Are you Stressed?

Are you experiencing...  

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Back, shoulder or neck pain
  • Inability to concentrate

Are you feeling...  

  • Nervous
  • Anxious 
  • Sad 
  • Depressed 
  • Irritable or frustrated
  • Out of control about your life in general

If you answered "yes" to any of these symptoms, you could be experiencing stress. The good news is that stress is normal and with some education and practice you can learn to cope with stress and use it enhance your overall wellness. 

What Exactly is Stress? 

Stress is your physical, emotional and mental response to all external influences. Not all stress is bad. Without some stress, people wouldn't get a lot done. The extra burst of adrenaline that helps you finish your final paper, win at sports, or meet any other challenge is positive stress.

If you can't return to a relaxed state, this stress becomes challenging to deal with and changes in your body start to take their toll, often leading to mental and physical exhaustion and illness. Normal stress adds anticipation and excitement to life! Insufficient positive stress may leave us feeling bored. On the other hand, too much negative stress can leave us feeling overwhelmed.

Symptoms of Stress

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Tension or migraine headaches
  • Constipation or Diarrhea
  • Sweaty palms or hands
  • Fatigue
  • Nervousness
  • "Butterflies"
  • Memory problems
  • Lack of concentration
  • Substance abuse
  • Overreactions
  • back, shoulder or neck pain
  • Upset stomach
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Skin problems (hives, eczema, tics)
  • Hair loss
  • Depression, moodiness
  • Irritability, frustration
  • Phobias
  • Trouble thinking clearly
  • Feeling out of control

Causes of Stress

Not having enough money

  • Parental expectations
  • Poor eating habits
  • Too many extracurricular activities
  • Coming to terms with sexual orientation
  • Poor sexual health
  • Change in sleeping habits
  • Loneliness
  • Relationships
  • Poor time management skills
  • Loss of a relationship
  • Change in eating habits
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Social pressures
  • New responsibilities
  • New environment
  • Dissatisfaction with classes/job
  • Poor coping skills
  • Indecision
  • Expecting perfection

Coping Methods

  • Get physical activity
  • Build supportive relationships with others
  • Get involved with things you enjoy
  • Learn to manage your time
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Avoid alcohol, tobacco and other drugs
  • Eat well
  • Take time for yourself
  • Practice relaxation techniques
  • Become a clear communicator
  • Something bothering you? Take time to ask yourself if it is worth your time. Accept what you cannot change.
  • Laugh! Don’t take yourself or life too seriously.
  • Choose your own goals. Don’t live out choices others have made for you.
  • Think positively.
  • Make decisions. You can learn to live with the consequences or change your mind. In general, any decision- even consciously deciding to do nothing- is better than none.
  • Keep your expectations realistic. Don’t expect perfection from yourself or others. Expect some problems reaching your goals and realize that you can solve most of them with practice.
  • Anticipate potentially stressful situations and prepare for them.
  • Live in the present. Learn from the past and move on.
  • Know your own stress level. Strive for excellence within your limits.