Stress Management 101

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By Ryan Coody

College is a stressful time for most college students in one way or another. Stress is a normal part of everyday life and in many cases can be beneficial. However, if not managed properly stress can become unhealthy and dangerous.

According to MentalHealthAmerica.net, too much stress in your life can “cause relatively minor illnesses like insomnia, backaches, or headaches, and can contribute to potentially life-threatening diseases like high blood pressure and heart disease.” It is important to effectively manage stress and take steps to reduce it whenever possible.

WebMD says that stress can come from many places, such as anxiety about work-related situations like promotions and deadlines, to general life situations such as an increase in financial obligations, changing routines or schedules, and moving into a new residence. You can even be the source of your own stress, such as creating unrealistic expectations of yourself.

As you can see, college students clearly deal with several of these issues every semester. For some of us, just coming to college can drastically alter our financial stability, and with changing schedules every semester comes the need to alter our routines, sometimes dramatically. In addition, the constant moving in and out of dormitories and moving back and forth from home to school can be very stressful.

In order to deal with stress properly, however, it is important to identify where it comes from. Once you identify the source of the stress, you can figure out a better way to handle those situations. Luckily there are a few general tips that can help just about anyone with any situation. Baldwin Wallace University suggests students exercise regularly, eat healthy foods, get plenty of rest, and avoid drugs and alcohol. The number one tip? Proper time management. Constantly being in a rush combines several areas of stress.

Stress can sometimes be a helpful tool to push us towards our goals, but we have to make sure we are managing our stress, not allowing our stress to manage us.