Everyone experiences stress – you are not alone! Stress is our body’s reaction to a change that requires a physical, mental or emotional response.
Stress can come from any situation or thought that causes us to feel frustrated, angry, excited or anxious.
Routine activities (deadlines and exams) or challenging life events (relationship break-up) that result in these feelings are often referred to as stressors.
The National College Health Assessment survey sited 93.2% of students reported experiencing they “felt overwhelmed by all you had to do” within the last 12 months.
(Brock University 2013).
Positive vs. negative stress
From a positive perspective, stress can be a strong motivator that impacts performance on all levels. In this situation stress is manageable and potentially helpful.
From a negative perspective stress can have a significant impact on every aspect of life.
Self-care plays a significant role in the prevention and management of stress. When self-care strategies are used, it increases a person’s resilience when stressful situations occur. Self-care is especially important in the university setting as there are many opportunities for students to learn and incorporate positive coping strategies to maintain positive well-being.
Can encourage avoidance of starting and completing tasks.
Can result in avoidance and withdrawal from positive social supports.
Can impact concentration and result in a number of negative physical sensations (trembling, sweats, nausea) produce headaches, sleep disturbance and can decrease energy and change appetite.
Can cause one to feel overwhelmed, irritable and worthless. If not dealt with properly it can cause helplessness, hopelessness, depression and anxiety and may lead individuals to self-medicate using drugs and alcohol.
Can increase susceptibility to disease by lowering the effectiveness of the immune system.