While the common reasons behind stress are usually to do with lack of finance, in the university it is to do mainly with coursework, exam tensions and the need to manage other commitments with equal intensity. This includes relationships with peers as well as superiors.
Not all stress is Bad
It must be mentioned here that some stress is very necessary to spur us on to achieve our objectives in life. This is also known as ‘eustress’ or the good stress. It is only when a particular situation spirals out of hand that ‘distress’ or the bad stress takes over and this is the one that has the potential to create both physical and emotional damage.
The manifestation can be physical in the form of palpitations, insomnia, nausea, lack of appetite, frequent headaches and lower resistance to common infections like cold. The mental symptoms include forgetfulness, depression, lack of focus and concentration.
How to deal with stress?
The optimum way to manage stress is to get rid of the cause of stress. Remember that you cannot do away with stress altogether and can only try to manage it well. You can therefore reduce other commitments or seek professional help to solve your problems – be it financial or academic.
It is also useful to acknowledge that there will always be stressful situations that will keep coming up in life such as certain project deadlines or an unfortunate break up with somebody.
But if you are already faced with stress that you cannot avoid, then you need to do the following:
• Work related pressure needs to be broken down into smaller tasks that are better manageable so that you can address them one by one.
• Airing your feelings to family as well as friends will help a great deal since that would release the pressure to a great extent.
• Maintain a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables and ensure you engage in physical activity like walking or jogging. This will release chemicals that will make you feel good. You need to get fresh air.
• Keep away from alcohol as well as drugs as these will not be useful to combat stress. They in fact can do more harm than good though initially you may feel slightly upbeat. That is however very transitory.
• Do not be hard on yourself and seek perfection in everything you do. Take it easy an try to do your best without being very conscious about it.
• Take the help of meditation techniques like deep breathing, yoga and other light exercises to help you get rid of built up stress.
Determine the reason behind any prolonged continued stress
It is well accepted that stress is common and all of us have to undergo it at some time or the other. However, if you are suffering from continuous stress then you need to check deeper to find out if there are other underlying medical or past history events that are causing this stress within you.
It would be useful to speak to a counselor or a doctor about this. As a student, you are fortunate that you can get immediate and free of cost access to professional counseling services and you need to surely take full advantage of it.