What are the Signs of Stress?
It can be useful to help students identify the physical signs of stress. When students can identify early signs of stress or anxiety, this might help prevent escalations / meltdowns. How do students feel when they are stressed? How do they look when they are stressed?
First, help students understand the concept of stress. What is stress? It is caused by any event or thought that makes you feel physical and / or mental tension. Stress is often described as a mix of emotions—frustration, anxiety, nervousness, anger, fear, confusion, and even sadness.
Everyone feels stressed, anxious, and frustrated at school sometimes. How might students know when they are feeling stressed? These are some physiological (bodily) signs of stress:
- Red face
- Body aches or pains
- Tense, tight muscles
- Increased heart rate
- Eyes watering
- Upset stomach
- Poor sleep habits
- Shallow breathing
- Loss of appetite
- Increase in appetite
- Inability to concentrate
Worksheet - "Physiological Responses Scale"
Use the "Physiological Responses Scale" worksheet in the following ways:
- To help students identify, label, and organize their physical signs of stress.
- At the beginning of the school year and across the school year to monitor changes.
- To identify and then teach specific coping strategies to address stress responses.
- To help you arrange /adjust / accommodate / modify the environment to best support the student’s needs.
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