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.


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