Stress Management - Ridgewater College

Stressed to the Max
How can I manage my stress?
Fall 2012
What is stress?
• Stress is part of everyday living
• It is not necessarily events that cause
stress, but how we react to the events
• Symptoms can include mental, social and
physical issues-exhaustion, changes in
appetite, headaches, crying, changes in
sleep patterns, using drugs or alcohol
Is stress always bad?
• Stress can be positive or negative
– Positive stress:
• Motivates us
• Is short term
• Is exciting
• Improves our performance
– Negative Stress
• Does not go away-it builds
• Can lead to problems such as lack of concentration,
headaches, anxiety, fatigue
Factors that affect stress
• Individual perception of stress
– How we look at things, can affect our
response to stress
– Are you optimistic?
• Your support network
– Who do you have to support you?
Things that build stress
• Perfectionism
– Are you a high achiever
– Do you criticize yourself when your work is
not perfect
– Do you always feel you could have tried
• Control
– Do you have to be in control at all times
– Do you feel lack of control is sign of failure
– Do you have difficulty delegating to others
• People Pleasing
– Do your feelings about yourself depend on
other’s opinion about you
– Do you avoid things because you are
concerned about disappointing others
– Do you take better care of others than you do
of yourself
• Confidence
– Do you feel you will never be as good as
– Do you feel you lack common sense
– Do you struggle to believe people that tell you
have done a good job
Common symptoms of stress
• Feelings
– Anxious, fear, irritable, angry
• Thoughts
– Low self-esteem
– Fear of failure
– Worrying about the future
– Preoccupation
Symptoms cont
• Behavior
– Crying
– Acting impulsively
– High pitch laughing or nervous tone of voice
– Increasing drug or alcohol use
• Physiology
– Sweaty hands
– Increased heart rate
– Trembling
– Tiring easily
– Butterflies in the stomach
– Changes in eating patterns
What is stress management
• It is the ability to maintain control when
situations (people, events, etc) cause us
to feel stress symptoms
Things college students do to
add stress:
• Stay up all night to study
• Loading up on caffeine
• Having “study parties” with your friends
• Waiting until the last minute-cramming
• Worrying about what is at stake
• Trying to work and go to school..Full Time
What things can I do to manage
Change the situation if you can
Remove yourself from the situation
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Change the way you react to it-start small
Avoid extreme reactions
Get enough sleep
Learn how you relax best
Set realistic goals
• Don’t overwhelm yourself
• Change the way you see things
• Do something for others
• Get some physical exercise
• Avoid self medication
• Develop thick skin
• Use your stress in a positive way
• Eat healthy
• Say “no”
• Take time to relax
• Be kind to yourself
• Manage your time well
• Talk it over with someone
What things can help you deal
with stress
• Discover your intentions
• Write in a journal
• Develop positive affirmations
• Surround yourself with positive things:
– Music
– People
– Books or poems
More stress relievers……
• Deep breathing exercises
• Visualization
• Muscle tense and release exercise
• Do something creative
GPS LifePlan
• Check out:
• Stress Management resources are under
the Personal Plan
• ____(March 22, 2005). “Coping with Stress”. Retrieved
September 25, 2006 from
Fremont, Suzanne, Ph.D. (April 14, 2004). “Managing
Stress”. Retrieved October 3, 2006 from
Landsberger, Joe. (June 2 2006). “How to Deal with
Stress”. Retrieved October 5, 2006 from
• ____. (July 11, 2005). “Managing Stress: A
Guide For College Students”. Retrieved October
3, 2006 from
• ____.(July 6, 2005). “Preventing Perfectionism”.
Retrieved November 13, 2006 from
____. “Stress Reduction, Stress Relievers”.
Retrieved November 29, 2006 from www.stress
• Haskell CF, Kennedy DO, Wesnes Ka,
Scholey AB. Cognitve and Mood
Improvements of Caffeine in Habitual
Consumers and Habitual Non-Consumer of
Caffeine. Psychopharmacology, June
• Malinauskas, BM, Aeby VG, Overton RF,
Carpenter-Aeby t, Barb-Heidal K. A survey
of Energy Drink Consumption Patterns
Among College Students. Nutrition