Combating stress the right way!
Beat the stress with eustress and not with distress! Eustress is a good stress that one can take positively.
There are many factors, ranging from certain words to certain people, which can be the cause of stress. One needs to build one’s own coping system and fight the stress out of the system.
Stress in schools…
Education in our society focuses on scoring marks and not on learning skills. We never teach our children to perform without pressure. In fact, we pressurise them more by repetitively asking them to study. The most important change that is required is to inculcate the right method of teaching and learning which is done in a stress-free environment.
With progressive schools, a lot of awareness has come in where schools now have counsellors and psychologists to help children with their emotional needs. However, the appropriate level and the right timing of their engagement with the children are still questionable.
Right counselling at right time…
Counselling is usually done at the last minute, as a damage control exercise, instead of a preventive measure. Counselling is a hand holding exercise. It should be scheduled based on an individual’s need and not as a last resort. Instead of using counselling as a fire fighting tool, it is desirable to implement counselling as the remedial approach in the education system.
A robust appraisal/screening system should be in place to implement counselling as part of the curricula. Regular screening or looking out for signs of problems will help in timely identification of the problem. This will allow the counsellor to take a proactive and prudent approach to treat the cause rather than allowing the situation to aggravate.
Build on individual strengths…
If learners are aware of their deficiencies and are guided to amend them on their own, the need for regular counselling will automatically reduce. The learner will be able to build upon her/his inherent strength to overcome the stressful situation. Empowering the child with the right tools at the right time will certainly bring in a drastic result towards facing the stress.
Pressure — just the right amount!
The point to note here is the fact that a clear understanding has to be inculcated in the education system. The fine line should distinctly separate the positive pressure from the negative pressure. In other words, a system should be developed where demotivating factors are filtered out and only the environment of positive pressure is created. A difference between a diamond and coal is the right amount of stress… eustress!
The need is to appropriately assess and evaluate the yielding point to keep the pressure in check. Through a close watch, the proportionate improvement of performance can certainly be determined. Pressure tactics should be strategically developed and applied to achieve the desired performance from an individual. Performance of students reflect the excellence of the school. Therefore, it is required for schools to improve the performance of students.
The way forward…
The way forward for a society is to understand and accept that individual has her/his own gifts. It is the responsibility of the society to ensure that the uniqueness flourishes by beating the stress out of STRESS itself!
Benazir Shafaat Hussain is an expert in Remedial teaching, Individual education planning, psychological assessments and curriculum development. Before getting into special education, she was working as lecturer of Psychology at Diana Nursing College (Bangalore). Besides having Masters in Clinical Psychology from Bangalore University, she also did Diploma in Family Counseling, specialization in Family Counseling and certification course in Autism Spectrum disorders from UC Davis University. Currently, she is pursuing her research in Autism to study how we can improve the learning experiences in children with Autism. She also worked with Step by Step School, Noida.