Managing Academic Stress

Managing Academic Stress

By Sahar Nadeem


Make it work for you… a little stress is healthy….

Stress as a physical, mental, or emotional response to events that causes bodily or mental tension. Simply put, stress is any outside force or event that has an effect on our body or mind.

Common stressors in academic life include: greater academic demands, adjusting to living on your own, financial worries about school andfuture job prospects, time spent away from family and enjoyable activities,exposure to new people and ideas, and relationship stress. One of the mostcommon university stressors is procrastination.

Why would I want stress: a certain amount of stress enables you to meet the day’s challenges. What’s unhealthy are large amounts of stress or prolonged periods of unrelieved stress. Negative, excessive stress may be a key element in half of all illnesses, ranging from the common cold to heart disease. Studies suggest that your stress level effects your immune and nervous systems, heart function, metabolism, and hormonelevels. The key is to adapt to changes and figure out how to deal with thestresses of life.

How to manage stress: You can’t avoid all stress. If you find that you’re showing signs of too much stress for too long, pick and choose from the following strategies to manage it:  

  • Take a 2-hour mini-vacation. You don’t have to go to the Bahamas. Go see an enjoyable movie. Listen to your favorite CD. Talk with a friend.  
  • Spend some time alone every day.
  • Find out how much sleep you need and get it. Set your alarm for 8 hours. If you wake up refreshed for 4 days in a row, set it back 15 minutes. Keep doing this until you’re getting just enough sleep to feel rested.  
  • Pick a form of exercise that is stress reducing. Some possibilities include: Bike riding, Dancing, Walking, Swimming and Yoga.

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