Stress defines a type of response to a particular stimulus that usually upsets a person’s physical as well as mental stability (Chu-Lien 90). This also refers to the most common way that an individual’s body can react to various situations that are considered as difficult or a threat to personal well-being. Stress enables an individual to gather strength and stamina to overcome any challenging event or situation. Although little stress enables a person to stay alert and active while responding to various situations, long-term stress negatively affects the body and mental state of an individual, thereby resulting in undesirable outcomes (Edworthy56). While stress is caused by individual worries that include pessimism, negativity as well as perfectionism, it is also caused by external factors that include family, financial, school as well as work challenges.
How to Relieve Stress in College
College students are faced with numerous situations that often require them to adjust their lives to meet the expectations of school, studies, and even lifestyle. They are expected to stay away from their relatives or workplaces that they were fond of, and as such, they are compelled to adapt to the new relationships and schedules (McKean 15). Students are also expected to manage their time and cultivate healthy interactions with fellow students that hail from different cultures and backgrounds. Due to these changes in their lives, college students are often stressed as they seek ways to adapt to the new environment and relationships. International students usually experience severe cases of distress as they are often challenged by the new environment and lifestyles prevailing in the colleges they attend (Edworthy 56). These students usually experience emotional, behavioral as well as mental challenges that include anxiety, sleeplessness, and lack of concentration in class. They, therefore, require ways to manage stress in order to avoid negative effects that may hinder them from achieving academic goals they ought to achieve while in college (Chu-Lien 93). If this analysis indicates that college students can experience difficult college life due to stressful situations, are there viable ways that can help them to relieve stress?
Relaxation is one of the major ways that college students can utilize to relieve themselves from stress. Students should always allocate themselves some time that they can use to relax from academic activities, and as such, they can be able to renew their strength for more challenging academic activities. Relaxation can be achieved through regular exercise activities that include jogging, as this can enable students to freshen up from the normal learning routine (Edworthy 60). This can also be achieved through having ample time to sleep as this can enable the mind and the body to relax from heavy involvement in daily college commitments. Listening to music is a relaxation technique that allows students to relieve themselves from academic and extracurricular activities that they engage themselves in on a day-to-day basis (McKean 19). Although relaxation offers some stress reprieve, it can amount to a waste of valuable time that can be used to improve students’ grades. It can also become a negative habit that can lead to over-relaxation that results in laziness.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle is one of the key ways that a student can use to relieve stress while in college. This involves eating a healthy diet at the right time of the day to ensure that the body has the necessary energy that will enable the students to pursue various activities. Avoiding or significantly reducing the intake of the amount of caffeine and sugar can greatly relieve stress as this enables students to avoid mood crashes while on the other hand maintaining stable energy levels (Chu-Lien 96). This, therefore, allows students to feel more relaxed and composed while tackling their major challenges. Avoiding drugs that include alcohol and cigarettes enables students to be mentally stable and they can therefore seek sober ways of managing stress. These drugs usually offer temporal stress relief but they eventually become a dangerous source of stress if they are used continuously. Students should therefore avoid using these drugs to ensure that they do not temporarily escape from certain sources of stress but rather confront the source of stress soberly (McKean 23).
Effective planning is a way that students can use to relieve stress while they are in college. They can achieve this by ensuring that they set a realistic time schedule that they can use to prioritize various commitments and activities while in college. This is because most students are stressed due to being overwhelmed by the academic timetables on one hand, and personal commitments on the other. Students can adopt effective time management that will enable them to set realistic and attainable goals that include academic, personal commitments as well as community involvement (Edworthy 60). This will therefore allow students to have ample time to attend to all their planned activities within a stipulated timeframe. It can as well help to alleviate the pressure that comes with unachievable expectations that usually leave students very dissatisfied. This is the best way that students can use to avoid stress while they are in college as most types of stress affecting them tend to arise from poor time management as well as setting unrealistic goals. This is because they can plan their time properly while avoiding unrealistic ambitions that they cannot attain (Chu-Lien 99).
Stress is a major challenge that affects students while they are in college pursuing academic excellence. Stress usually arises from internal sources that may include personal worries and pessimism as well as external sources that may include financial and family challenges. College students often face unfamiliar environments and dynamic relationships that cultivate unexpected demands, which compels them to seek various solutions and failure to which they get stressed. College students can overcome this stress by ensuring that they adopt healthy relaxation behavior, healthy lifestyles as well as effective planning. This will enable students to manage their time effectively and thus alleviate pressures that lead to stress.
Chu-Lien, Chao. “Managing Perceived Stress among College Students: The Roles of Social Support and Dysfunctional Coping”, Journal of College Counseling, 15.1(2012): 89-100.
Edworthy, Ann. Managing Stress, Open University Press, Philadelphia, (2000).
McKean, Misra. “Academic Stress of College Students: Comparison of Student and Faculty Perceptions”, College Student Journal, 34.2 (2000): 12-30.