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Stress for Success Commonlit Answers

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  • 8th Grade
  • Lexile: 910

Source: Stress for Success by Alison Pearce Stevens

Assessment Answers

In your own words, summarize the central ideas of this article.

The article “Stress for Success” by Alison Pearce Stevens explores stress’s dual nature, highlighting its potential harmful and beneficial effects. It begins by describing the physical reactions associated with stress, such as a pounding heart and tense muscles, which are part of the body’s fight-or-flight response designed to deal with threats.

While this response is crucial for survival in dangerous situations, the article notes that people often experience stress in non-threatening scenarios due to anxiety.

The text delves into the psychological aspect of stress, distinguishing between anxiety and fear, where fear is a reaction to immediate danger and anxiety arises from the anticipation of potential threats. This distinction is important as it shows how our bodies react similarly in both situations, which can lead to persistent stress symptoms when the source of anxiety is not resolved.

Moreover, the article discusses various anxiety disorders, emphasizing how common they are among children and teenagers. It offers insights into how these disorders manifest and affect individuals’ lives, from separation anxiety in younger children to social anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder in older youths.

Much of the article is devoted to strategies for managing and transforming anxiety into a positive force. It mentions breathing techniques, relaxation, facing fears gradually, and recognizing triggers as methods to cope with anxiety.

Furthermore, it introduces the concept that altering one’s perception of stress can be beneficial. Research by psychologist Alia Crum supports the idea that viewing stress as a helpful factor can improve performance and lead to better stress management.

“Stress for Success” presents a nuanced understanding of stress, offering a perspective that acknowledges its complexities and provides practical advice for harnessing it as a tool for growth and achievement.

The article advocates for a shift in mindset towards stress, suggesting that recognizing its potential benefits can lead to more effective coping mechanisms and improved well-being.

PART A: As it is used in paragraph 7, the word “shunted” most closely means –transported.
PART B: Which quotation from paragraph 7 best supports the answer to Part A?“then rushes to”
Which statement best explains how stress responses helped our ancestors?They prepared our ancestors to fight or flee a potential threat.
Which statement best describes how paragraph 15 contributes to the overall article?It emphasizes that anxiety disorders are not uncommon among young people.
PART A: In the section titled “Reducing a mountain to a molehill” the author makes the claim that steps can be taken to reduce anxiety. Select the main strategy used in this section to develop this claim.The author explains a problem and then presents solutions.
PART B: Select THREE pieces of evidence that support the answer to Part A.D. “She recommends starting by breathing deeply and relaxing your muscles, group by group.” (Paragraph 17)

E. “[Deep breathing] allows the brain to clear the neurotransmitters that were released when the body turned on its stress response.” (Paragraph 17)

F. “Miller also recommends facing fears in small doses.” (Paragraph 19)

Record a piece of evidence from the passage that supports the idea that stress is not always harmful.

A piece of evidence from the passage that supports the idea that stress is not always harmful is:

“Even better, new research suggests that viewing stress as beneficial not only can reduce anxious feelings, but also help us to improve our performance on challenging tasks.”

This sentence underscores the concept that stress, when perceived positively, can reduce anxiety and enhance performance. It indicates that stress is not inherently detrimental and can have beneficial aspects.

What is the author’s main purpose of the article?

The author’s main purpose in writing the article “Stress for Success” is to inform readers about stress’s dual nature, explain how it can be both harmful and beneficial, and provide strategies for managing stress and anxiety.

By exploring the physiological and psychological aspects of stress, detailing the impact of anxiety disorders, and introducing methods to cope with and positively reframe stress, the author aims to educate readers on how stress can be harnessed as a tool for personal growth and improved performance.

The article seeks to change the narrative around stress, encouraging a more nuanced understanding that recognizes its potential advantages and challenges.

Discussion Answers

What are some of the causes of stress mentioned in the article? What other events – both dangerous and non-dangerous – cause stress in the daily lives of young people?

The article mentions several causes of stress, including facing a life-threatening situation (e.g., the sight of a coiled snake or a deep chasm), non-threatening events that nonetheless trigger a stress response (such as sitting down to take a test or walking into a party), and the act of simply thinking about non-threatening events which can lead to anxiety.

For young people, stress can arise from a wide range of events, both dangerous and non-dangerous, including:

  1. Academic Pressure: Exams, homework, and the pressure to achieve high grades can be significant sources of stress.
  2. Social Situations: Making friends, navigating social dynamics, dealing with bullying, or experiencing social exclusion.
  3. Family Issues: Conflict at home, parental expectations, divorce, or financial problems within the family.
  4. Life Transitions: Changing schools, moving to a new location, or transitioning from middle school to high school.
  5. Health Concerns: Personal health issues or dealing with the illness of a loved one.
  6. Future Uncertainties: Concerns about college, career choices, and the pressure to make decisions about the future.
  7. Extracurricular Commitments: Balancing sports, clubs, and other activities with academic responsibilities and personal life.
  8. Digital Stressors: Cyberbullying, social media pressures, and managing an online presence.
  9. Global and Societal Issues: Awareness of global crises, political unrest, or environmental concerns can also contribute to stress.

While some of these events might pose actual dangers or serious challenges, many are part of everyday life and are not inherently harmful.

However, the perception of these events and the ability (or inability) to manage the associated stress can significantly impact a young person’s well-being.

What are some situations in which stress or fear could be a positive thing? Use evidence from this text, your own experience, and other news, literature, art or history in your response.

Stress and fear aren’t always bad; sometimes, they can actually be pretty cool and helpful. Like, in the article we read, it talks about how seeing stress as a good thing can make us do better on tough stuff we have to do.

For example, when you’re super nervous before giving a presentation in class, that stress can actually make you more focused and give you the energy to nail it!

I remember one time in my own life, I was really scared to try out for the soccer team because I thought I wasn’t good enough. But that fear made me practice a lot more, and when tryouts came, I played better than I ever had before. It was like the fear kicked my skills into high gear.

And it’s not just me or what we read about. Historically, many people did amazing things because they were stressed or scared. Consider astronauts like Neil Armstrong landing on the moon for the first time. He must have been super stressed and scared, but he and his team used that fear to focus and do something incredible that changed history.

Even in movies and books, the characters who face their fears or get really stressed out often become heroes. They overcome challenges and grow stronger, showing us that dealing with stress and fear can lead to awesome things.

So, even though being stressed or scared feels yucky sometimes, it can actually push us to do our best, focus on what’s important, and achieve things we never thought possible. It’s like turning a scary movie into a hero’s adventure!

What are some situations in which stress or fear is a negative thing? Use evidence from this text, your own experience, and other news, literature, art or history in your response.

Stress and fear can definitely be a bummer when they get too intense or stick around too long. In the article we read, it talks about how being too stressed or scared, like when you’re freaking out over a test or worrying too much about fitting in, can make you feel really bad.

It can even make some people so anxious that they no longer want to go to school or hang out with friends.

From my own life, I’ve seen how being too stressed can mess things up. Like, my cousin was so worried about getting perfect grades that she couldn’t sleep and got really sick right before her finals. It was like the stress was too much for her body to handle.

And it’s not just personal stories. Too much fear or stress has caused big problems in history and stories. For example, in history, leaders who were too afraid of losing power sometimes made really bad decisions that hurt a lot of people. In books and movies, characters who let their fear take over often end up making things worse for themselves and others.

Also, in the news, we hear about how stress is making a lot of people feel overwhelmed and unhappy, especially with everything going on in the world right now. It’s like there’s this huge weight on everyone’s shoulders that makes it hard to enjoy life.

So, while a little stress or fear can push us to be better, too much of it can really drag us down. It can make us sick, mess up our relationships, and stop us from doing things we love. It’s like when you’re playing a video game, and the difficulty is set way too high; it stops being fun and just becomes frustrating.

In the context of this article, how does fear drive action?

In the context of the article “Stress for Success,” fear drives action by triggering the body’s fight-or-flight response. This is an automatic reaction that prepares us to either confront a threat head-on (fight) or to escape from it (flight).

The article explains that this response involves physical changes like increased heart rate, tensed muscles, and the redirection of blood flow to essential muscles, all of which are meant to make us more alert and ready to handle dangerous situations.

Historically, this response was super important for our ancestors’ survival. For example, if they heard a rustle in the bushes, it could be a predator. That fear would kick their bodies into high gear, ready to either fight off the threat or run away as fast as they could. This system worked great for dealing with physical dangers.

But the article also talks about how today, we’re not running from lions or dodging arrows, but we still have the same response to non-life-threatening stuff, like worrying about a big test or feeling awkward at a party. In these modern scenarios, fear can still drive action by preparing us more thoroughly for the test or encouraging us to practice social skills, even if the “threat” isn’t about physical survival.

The downside is when this fear response gets out of hand and stops us from doing things that could help us grow, like avoiding new experiences or challenges because we’re too scared.

So, in short, fear drives action by getting our bodies ready to deal with challenges, whether they’re about surviving in the wild or just navigating everyday life as a kid today.

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