Your Study Guides and Strategies starts here!

It is the mind
that makes the body
Sojourner Truth 1797 - 1883
American abolitionist/
women's rights activist

Cooperative learning series

Managing stress

Select the text below for guidance:

Managing stress(text summary from Flash piece, above)

First, recognize stress:

Stress symptoms include mental, social, and physical manifestations. These include exhaustion, loss of/increased appetite, headaches, crying, sleeplessness, and oversleeping. Escape through alcohol, drugs, or other compulsive behavior are often indications. Feelings of alarm, frustration, or apathy may accompany stress.

If you feel that stress is affecting your studies,
a first option is to seek help through your educational counseling center.

Stress Management is the ability to maintain control
when situations, people, and events make excessive demands.
What can you do to manage your stress?
What are some strategies?

Look around
See if there really is something you can change or control in the situation

Set realistic goals for yourself
Reduce the number of events going on in your life and you may reduce the circuit overload

Exercise in stress reduction through project management/prioritizing

Remove yourself from the stressful situation
Give yourself a break if only for a few moments daily

Don't overwhelm yourself
by fretting about your entire workload. Handle each task as it comes, or selectively deal with matters in some priority

Don't sweat the small stuff
Try to prioritize a few truly important things and let the rest slide

Learn how to best relax yourself
Meditation and breathing exercises have been proven to be very effective in controlling stress. Practice clearing your mind of disturbing thoughts.

Selectively change the way you react,
but not too much at one time. Focus on one troublesome thing and manage your reactions to it/him/her

Change the way you see your situation; seek alternative viewpoints
Stress is a reaction to events and problems, and you can lock yourself in to one way of viewing your situation. Seek an outside perspective of the situation, compare it with yours. and perhaps lessen your reaction to these conditions.

Avoid extreme reactions;
Why hate when a little dislike will do? Why generate anxiety when you can be nervous? Why rage when anger will do the job? Why be depressed when you can just be sad?

Do something for others
to help get your mind off your self

Get enough sleep
Lack of rest just aggravates stress

Work off stress
with physical activity, whether it's jogging, tennis, gardening

Avoid self-medication or escape
Alcohol and drugs can mask stress. They don't help deal with the problems

Begin to manage the effects of stress
This is a long range strategy of adapting to your situation, and the effects of stress in your life. Try to isolate and work with one "effect" at a time. Don't overwhelm yourself. for example, if you are not sleeping well, seek help on this one problem.

Try to "use" stress
If you can't remedy, nor escape from, what is bothering you, flow with it and try to use it in a productive way

Try to be positive
Give yourself messages as to how well you can cope rather than how horrible everything is going to be. "Stress can actually help memory, provided it is short-term and not too severe. Stress causes more glucose to be delivered to the brain, which makes more energy available to neurons. This, in turn, enhances memory formation and retrieval. On the other hand, if stress is prolonged, it can impede the glucose delivery and disrupt memory."

Most importantly:
if stress is putting you in an unmanageable state or interfering with your schoolwork, social and/or work life,
seek professional help at your school counseling center

See also: Stress in a testing situation

Time management series

Time management | My daily schedule | My weekly schedule | Managing stress |
Scheduling my school calendar | My goals | Organizing my tasks |
Creating to-do lists | Avoiding procrastination | Developing self-discipline

Flash exercise contributed by Michael Diener and Dr. Brad Hokanson, Interactive Media (DHA 4384) School of Design, University of Minnesota.