Stress may be unavoidable in college life, but it is also largely under your control. You may not be able to control the situations or events happening around you on campus that may trigger you to feel stress, but the reactions that you have in any situation are entirely under your control.
Stress management starts with the realization that you are in control of your life and in accepting this fact, you will be empowered to take charge of stressful elements of your life. You can take charge of your thoughts, your emotions, your daily schedule, the environment in which you live, and the way you chose to deal with conflicts.
A large part of accepting the control you have over you own life is also letting go of trying to control the elements that are essentially uncontrollable. There are many things in life that are beyond your control, like the behavior and choices of others. Instead of stressing over how you want to change or control something that is beyond your control, considered focusing on the things you can control, like your own thoughts, behaviors and actions.
It may be helpful to compare what you can control, and what you cannot control:
|You CAN control||You CANNOT control|
|Your actions\behaviors||Other people's actions/behaviors|
|Your words and your thoughts||Other people's words and thoughts|
|Your choices||Other people's choices|
|The people and things you surround yourself with||Traffic, weather, parking the economy and other broad concerns|
|Your goals and your priorities||Other people's goals and priorities (like classmates or professors)|
|Your self-esteem & your self-worth||How other people decide to feel or think about you (judgments, assumptions, etc)|
|Your self-care||How many hours in the day or the certain responsibilities or expectations in your daily life (ex. studying or working)|
When you feel yourself becoming stressed, take a moment to consider if you are stressing about something that is not within your control. If you are, how can you work towards letting it go? What elements do you have control over that you could make adjustments to?
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