Coping with Stress

By Rachel Joseph

This project is about discovering which healthy coping method is the most efficient in handling stress. Stress is a very common issue, especially in teens, who deal with many stressors on a daily basis from school, to social life, and more. Chronic stress can lead to many emotional disorders and issues such as anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, and is one of the main causes of teen suicides.

The four stress inducing activities tested were (based on common teen stressors): timed math test, alphabetize thirty words in three minutes, list ten life goals in three minutes, one-minute presentation on a given topic. The four coping activities tested were: yoga, meditation, “4-7-8” breathing, and coloring.

A group of fourteen people were each asked to complete one of the four stress inducing activities and then one of the coping activities. Blood pressure levels were taken before starting, after completing the stressful activity, and after coping, along with a stress level survey to measure the stress levels of the participants. This process was repeated so each participant completed each stress inducing and coping activity. Yoga had the greatest percent decrease in diastolic pressure at -24.26%, with meditation close by at -23.16%. Meditation had the greatest percent decrease in systolic pressure at -17.92%, and the greatest decrease in the survey stress levels at -25%. Overall, the most efficient coping method for reducing both physical and mental stress was meditation since it was associated with a significant decrease in blood pressure and stress level survey result.

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