Content Warning: chronic anxiety, insomnia, physical symptoms of chronic stress
I am writing this letter to express my feelings about the pressure I have been experiencing from my parents. Since I am in high school, my grades are important, and my parents tend to pester me about my grades and extracurriculars a lot.
My parents have high expectations for me, and they constantly push me to excel in school, sports, and other activities. While I appreciate their support and motivation, the pressure is starting to become overwhelming and negatively impacting my mental health. These expectations for me are based on their own experiences or expectations from society; they may believe that pressure will lead to success and a better future for me. When I experience pressure, I tend to feel overwhelmed, worried, or concerned about my ability to cope with the demands placed upon me. This results in me having difficulty sleeping, headaches, and even muscle tension. This chronic stress and anxiety also have had serious consequences for my mental health. To manage stress and anxiety, I try to engage in stress-reducing activities such as exercise, mindfulness, social support, and time management techniques.
I also felt like I was constantly being compared to other students and expected to perform at a level that is not realistic, causing me to feel anxious and stressed. I fear it is affecting my ability to do well in school. They think that they are looking out for me and making me the best student I am by comparing me to others, but they don’t understand that it can be harmful to a person’s self-esteem and confidence.
When I realized that what they were doing wasn’t okay, I sat down with them and talked about how I felt whenever they compared me to others. It turns out that they had no idea I was feeling that way, and they started being a lot more mindful of what they said to me. Talking to your parents about how you feel regarding stress is important for several reasons. Sometimes, (at least for me) communication is the issue. I did not make enough time to talk to my parents about what was on my mind, so they never knew how much their words were hurting me. By talking to my parents about my feelings, I was about to improve communication and create a stronger bond with them. By sharing my feelings with them, they were able to acknowledge and validate them, which helped reduce my academic stress. They were also able to properly provide support now. Overall, the key step to stopping parental pressure is self-reflecting on the situation and developing strategies to manage stress.