Stress is a part of day to day living. As a college student I experience stress meeting academic demands, adjusting to a different schedule every week, or developing relationships with others. The stress I or anyone else experience is not necessarily harmful; in fact, stress is a normal part of life. Although we tend to think of stress as caused by external events, events in themselves are not stressful. Rather, it is the way in which we interpret and react to those events that makes them stressful, and will either make us peak performers or not.

People differ greatly in the type of events they interpret as stressful and the way in which they respond to such stress. For example, speaking in front of a large crowd can be stressful for some people and relaxing for others. There are several and symptoms that you may notice when you are experiencing stress. These symptoms basically fall into three categories. They are feelings, thoughts, and behavior. When a person is under stress, they will normally show symptoms from each category.

When a person s feelings are affected by stress, they become very anxious, irritable, and even scared. If you let your feeling and emotions be ruled by the stress you are under, you may quickly lose friends; or worse, lose yourself. You must learn to control your feelings when under extreme amounts of stress. A person s thoughts are also seriously affected by stress. When a person s thoughts are affected, they begin to have low self-esteem, the inability to concentrate, they constantly have the fear of failure, and they are often preoccupied and forgetful.

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Behavior is another factor which is influenced by stress. When someone s behavior is affected by stress, they may have difficulty speaking, they can become very impulsive, and they can either become very nervous (apparent by the high pitched voice) or very sad and cry for no apparent reason. All of these symptoms can be dealt with many ways; however, the following seem to be the most effective. Many people find that Yoga and other relaxation techniques are very effective in reducing or even eliminating stressful feelings.

Healthy friendships and relationships can also provide the means to control those feelings which are ruling you. Having a serious talk with a best friend or significant other can really help to bring back that sense of joy and satisfaction in your life, and can also give a renewed burst of energy and refresh your mind. Exercising has also proven to be a wonderful stress reducer. Regular exercise has been proven to increase energy, reduce tension, and relax muscles.

Becoming aware of your own reactions to stress and recognizing, accepting, and working within your own limits can also greatly reduce the amount of stress placed upon you. Stress can become very dangerous if allowed to go unchecked. If a person s stress level is too high, medical and social problems can result if not dealt with correctly. People under extreme amounts of stress can become accident prone, and increase their usage of drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. They sometimes lose their appetite, or go the other extreme and overeat.

Some people even get seriously ill when they cannot cope with stress. They will have symptoms such as diarrhea, indigestion, vomiting, and severe headaches, or even literally get sick with colds and flus. If a person is under extreme amount of stress and cannot seem to be able to cope with it, they can even become dangerous to others, or even suicidal, and need to seek professional help. A certified counselor or therapist can help a person to gain insight into their reactions to stress and the most effective ways to deal with it.

Time management can be very helpful when dealing with stress. Stress most often is a result of not managing time correctly, and as a result things begin to pile up and people begin to feel swamped by everything. There are many ways to manage your time so that you will not feel overburdened. Set goals which you want to accomplish. This will clarify what you want to do and give you the energy and focus to do it. Making a schedule will help incredibly. Fill your schedule with lots of time for leisure as well as work.

That way, you’ll enjoy your playtime because you’ll be doing it at the right time, not when you should be working. And when you are working, you won’t resent it because you’ll know that your leisure time is coming up soon. Making a schedule will hopefully keep you from procrastinating as well. Procrastination is a very common stressor, or cause of stress, and can be avoided easily. A certain amount of stress can be good. It can produce an excitement or rush that acts as a catalyst, therefore motivating you to do better work, cope with a problem, or give more of yourself.

The important thing is to be aware of stress so that you can deal with it. The only difference between peak performers and those who are not is how that stress is dealt with. Stress is a direct result of how we respond to different events. If we are feeling stressed by something, we need to take a step back and take stock of the situation. Ask yourself How can I deal with this situation in a way that will not cause me undue amounts of stress? When the answer to that is found, you are on your way to leading a less stressful life.


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