Handling Stress

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HANDLING STRESS
It's pretty common for college students to feel stressed out. You may be worried about grades, struggling with finances, or feeling anxious about a relationship. Life is full of changes and events (good and not-so-good) that may cause stress.

Stress is your physical, emotional, and mental response to change, regardless of whether the change is good or bad. Without some stress, people wouldn't get a lot done. The extra burst of adrenaline that helps you finish a paper on time, compete in sports, or meet any other challenge is positive stress. It's a short-term physiological tensing and added mental alertness that subsides when the challenge has been met, enabling you to relax and carry on with normal activities.

If you can't return to a relaxed state, this stress becomes negative. The changes in your body - increased heart rate, higher blood pressure, and stomach and muscle tension - start to take their toll, often leading to mental and physical exhaustion and illness. Although some stressors (the events that cause us to feel stressed) cannot be changed, we can all learn how to deal with our reaction to the stressors.

Short Term Ways to Handle Stress

Relax where you are - close your eyes, breathe deeply and slowly. Visualize yourself in a pleasant setting, perhaps watching a beautiful sunrise or sitting on a beach. Take a break - get some exercise or fresh air, or go somewhere private to yell or cry. Ask yourself whether it's worth being upset over the situation. Often, you can choose to stay calm and ignore it. Long Term Ways to Handle Stress

Think positive. Your mind sends signals to your body as you think of possible negative outcomes, and you become tense regardless of whether the event happens. 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...
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