It’s near the middle of the fall semester for many campuses and there’s a chance you are feeling that pinch of stress. That feeling that we have bitten off more than we can chew and overcommitted ourselves. Again. The feeling of a schedule becoming out of control that may require snorkle gear if we reply to one more email request.
Stress raises our adrenaline, resulting in increased heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure. These increases make bodily organs work harder. A little stress is good and keeps us on our toes. But over the long term, too much stress can lead to illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.
The MBTI Blog discusses our stress as an In The Grip experience, or being forced to react contrary to personality preferences. Usually my recognition of being in a Grip experience arises when I am counseling a student with school anxiety and realize I need to take my own advice.
In my first-year seminar, we discuss the symptoms and effects of stress and ways college students can alleviate stress through planning and organization. For a bit of fun, we encourage students to add more stress to their lives with a few of the suggestions below:
♦ No matter where you are going, always leave for the appointment at the time you should be arriving. On the way there, drive, walk or ride your bike no further than two feet from the car or person in front of you.
♦ Don’t pay attention to your body. If you feel yourself becoming over-stressed and tired, ignore it and keep pushing yourself.
♦ Make a special effort to take note of the irritations in your life and blow them out of proportion. Be resentful and hypercritical, especially toward yourself.
♦ Refuse to take action on nagging problems. Procrastinate, worry, and whenever possibly lose sleep over them. Blame other people for all of your problems.
♦ If you’ve been sleeping less than 4 hours a night, consider eliminating this activity altogether.
Stress Management Tips offers great information, games and exercises to introduce to your students. Me? I’m practicing a little deep breathing until finals week.
What causes you stress? Do you have a favorite stress reliever?