Helping Learners Understand Spoken English

Stress Discussion Questions



  1. Vocabulary and Idioms to Talk About Stress
  2. 16 questions for discussion that can be used in conversation classes, to practice English on your own or discuss with a conversation partner
  3. A video for discussion by Arirang News about Korean children’s academic stress (학업 스트레스 최고지만 스스) followed by 3 questions for discussion
  4. A video with tips by BBC Brainsmart with 3 discussion questions
  5. 16 tips and tools and a link to an article with more tips and tools
  6. Time management tools by Francesco Cirillo, creator of the Pomodoro Technique
  7. Is Stress Good for You? vocabulary lesson by Shayna at Espresso English

Stress Is a Part of Life

Everyone has stress in their lives at some point or another. Some people have more than others. People deal with stress in different ways. Some ways are more beneficial than others. For some, talking with friends or family members is helpful. For others, writing in a diary provides insight and clarity when times are difficult.

Many times, our attitude and thoughts about stress can determine how much it affects us. If we try to avoid it and hide from it, we often make whatever problem is causing it worse.

Procrastination can be helpful in small doses, but as a way of life, it can lead to more stress.

By facing our problems and dealing with them in a productive and healthy way, we can decrease our stress and start living more stress-free lives.

Vocabulary and Idioms to Talk About Stress

  • I’m (so) stressed out.
  • I need to de-stress.
  • I have a lot on my plate.
  • I’m at my wits end.
  • I’m burned out.
  • I’m at the end of my rope.
  • I’ve been burning the candle at both ends.
  • I don’t know whether I’m coming or going.
  • I need to blow off some steam.
  • I just want to kick back and relax.

16 Questions for Discussing Stress

  1. What is stress?
  2. Is all stress bad?
  3. What is the difference between stress and anxiety?
  4. What is the relationship between stress and sleep?
  5. What is the relationship between stress and food?
  6. What is the relationship between stress and money?
  7. What is the relationship between stress and technology?
  8. What are some examples of things that are stressful in life?
  9. How can stress be both positive and negative?
  10. What causes people the most stress?
  11. What are some ways people deal with stress?
  12. How do you usually cope with stress?
  13. What are some unhealthy ways that people try to relieve stress?
  14. What are some complications of stress?
  15. What are the healthiest ways to handle stress?
  16. What is your favorite way to de-stress?

Academic Stress in Korea

Watch the YouTube video “Korean children’s academic stress levels among world’s highest” by Arirang News. After watchin the video, discuss the three questions below.

  1. What is your level of academic stress?
  2. Which is more stressful: high school or university? Why?
  3. If you could change the Korean education system, how would you change it?

BBC Brainsmart Video

Pre-read the questions below. Watch the YouTube video “Managing Stress – Brainsmart” by the BBC. Discuss the questions below.

  1. What is the purpose of stress and how has it changed in the 21st century?
  2. What 7 tips does the BBC give for managing stress? Can you think of additional tips?
  3. Which tips would you like to try?

16 Tips and Tools for Dealing with Stress

  1. Exercise.
  2. Get adequate sleep.
  3. Take deep breaths.
  4. Identify the causes.
  5. Avoid unnecessary stress and learn to say no.
  6. Take control by taking steps to deal with whatever is causing you stress.
  7. Remember to take breaks. Make time for fun and relaxation.
  8. Talk to someone.
  9. Spend time in nature.
  10. Spend time with a pet.
  11. Try meditation. Even five minutes a day can be beneficial.
  12. Write in a diary.
  13. Keep a gratitude journal.
  14. Create opportunities for laughter.
  15. Sing!
  16. Dance!

For more tips and tools check out this article on stress management.

Time Management Tools

Check out the Pomodoro Technique.

Read books like Wait: The Art and Science of Delay

Espresso English Lesson

For a free English lesson, check out Is Stress Good for You by Shayna at Espresso English. The information there is free, but if you decide to purchase one of Shayna’s courses or e-books, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products and services that I trust and wish I had created myself.

Shayna’s lesson includes a reading, 12 vocabulary words, and a quiz to test yourself on the meaning of the 12 words.

Ready for a new topic? Check out ESL Conversation Topic: Creativity next.

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