leading up to midterms and finals. You can tell a lot of people want to do well but it’s hard to know what to expect sometimes. Plus, the pressure from your family to do well leads to what I think may be one of the main reasons why a lot of us here are stressed.”
The high stress levels indicated by students may be a problem. Many studies have shown how vital teen years are for both mental and physical development. For instance, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Adolescent Health claims that “The choices made and behaviors adopted during teen years affect adolescents’ overall well being and potentially, their overall health throughout their lives.”
Because so many students claim to have high stress levels, it is important for them to learn how to combat stress in a healthy way. Robert Slopek and Kelly Borowski, Centennial’s Health and Psychology teachers, both agreed that a healthy lifestyle starts in your mind. Claiming that, if you have a positive attitude, then you will want more and better for yourself. One’s psychological state has a tremendous impact on their overall health.
Slopek also suggests that students should try relaxation exercises such as “Progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing exercises and just trying their best to positively handle stress, whether that’s just going out on a light jog or disconnecting to electronics to enjoy some time to themselves.”
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