Stress: Helpful or Harmful?

Meeting the demands of being a student can be very stressful, especially as the semester winds down and the holidays near. But contrary to popular belief, not all stress is bad. Stress can be a big motivator for meeting deadlines and managing one’s time effectively. But it is important to keep in mind that when a task is completed, the stress should subside and relief should settle in. If it does not, stress can turn into a negative thing that can cause the body to respond in ways that are harmful to one’s health. Although stress is an inevitable part of college life, there are things that a student can do in order to keep it from getting out of hand. The Counseling Center, located in the Student Health Center, is a great resource that provides assistance to students on both a personal and academic level. Cristie Cunningham, Counseling Psychologist on campus, provides a number of useful ways that students can take care of themselves in order to manage their level of stress and respond to it positively.

  • Talk Rationally and Be Supportive of Yourself, Avoid Negative Self-Talk!
  • Get Organized: A messy workspace can stress you out before you even begin working.
  • Exercise Regularly and Eat Healthfully: How you take care of yourself can determine how your body responds to stress.
  • Get Plenty of Sleep: The recommended amount is 7-8 hours.
  • Take Mini-Breaks: This can help you rejuvenate yourself and clear your mind.
  • Talk and Laugh with Friends: You know what they say, “laughter is the best medicine”.
  • Have Some Quiet Time: Unplug yourself from the world and focus on YOU.
  • Watch Your Habits With Regard to Alcohol and Drug Use
  • Do Things You Enjoy: Make time for stress-relieving activities you enjoy, no matter how busy you are. These things can give you that extra motivation to keep going.

Resources:

The Counseling Center is located on the 2nd floor of the Student Health Center 919-515-2563