Most college students experience stress. Juggling academics, family, friends and work in an ever-changing world often leads to distress. This negative stress can take its toll on a person mentally, physically and spiritually. On the other hand, stress can also serve as a motivator, allowing one to finish a paper or work an extra hour. Signs of the negative impact of stress may include:
- Difficulty concentrating or paying attention
- Problems eating
- Poor sleep (trouble falling asleep, nightmares, etc.)
- Dizziness, light-headedness, or difficulty breathing
- Waves of sadness with urges to cry
- Ongoing headaches, muscle aches/spasms or back aches
- Stomach problems, diarrhea or frequent urination
- Increase in severity and duration of "colds"
- Low frustration tolerance
Stress Management Techniques
Whether stress is positive or negative depends on the individual. What might be energizing for you may be stressful to me and vice-versa. Stress is a part of our existence and management of stress, not elimination, should be the goal. In managing stress it is helpful to:
Practice relaxation techniques
- Become aware of what causes you stress
- Recognize what you can change about the situation
- Reduce exposure to the stressful event or situation if possible
- Exercise regularly.
- Maintain your emotional reserves by talking with supportive people
- Sleep well (7-8 hours a night if possible, or take a nap!)
- Work on your organizational skills and plan your time wisely
- Watch your intake of caffeine, alcohol, or other drugs
Along with stress, if you find yourself experiencing ongoing feelings of irritability, moodiness, anxiety, depression, or fearfulness, it may be time to seek help. If you experience suicidal thoughts, seek assistance right away.
Coping with College Articles (PDF)
Links to Other Resources