As students enter the week before finals, it is important to manage stress as effectively as possible. It’s important to note that stress is not something you feel. Stress is not a temporary state of mind that you experience. It’s important that you do not treat stress in this way because it makes it harder to actually manage it. Stress is a physical reaction that your body has when there are too many things that you need to do. It’s your reaction to your mind telling you, you have to take care of things. Stress has many physical manifestations such as losing out on sleep, gaining weight, getting acne and losing hair.
Many things that people do to manage stress is related to feeling better. They go to a yoga class, go to the gym, go for a run or meditate. While these things might offer a clear head and a new perspective, it’s not the most effective way to deal with stress. It’s almost as if these things are distracting us from the important things that need to be done. Unless the thing you are doing to manage your stress brings about a solution to what you are stressed about, it won’t be effective.
A fresh perspective to think about stress is a box with the opening at the top being the point where you experience stress. Life throws things into the box such as relationship trouble, family challenges, financial issues and academic deadlines. Anything that you have to take care of is a stress block. If you let the box pile up above the top and you do not take care of your obligations, you enter into a form of depression where hope is no longer a factor. The way to deal with stress is to completely remove the things that are filling up your box. Since stress isn’t a feeling, it won’t make you feel better. It will make you better.
Learn how to act with awareness at the Center for Consultation in the Priddy library. There is a workshop on the 25th of April that students are invited to in order to live successfully.