What is Stress?
- It is a by product of the reaction people have to excessive pressure of demanding situations.
- It is dominated by worry, anxiety and hence they can’t cope.
- Stress is the “wear and tear” which our minds and bodies experience as we attempt to cope with our continually challenging and changing environment
Simply put, the Equation would look as: S = P > R (where P stands for Pressure and R for Resources)
Stress occurs when the Pressure of achieving something is greater than the Resources
Positive & Negative Stress
Positive stress can: Motivate us to be aware, better prepared, and open to new challenges and experiences
Negative stress can: Lead to constant worry, health problems, anger & discouragement, and a decrease in performance
Why Does Stress Occur?
- Personal & Family High Expectations
- Academic and Social Demands
- Relationships – Romantic or Friends
- Family Problems at Home
- Lack of Sleep
Effects of Stress
Symptoms of stress appear in many ways. Everyone is different how they feel their stress – here are the different ways:
PHYSICAL – Muscle tension, low immune system, colds, flu, digestive problems, problems sleeping, headaches, low energy
EMOTIONAL – Depression, anger, fear or anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, moods swings, irritability, embarrassment
COGNITIVE – Difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, critical self-criticism, unwanted or repetitive thoughts, mental disorganization
BEHAVIORS – Impulsive actions, crying, over eating or not eating, snapping at friends, isolation, nervousness, increase of alcohol or other numbing substances, total lack of ability to function as needed
Some of the common Sources of Stress
Primarily, 3 factors that contribute to Stress
SITUATIONS – What situations cause stress for you?
- Taking exams
- Giving a speech
- Being in a large group
- Roommate problems – dorm life
- Going for Interviews and so on…
Everybody is different and has different triggers
BODY – What changes happen to your body when stress hits?
- Chronic stress can cause headaches, muscle tension
- Stomach aches
- Tight chest, feelings of panic
Learn to know how you experience stress
MIND – The mental message you tell yourself are POWERFUL
Negative Messages –
- If I don’t get an A, I am a failure
- I always have to be and appear perfect
- If I don’t do well, my family will be so disappointed in me
Positive Messages –
- I’m studying hard and doing the best I can
- I will do well because I know I tried
- I am a worthy person whether I get perfect grades or not
Know your Stress – Keeping a Stress Journal or just being more aware can help you immensely.
- What caused the stress?
- How did I feel both physically and emotionally?
- How did I react and respond?
- How did I help myself to feel better?
- As you become more aware you will begin to see patterns & common themes
Unhealthy Coping – These are some of the Unhealthy Ways to cope with Stress:
- Drinking or eating too much
- Zoning out with TV or video games
- Lashing out at others – blaming others for everything
- Withdrawing from people & skipping class
- Avoiding facing real problems
You can manage stress by Changing the Situation or Changing Your Reaction
Change the Situation:
- Avoid the Stressor
- Alter the Stressor
Change Your Reaction:
- Adapt to the Stressor
- Accept the Stressor
Some Simple Stress Management Tips
Here are 6 simple to Tips to manage your Stress
Tip # 1. Avoid Unnecessary Stress
- Learn to say “no”
- Avoid people who stress you out
- Take control of your environment
- Avoid hot-button topics
- Cut down your to-do list
Tip # 2. Alter the Situation
- Express your feelings instead of bottling them up
- Be willing to compromise
- Be more assertive
- Manage your time better
Tip # 3. Adapt to the Stressor
- Reframe your problems
- Look at the big picture
- Adjust your standards
- Focus on the positive
Tip # 4. Accept the things you cannot change
- Don’t try to control the uncontrollable
- Look for the upside
- Share your feelings
- Learn to forgive & give others some slack
Tip # 5. Make time for fun and relaxation
- Set aside relaxation time
- Connect with others
- Do something you enjoy everyday
- Keep your sense of humor
Tip # 6. Adapt to healthy lifestyle & habits
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a healthy diet as often as possible
- Reduce the caffeine & sugar
- Avoid excesses – alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes, etc.
- Get enough sleep to function day to day
- Seek help from a friend or counseling if needed
- Learn to Relax
- Find ways to help yourself Relax
- Many people go nonstop and don’t know how to relax
- Realize the negative self-talk and interrupt this process telling yourself positive messages
- Talk it out with someone – a friend, trusted mentor, or professor
- Just being heard and understood can help
- Step back and get perspective – In the scheme of things is this worry & stress worth it?
A few Suggestions to Cope with Stress
- Deal with one thing at a time and try not to be a perfectionist
- Work out at the Gym, go for a walk, run, yoga – find exercise you enjoy
- Listen to your favorite music
- Take time to laugh, watch a comedy, great comedian?
- Take a shower or bath
- Write your thoughts in a journal
The only time there is a total absence of stress is in death