Stress is Stressful

By: Shayna Hain  |  October 24, 2019

Science and Technology

By: Shayna Hain, Staff Writer

Stress is something everyone experiences. This emotion can be caused by various situations, ranging from small disturbances like worrying about what you’ll have for dinner, to complexities such as wondering who you might marry or grieving the death of a loved one. There is no way to rate what may be considered more stress-inducing than something else, since it all depends on how a person perceives the situation. Something that may be debilitating to one person might be a mere nuisance to another. Stress, however, can be grouped into two categories: long-term and short-term. Short-term stress tends to motivate us and give us the extra push we need to take an exam or make a tough decision. It also prepares us for “fight or flight” mode, which can be vital when we’re in danger — our pulse and breathing quickens, our muscles tense, and our brains can process and think faster than usual. All of these are critical functions for survival. 

On the other hand, long-term stress can be extremely harmful. This may mean that the source of stress is ongoing, or that the stress continues long after the source is no longer there. When someone is under constant stress, they often feel like certain aspects of their life are out of control, which triggers the stress response over and over. This causes an increased alertness in the body, but since the stress never fully goes away, it can leave people emotionally and physically exhausted. Over time, it can suppress proper immune, cardiovascular, and digestive functioning. It can also lead to severe health problems, such as insomnia, heart disease, high blood pressure, and depression and anxiety. 

As college students, we are all used to feeling stressed, whether about school, social situations, or circumstances at home. It is vital to take care of ourselves and to have effective ways of dealing with stress so that we can live healthy, happy lives. Thankfully, there are ways to manage stress and prevent stressful situations from getting the better of us. Exercising, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep are some first key steps. It is also important to stay connected with friends, family, and people who can provide you with emotional support. 

Many people, when they experience stress, tend to isolate themselves.  However, this will only exacerbate the situation. Talking about stressful situations will not only help you find a solution, but will make you feel better knowing you’re not alone. It’s important to set goals and priorities for yourself rather than stay stagnant and expect that things will get better with time. While this may work sometimes, and it often does not, we must be flexible and dynamic instead and come up with our own solutions. Hopefully, if we implement these strategies and spread more awareness on the topic of stress, we will all be able to live our best lives.