Info & Advice

Stress

Have you ever...
Felt that you had too much homework to cope with?
Had an argument with a friend?
Been scolded by your parents?

If you have experienced any of these, then you know what it is like to feel stressed.

What is Stress?

Stress is a word which we hear very often, but what exactly is it?

Stress is the feeling that you get when you worry about something or are upset about something.

Some possible symptoms when you are stressed:

  • Crying
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Having difficulties sleeping
  • Worrying
  • Feeling anxious
  • Over-eating
  • Feeling like there are “butterflies” in your stomach
What Are Some Things That Make You Stressed?
  • Examinations
  • Expectations from your teachers, parents, or yourself, which you find difficult to meet
  • Being bullied in school
  • An argument with a sibling
  • Having to do a project presentation in class

While stress may seem like a bad thing, it can be beneficial at times! There are two kinds of stress, known as GOOD Stress and BAD Stress. Good stress can motivate you to work hard to achieve your goals. For example, worrying about your class presentation might/will motivate you to practise speaking in front of the mirror, and with practise, you will get better at presenting. When the stress level is enough to motivate you without overwhelming you, it is good.

However, when the level of stress is too much for you to handle, it becomes bad stress. For instance, if you are trying to achieve 90% in an examination for a subject you are very weak in, within a very short period of time, it may be difficult and you could be very stressed in trying to do so.

Tinkle Friend often receives calls from children saying that they are stressed over their homework and examinations. Indeed, students in Singapore have to cope with the demands of school, tuition and other activities. This can be very stressful at times!

Tips To Cope With Stress
Breathing exercises
  • Imagine that your belly is a balloon. Sit in a comfortable position.
  • Place your hands on your belly
  • Breathe in deeply and inflate your “balloon”. Feel your “balloon” rise
  • Breathe out and feel your “balloon” become flatter. It is almost as if you are trying to release all the air from your “balloon”
  • Breathe in and out this way for at least 5 times. After a few times, you should feel calmer and less stressed.
Positive self-talk

Do you sometimes tell yourself the following?

  • “I can’t do it!”
  • “I will fail.”
  • “He is so much smarter than me.”
  • “She is much better at this than I am.”

This is known as negative self-talk. We sometimes tell ourselves that we are not as good as others, or we believe that we will never be able to do certain things. What will happen if we do this all the time? If you believe that you can never achieve something, and you do not try, this may become true one day.

Talk to someone about your worries

Sometimes when we have a problem, it helps to talk to someone about it. You may feel better after sharing about your feelings. You can approach:

  • A friend
  • A parent
  • A teacher
  • The school counsellor
  • Tinkle Friend
Write your feelings down

If you find that talking is difficult, you can write your feelings down and show it to someone later. When you write, you don’t have to worry about grammar, punctuation or spelling. Just focus on letting your thoughts and feelings flow. If you cannot find the words to express yourself, you can also draw.