How to deal with stress

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School is one of many stressors for students. (Photo: FreeStockPhotos.biz)

By Casey Heinisch/[email protected]
Opinion Editor

Stress, everyone deals with stress on a daily basis. Despite the fact that it is extremely present in every human’s life, most of us do not deal with it very effectively. Stress, however, is not always a bad thing. The human body is an amazing machine, and stress was probably an evolutionary tool to get us to evolve into the complex animal that we are today. Without stress, we would probably still be huddled in a cave somewhere, gathering nuts and berries for sustenance. We are not cave-dwelling hunter/gatherers anymore, but sophisticated and civilized creatures. Due to the nature of civilization, stress becomes a massive issue for us. College is one of the most stressful situations that we undergo. We are constantly juggling with 2500 word papers, looming deadlines, exams, our working and social lives, determined not to let any of them fall.

Stress affects the human body in a number of ways. If stress is left unresolved and allowed to fester, it can escalate into serious disorders that have psychological, emotional and physical fall out. Insomnia, anxiety, depression, ulcers and high blood pressure are all attributed in part to stress.

 Step 1: Avoidance

In order to avoid as much stress as possible, we have to give ourselves the best shot possible. This includes having a system of organization and a well-maintained schedule. If you can get your daily life to roll “like clockwork” you will have a big head start. If you don’t have to spend 20 minutes looking for your keys, or your Environmental Science book, then you will have a more balanced start to your day.

 Step 2: Management

Stress is unavoidable. That is just a simple fact. Since, no matter what, we will be encountering stress, we must learn to deal with it. The National Library of Medicine outlines some actions that positively affect stress levels in humans.

A. Healthy diet and exercise- I know it seems that this is always the first thing that is prescribed for any ailment, but honestly it is the truth. If your body is in peak condition, you are equipped to deal with the stressors of daily life a lot more effectively.

B. Positivity- Yet another eye roll-inducing suggestion, but there is much to be said about the power of positive thinking. When you are continuously telling yourself, “this is no big deal. I got this. Everything is going to work out just fine,” it becomes a state of mind. We all know that person who is just so sickeningly happy that it makes you sick.  They seem to be able to roll with the punches.  That is because they can, the little things don’t get to them.

C. Meditation/breathing/yoga exercises. Stress has a way of making your brain racing from irrational thought to irrational thought, compounding the situation further. Breathing exercises and meditation, teach you to pull back. Calm your mind, and relax a little. This will help you combat stress more effectively.

D. One of the biggest stress relievers is to have sex, safely of course. This satisfies us lowly humans on many levels, emotionally, physically, socially, and mentally. This relieves tension that we might not even be aware that we are carrying around with us. You know that goofy glow people have the next day? Try as hard as you can to break that person’s spirit, you can’t do it. With that feeling of calmness, and accomplishment, it makes you feel as though you can move mountains

College is one of the most stressful times in a person’s life, I know personally just how stressful it can be. I sincerely hope that all three of you who might be reading this finds it helpful and begins to implement some of the strategies into your own lives. If these techniques do help you as much as you need, MCTC offers counseling services in the Student Health Clinic on the third floor of the Helland Center, free of charge. We owe it to ourselves to get the most out of this education we are paying a lot of money for. Do yourself a favor, and don’t ignore stress.