Stress Management

Being stressed a little is not unusual. A little amount of stress is just a reflection of our preference to do things correctly and properly and helps us focus on the important tasks. It makes our body react adaptively and helps us meet the challenges we face. It prevents us from falling into the trap of boredom and lack of motivation. But if there is excessive stress, and it happens often, you should recognize it as a problem and set about making sure it goes away. Excessive stress can make simple challenges appear to be threats. It severely reduces our confidence in our abilities.

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Don’t unduly worry & feel guilty

Being concerned about important tasks is good but undue worrying and feeling guilty can be a problem. You should check if worrying is helping you perform the task better or it is weakening you and wasting your time. It is important to use time that you are not studying effectively, to relax or to pursue other interests. Spending time worrying is a waste of precious time. It is easier to stop worrying when you have something to do. Reading, sports, going for a walk or talking with friends will help you use the time better.

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Common reasons for excessive stress & suggested solutions

There are some common reasons for students getting into situations of excessive stress.

1. Poor time management

Solution: Learn to manage your time better. Proper time management will help you personally and professionally.

2. Poor soft skills

Solution: Poor soft skills such as an inability to express yourself and communicate properly, inability to work in a team and poor inter personal skills can lead to stressful situations. These can easily be avoided by recognizing the cause to be the weak soft skills and addressing the problem. You should give importance to developing your soft skills and set quality time aside for that.

3. Unable to find the right balance between studying and pursuing other interests

Solution: Try to strike the right balance by setting aside enough time for studies and then making sure the rest of the time is mostly spent pursuing your other interests by minimizing time that is wasted and you do not do either.

4. Cultural, social, economic issues

Solution: For a student the first few weeks at an institution of higher learning throw up many social, cultural and perhaps even economic challenges. It takes some time before you make new friends and in general become comfortable with the changed circumstances. A student just needs to be a little patient and these stresses should go away. If they do not the student should not keep them bottled up but rather should speak about the issues with friends and faculty.

5. Unhealthy lifestyle

Solution: Physical activity, yoga, interesting hobbies are known stress busters. If you will incorporate these into your lifestyle you will not have challenging situations easily turning into stressful situations.

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Coping with stress in general

Here are some suggestions to cope with stress in general:

Be aware that you are stressed

The first thing is easy to do. Learn how your body reacts to stressful situations. Your hands might clench, your stomach may feel tight your breathing may get faster. Once you are aware of how your body reacts to stress then you will be able to start to regulate your tensions.

Be aware of how you respond to stress

People react differently to stress. To cope with stress you need to know how you respond to stress. Often the problem is less in the issue that is causing the stress and more in how you respond to it. If you can control your response then you have a better chance of getting over the challenge that is causing the stress. For example stress might make you angry, or it may make you depressed and withdrawn. Stress may even cause you to panic or to freeze. Once you know your usual response and you are aware it is being caused by stress you can work towards a solution. For example if you know stress makes you angry you can do things that quiet you down. If you tend to become angry or agitated under stress, you will respond best to stress-relieving activities that quiet you down. If you tend to become depressed or withdrawn, you will respond best to stress-relieving activities that are stimulating.

Discover the stress-management techniques that work for you

The best way to reduce stress quickly is by engaging in activity that is calming and soothing and lets you use your energies to overcome the challenge that is causing the stress. You should also reflect on why the stress had built up. Once you address the root cause(s) of stress building up you will not have to cope with excessive stress.