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Managing Stress: A Guide for College Students

What Exactly Is Stress?

There is no doubt that many college students feel stress. We may know we have stress when we experience it, but what is it exactly?

Stress is defined as a response to a demand that is placed upon you. Without some stress, people would not get a lot done. That extra burst of adrenaline that helps you finish your final paper, perform well in sports, or meet any challenge is positive stress. It is a short-term physiological tension and added mental alertness that subsides when the challenge has been met, enabling you to relax and carry on. Responses to stress can be physical, such as a headache; emotional, such as fear or sadness; and mental, such as increased anxiety. If you cannot return to a relaxed state, then the stress becomes negative. The changes in your body (increased heart rate, higher blood pressure and muscle tension) start to take their toll, often leading to mental and physical exhaustion and illness. Too much stress can cause problems and affect our health, productivity and relationships.

Stress Management: A Wellness Lifestyle Approach
An overview of the many different components that together form a healthy lifestyle.

How To Use This Website

Fortunately, there are many things we can do to help reduce and even prevent some of these problems caused by chronic stress. Managing stress is individual; you need to find the strategies that work for you. What helps one person reduce his or her stress may not be that helpful for someone else. As you look through this site, think about what appeals to you and what you think you can use. If a section does not apply to you, move on to the sections that do. Do not forget to refer to the campus resources. Many resources can also be found in the Health Promotion Resource Library on the 1st floor of the Health Center.

Good luck as you put together your own personal plan for dealing with stress!

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