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Understanding Stress

Understanding Stress

What is Stress?
Stress is an everyday part of life. It is usually related to the conflicts, pressures, frustration and strains of everyday living. Most people are familiar with what stress feels like or the idea of being "stressed out". For college students, stress is a common part of life and it is normal to experience high levels of stress on occasion. Although stress cannot be totally removed from life, it does not have to take over; there are many simple ways to help reduce and manage your stress.

Can stress be good for me?
Yes, stress can be a healthy motivator for performance and accomplishment and can help us in meeting the challenges of everyday life. Stress becomes a problem when it begins to have adverse affects on you physically, psychologically or both.

How do I know when I am too stressed?
Each person responds to stress differently, so it is important to understand how your body and mind are affected by stress. Some of the most common reactions to stress are:

  • Tiredness

  • Irritability

  • Muscle tension and pain

  • Feeling anxious and\or depressed

  • Changes in appetite or sleeping patterns

  • Difficulty concentrating in class

  • Anger and\or frustration

  • Feeling overwhelmed

Is my anxiety related to my stress level?
Yes, it could be. Feelings of anxiety are often a common response to high levels of stress. It might be helpful to engage in relaxation exercises to help reduce your feelings of anxiety. Try deep breathing or exercise in moments of heightened anxiety. Although stress-related anxiety is very common among college students, you should pay attention to your anxiety and if you have been struggling with high levels of anxiety for a significant period of time, or if it seems to be getting worse despite your efforts to control it, consider seeking out a helping professional for additional support.

What can I do to lower my stress?
There are many simple ways to lower your stress level, click here to learn more!

Before you can lower your stress, it may help to first understand what may be causing it. Use the table below to determine what the true root of your stress is? In each box, write down one thing that stresses you out. With each stressor answer the question in the box below. Continue answering this question until you identify what may be your REAL stressor!

***Get the Stressor Chart!***

Now that you have identified your real stressors, ask yourself the following questions:How can I make changes to address this? How can I be accountable to this? If you are unsure, click here for information on Personal Empowerment These questions can help you to be more solution oriented towards stress.

Can Student Support Advisement help me with this?
Yes! Stress management is something that many college students struggle with. Your Student Support Advisor can help you to understand the sources of stress in your life and what you can do to lower your overall stress level.

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