Stressed Out? Your Professor Might be to Blame

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It’s becoming even more clear why there are certain teachers we simply can’t stand. Maybe the answer isn’t necessarily that they’re boring or annoying, but that they stress you the f*ck out. Literally.

The cause for students’ stress is often blamed on a heavy workload and difficult classes. However, according to a study done at the University of British Columbia, there is new evidence that shows if teachers are stressing, it’s bound to rub off on their students.

Researchers collected over 400 saliva samples from elementary students and found that the hormone that indicates stress, cortisol, was higher among students who had teachers that were more emotionally exhausted or “burnout.”

“It is unknown what came first — elevated cortisol or teacher burnout,” said Eva Oberle, the lead author of the study. “We consider the connection between student and teacher stress a cyclical problem in the classroom.”

But before you go running around saying teachers give you high cortisol levels, keep in mind that you might be the cause of their stress in the first place.

No matter who begins the vicious cycle of stress in the classroom, there’s one thing everyone agrees on: It’s not good. While a little bit of stress can keep people motivated, becoming emotionally exhausted can have the opposite effect. Extreme stress can lead to headaches, depression, drug or alcohol use, and more, according to Mayo Clinic.

With the beginning of school inching closer each day, there are numerous actions that can be take to try to control stress. Getting a proper night’s rest, exercising regularly, and eating balanced meals are just a few habits to get into if you want to avoid the overwhelming feeling of stress.

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