Free Stress Management Essay Sample
Stress refers to body’s reaction to the chemical, physical, emotional or environmental factors. Stress as a force is constantly affecting humans, and it presents in varied forms from life threatening situations to the presence of challenges in our life that we interact with every day (Gould, 2011).Stress can also be beneficial when in situations that it actually acts as a motivator hence helping one to build confidence in one’s ability to accomplish their goals and even mild stress prepares one to deal with greater stress in their life (In Hinchliffe, and In Wong, 2012). The biological history determines one's physical reaction to stress. In anxious or stressful situations, our body releases the hormones adrenaline and cortisol (Great Britain and Great Britain, 2009).
A surge in the concentration of adrenaline results in increased heartbeat, increased breathing and all these organize the body to act in response to a threatening situation and stressful situations elicit the same reaction and this eventually is bad for one’s physical and mental health. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is usually present in our circulation most of the time, but its concentration increases rapidly whenever a person is undergoing stressful situations. In the short term, it helps us deal with stress by providing a burst of energy and heightened memory but in the long term it has adverse effects if its concentration is constantly high in the blood. Some of these effects include an imbalance in blood sugar, high blood pressure, increase in abdominal fat, lowered immunity and disturbed memory (Gould, 2011).All these show that the negative effects of stress on the body are adverse, and hence a practical stress management program is paramount for one to enjoy a productive life.
Causes of stress in a student’s life are varied. The key stressors being the pressure to excel academically. It is a big source of stress in my life for now. Online classes are flexible but present unique challenges of one being extremely discipline so as to be able to take all the classes at the stipulated times. Sometimes when I feel tired it becomes a big strain to take classes. The course is also quite demanding requiring understanding of the human anatomy, physiology, and behaviors. These are science-based concepts, and I am naturally an art oriented person hence I meet some serious challenges with comprehending some concepts, and this leads to stress build up. Meeting the deadlines for submission of the continuous assessment tests can is also challenging. Some assignments have a short delivery notice, and yet they are quite demanding.This makes me to sit for long hours completing the assignments and this is not only physically straining due to the long hours spent in a sitting position but also there is the effect of working with a computer for long hours that often leaves me nursing a headache. My greatest fear that results in stress is the fear to fail some units or even the whole course. I have at all times been an average student and chose my course due to the passion for the field but have been quick to realize that the course is quite demanding. It makes me anxious every time that we have exams making this a major source of stress in my life as a student.
The other major stressor in my life arises from financial constraints. My family is a middle-class family. My father was also retired from work due to restructuring of the company internal costs and he put his retirement benefits in a car hire business that is yet to pick up well as this is a business that greatly relies on referrals to capture and maintain a client base. It is also been quite challenging to compete with other well-established firms. My family consists of three siblings and all of were born one year apart and hence we are all in college. Its has placed a colossal financial load on our parents, and hence I get stressed due to uncertainty of the possibility of discontinuing my education due to lack of fees. The financial constraint also has made me to constantly work on a tight budget and constantly trying to minimize costs is quite stressing as I have to forgo many luxuries that other student from more affluent backgrounds in my college do enjoy.I took up a job to help raise my fees and this helps a lot but the job is quite demanding and involves a lot of travelling and being present at the working sites prompty and this is at times strainous given the traffic jams that are on the roads.
The financial constraint that arises due to my family background has led to me experiencing stresses that arise from my social life. Besides studying, I also create time to do some part time jobs. I do proofreading of other student’s assignments before delivery to look out for grammar errors at a fee. All these help me raise some extra cash, but they take up my extra time leaving me with little time to go out or engage in other social activities with my friends. I have developed a feeling that the cares of the day to day life have clouded my life denying me a chance to enjoy my youth. I also keep off company and social events that require the students to spend substantial amounts of money and this leaves me feeling left out which results in more stress. There are also a lot of goods that depict the latest trends in clothing, phones, computers amongst other accessories that I do wish to have but cannot afford yet most of my colleagues possess them and this becomes a great source of stress.
My relationships have also been a great source of stress. I have found intensely loving wrong kind of partner in the past, and I have always ended up with a broken heart and suffered many disappointments. Either the object of my admiration is already taken and hence is not interested in my advances or is not ready for a relationship. Some also have in the past toyed with my heart and broke off the relationship just to move on and hit off with some of my friends, and this leaves me terribly heart broken. Currently I’m engaged and this brings a semblance of normalcy in my love life.Howevor just like other relationships there are stresses that come with two people who are different trying to be in each other’s life. Whenever we argue with my partner I feel very stressed especially when in my view I’m the wronged party.
Having recognized these as the major stressors, I have taken the following measures to reduce stress in my life. First is the recognizing that most causes of stress will not go away. The academic load will not get any lighter, the financial constraint cannot be solved immediately and hence the only way to handle with the stress is to take charge my emotions, thoughts and daily schedules so as to make them manageable. The key to managing stress is by first identifying the sources of stress in one’s life (Stanley and Manthorpe, 2002).This is typically the most intricate part as the real sources of stress are usually not obvious in our life. It is easy for one to overlook one’s stress-inducing thoughts, behaviors and feelings and hence completely miss out on the possibility of resolving the stress in one’s life (Wise et al., 2007).
One needs to accept responsibility for the role they play in creating and maintaining the stress in their lives (Gould, 2011). In my case, I have always considered stress as an integral part of my college and home life. I also tend to blame other people and situations out of my control as the sources of my stress and these are not a healthy way to deal with the problem.The starting point is to keep a stress journal. This is by identifying the things that make me stressed in my day to day interaction; how I react to this stress both emotionally and physically. I also need to track how I reacted to the situation and what activities make me feel worse and better when I am undergoing a stressful situation. Also, it’s important to identify the unhealthy ways of coping with stress so as to avoid them. Some of these include smoking,overdrinking,staying too long on television or computer, withdrawing from friends and family, relying on relaxation pills, avoiding to deal with the stressing situation or taking out the stress on other people .
In a workable stress management strategy, one needs to avoid unnecessary stress(Stanley and Manthorpe, 2002).This is achieved by learning to say “no” I had to establish my limits and stick to them so that I do not end up accepting more work or harder challenges than I am capable of handling. Also, I have to avoid people that make me stresses out. This includes friends that have the tendency to make negative comments intended at hurting my feelings. I also avoid setups that tend to induce anxiety in me like being in the company of people that have broken my heart so as to avoid bad memories that would trigger anxiety and eventually be stressful. Also, it’s important to avoid topics that upset me such as the harsh economic times in the country.
Some stressful situations cannot be avoided and hence one needs to alter the situation. This is done to try and change the situation so that the situation does not present itself in the future. Often it involves changing one’s way of communication and operation in one’s daily life (Gould, 2011).This I will do this by being more expressive of my feelings and not bottling them up, talking about what bothers me in a respectable and open way to the people concerned. I will also be more willing to compromise when faced with conflicting ideas as one must realize that it is not always possible to get things to go our way. I also plan to be a better manager of my time so that I have enough time to study and avoid stress of deadlines for submission of assignments and also prepare better for the exams and avoid exam anxiety and also manage to create more time to carry out the part time jobs hence make more money to ease the financial burden. I also plan to be more assertive and other than sit back and hope that situations will resolve themselves, I will anticipate and prevent the problems from occurring where possible or immediately deal with them when they do actually occur.
A third strategy that I will apply is to adapt the stressor. This is achieved by adapting to the stressful situations and managing to regain one’s sense of control over the situation by changing one’s attitude towards the situation and also changing the expectations. This mainly applies to stressors that emanate from factors beyond our control (Stanley and Manthorpe, 2002). This strategy will greatly help me in handling the stress emanating from the fact that I have financial challenges. By focusing on it as an opportunity to minimize costs that will go ahead to help me save money when I get a job. Also doing part time jobs to raise extra income teaches me self-reliance at an early age. Also, I will always try to focus on the bigger picture of successfully completing my college education and hence having an opportunity to better my life and that of my family. I also always strive to focus on the positive. Whenever the stress seems to get me down I will always take a moment to reflect on all the things that are worth appreciating in my life. These include my positive qualities such as my good looks, oratory skills, and good interpersonal skills. It will always enable me to see my self-worth despite the current stressors.
Also there is a great need to accept things that one cannot change and learn to move on beyond a disappointment by learning to forgive and bringing a closure to bad experiences (Wise et al, 2007).This I will do by talking to a friend or counselor about things that are stressing me, seeking forgiveness from those that I have wronged and forgiving those that have wronged me.In so doing, I shall reestablish internal peace within myself and hence avoid being stressed. Finally, I must set aside time to relax by taking a walk or listening to cool music or take a long bubble bath one thing that always manages to get me relaxed. I will always strive to connect with positive friends and maintain my sense of humor.I will also watch my diet ensure that I cut out on caffeine and sugar as research has shown that they worsen anxiety. I will work out more to keep fit and also help me relax and finally get enough sleep as feeling tired increases one’s stress levels.
Gould, T. H. P. (2011). Creating the academic commons: Guidelines for learning, teaching, and research. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press.
Great Britain., & Great Britain. (2009). Students and universities: Eleventh report of session 2008-09. London: Stationery Office.
In Hinchliffe, L. J., & In Wong, M. A. (2012). Environments for student growth and development: Libraries and student affairs in collaboration.
Stanley, N., & Manthorpe, J. (2002). Students' mental health needs. London: Jessica Kingsley Pub.
Wise, C. C., Hauser, S., & Vault (Firm). (2007). The college buzz book. New York: Vault.