Stress can be a most debilitating problem when we become so frazzled that we don’t function well and our work is affected. The stress which motivates us to go to class and to do our work is a good thing, but too much stress is counter productive and leaves us feeling overwhelmed and drained.
Four types of stress symptoms often appear:
- Physical symptoms include fatigue, headache, insomnia, muscle aches and stiffness, heart palpitations, chest pains, cramps, nausea, trembling, sweating, frequent colds, etc.
- Mental symptoms include decrease in memory and concentration, indecisiveness mind racing or going blank, confusion and loss of humor.
- Emotional symptoms include anxiety, nervousness, depression, anger, frustration, worry, fear, irritability, impatience, short temper, etc.
- Behavioral symptoms include pacing, fidgeting, nervous habits like nail-biting, increased eating, smoking, drinking, crying, yelling, swearing, and blaming.
Everyone experiences stress. It cannot be eliminated, so if you find yourself feeling tired and irritable, restless, not sleeping well, and unable to relax on your own, you need to look for some positive stress reducing strategies. Many ways exist to manage stress in our lives.
Here is a list of ten good strategies.
- Decrease or discontinue caffeine.
- Exercise regularly
- Prayer, relaxation, and meditation
- Get 7-8 hours sleep per night
- Have regular rest breaks and leisure time.
- Develop realistic expectations.
- Reframe situations positively.
- Check your belief system.
- Find and use a support system and talk it out.
- Look for humor in every situation.
If you need help learning to relax, reframe, or talk things out, call the University Counseling Center at 501-279-4347.