Are you Stressed? Tips to Help Stop Stress at UWS

Many peo­ple can expe­ri­ence stress as they attempt to bal­ance their busy lives filled with school, work, and main­tain­ing a social life. For some, stress can become a major part of their life. We all can expe­ri­ence spo­radic stress– prepar­ing for a major exam, rush­ing to com­plete a project, or a sticky finan­cial sit­u­a­tion. How­ever, a con­tin­u­ous “state” of stress can have an increase for cer­tain health risks and can cause wear and tear on our gen­eral well-being. Accord­ing to the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion, 7.8% of men and 12.3% of women, ages 18–24, report fre­quent men­tal dis­tress – a key indi­ca­tor for the onset of depres­sion and other men­tal dis­or­ders later on in life.

Chad Dachel stressing outSo what is stress? Stress is defined as a state of men­tal ten­sion and worry caused by prob­lems such as school, work, and per­sonal life. For many stu­dents, col­lege is the prime time of life. How­ever, these crit­i­cal years of adjust­ment are often under­mined by the stres­sors caused by the high demands of what being a col­lege stu­dent is all about. Com­mon stres­sors of stu­dents may include: greater aca­d­e­mic demands, finan­cial respon­si­bil­i­ties, and expo­sure to new peo­ple, ideas and temp­ta­tions. A recent sur­vey of fresh­men con­ducted at UCLA reported that more than 30% of all col­lege stu­dents reg­u­larly feel over­whelmed. Stress is a process that can build, so con­ti­nous stress can cause dis­rup­tion on your phys­i­cal, emo­tional, spir­i­tual, and social health. Prac­tic­ing var­i­ous meth­ods to acti­vate your body’s relax­ation response will effec­tively ease the dis­tur­bances that stress causes.

If your cur­rent ways of cop­ing with stress are not con­tribut­ing to your greater gen­eral well-being, it is time to find health­ier ones. Some sug­ges­tions for reduc­ing your stress lev­els and enhanc­ing your col­lege expe­ri­ence include: Get at least seven hours of nightly sleep, struc­ture each day to include a min­i­mum of twenty min­utes of exer­cise, avoid caf­feine, go to class, keep up with course work, get involved with cam­pus activ­i­ties, and be sure to take time for your­self– Read a book, lis­ten to music, get a mas­sage, watch a movie, or play with a pet! Do not get caught up with the hus­tle and bus­tle of your busy sched­ule. Nur­tur­ing your­self to pro­mote your men­tal health is a neces­sity, not a luxury.

Image cour­tesy of Felic­ity Bosk — The Stinger
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