Stress is a common aspect of life in college and beyond. You might think that stress is just an emotion, but stress can actually have short and long-term affects on your health. Stress can play a part in all kinds of health problems like heart conditions, high blood pressure, diabetes, skin conditions, headaches, depression, and mental health issues. Maintaining healthy stress management strategies are key in reducing risk for these health problems.

It is important to know how to avoid and cope with stress. Learn healthier ways to manage stress by changing the situation through avoiding stressors or altering the stressor. Also change your reaction by adapting to the stressor and accepting the stressor. Other stress management strategies include avoiding unnecessary stress, accepting the things you can’t change, make time for fun and activities, and lastly, adopt a healthy lifestyle.

Good Stress vs. Bad Stress

Believe it or not, sometimes stress can be good for you! There are actually two types of stress, eustress and distress.

Eustress: This is the good type of stress! When you are experiencing stress due to events such as an intense Alabama football game, that is good stress! This is the kind of stress that motivates you to get a job done. We all need to have some kind of stress in our lives, but making sure it’s the kind of stress than benefits our productivity.

Distress: This is the bad type of stress. Distress can have a negative effect on your body, including your sleep schedule, eating habits, and energy levels. This type of stress can be the result of poor time management, over committing, or a multitude of other things. Distress is bound to happen, so it is critical that you know the best way to manage your stress.

Stress Relief Tips

There are many ways to relieve stress, but stress relief is different for everyone! Here are some tips to help you get started on your stress relief.

Yoga or meditation: These exercises focus on the mind and body cooperating together. They reduce stress and strengthen your body at the same time!

Journaling: Describe a situation that has caused you stress and your feelings towards it. Why do you feel that way? How can you change it?

Unplug!: Overstimulation can be a huge stress because we are constantly being notified of things to worry about. Try to unwind by turning off your cell phone, computer, tablets and TV early.

Make a to-do list: This is an efficient way for you to see what needs to be done and decide what is really important in the scheme of things.

Resources for Stress Management

The Student Health Center
Talk to a health educator!

The Counseling Center
205-348-3863

Student Recreation Center
Take a group yoga class!

The Center for Academic Success
Take a time management workshop!