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Whats some advice on how to deal with stress?

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John’s Answer

LIVING AWAY FROM HOME – For many students, college is the first time they have lived away from home or been away from their family for any significant period of time. Besides that, it’s a very unfamiliar environment. Everything is different – the food, the people and the living accommodations. Even though most students eventually get used to these new things without a problem, the first few weeks of college can create a stressful environment. This is true even if you are truly excited about the changes. Remember that even positive changes can induce stress.There is also a change in the support environment. When there is a big test, bad day or confusing situation, family members and old friends are not readily available for support and if they are, it’s through a telephone or computer rather than in person. This can be tough to adjust to, especially during those first few months.

ACADEMIC DEMANDS – This may be the most common long-term cause of stress for college students. After all, that’s why students go to college – to learn. When you don’t get the results you think you should get, or you feel pressured to get certain academic results, this can cause a lot of stress. For some students, college is the first time they are academically challenged. If high school was a breeze for you, college may be the first time you get a low grade on a test. Consequently, test anxiety may be experienced for the first time or with increased intensity. Test anxiety is anxiety that usually comes before or during the taking of tests. The symptoms can be physical and mental and usually inhibit your ability to perform as well as you otherwise could.

Stress produces a physiological reaction in your body. Hormones are released, which results in physical manifestations of stress. These can include slowed digestion, shaking, tunnel vision, accelerated breathing and heart rate, dilation of pupils and flushed skin. This process is often referred to as the “fight or flight” response. That is just what it sounds like: Our bodies are poised to either run away from the stressor or stick around and fight against it.

1.) STUDY AS MUCH AS YOU CAN – One of the causes of test anxiety is the fear that you didn’t study enough. By studying as much as you can, you can reduce this fear.
2.) MIMIC TEST TAKING CONDITIONS – It might be taking practice tests, studying in the same classroom or building where you will be taking the test or doing practice problems under timed conditions. These steps can help familiarize you to otherwise unfamiliar test taking conditions.
3.) LEARN TO STUDY MORE EFFECTIVELY – Maybe it’s getting a tutor to help explain concepts, someone to double check your work or using something as simple as flashcards to study, but finding someone to help you study more effectively can make all the difference.
4.) FIND WAYS TO CALM DOWN – What cools you down? Squeezing a stress ball? Taking deep breaths? Whatever relaxation technique you choose can help reduce the symptoms of text anxiety. This can include things like slowly counting to ten, meditation, thinking positive thoughts.
5.) WATCH YOUR DIET – Eat well and eat properly. For example, too much caffeine can exacerbate the physical symptoms of test anxiety.
6.) GET ENOUGH SLEEP – Research is clear that not getting enough sleep can impair one’s memory and reasoning abilities. The more clear-headed you are, the less anxious you will feel.
7.) EXERCISE REGULARLY – Exercise can release tension, and the less tension you feel as you go into the test, the better off you might be.
8.) MAKE SURE YOU HAVE PLENTY OF TIME – You’re worried enough about the test. No need to add more worry about being late and having less time to take the test as a result of unexpected traffic or a test location change.

Remember that not all stress is bad for you. Sometimes it’s a very good thing. Stress can push you to succeed in areas that you believed were off-limits to you. It can propel you to do things that turn out to be great adventures. It can spur you to study harder, work longer hours, focus more on the things that matter, and take your good health into your own hands. Stress can also have a very clear-cut purpose if you are ever in a dangerous situation. The “fight or flight” response is a very important biological urge that is designed to lead us out of harm’s way. For instance, the urge to run when someone begins chasing you, or the instinctual need to fight back when you are confronted with a dangerous situation are both a result of this stress response. In that way, stress is a good thing, because it keeps you safe. Healthy stress might make you feel anxious or worried for a time. Imagine the stress you feel when taking that big test, the one that your final grade is riding on. The stress might be tough, but it spurs you to study more, and that can drive you to a higher grade. Or imagine the worry you feel when you are struggling with a relationship issue. The worry doesn’t feel good, but it leads you to talk things through more often, and that can lead to a better place in the relationship than what you experienced before the stress took hold. So before you discount stress as being a terrible thing, think of times when it spurred you on to greater things. It might help you put stress in perspective the next time you feel overwhelmed by it.

Hope this was Helpful Daniela

Thank you for your response!! Daniela T.

Your Welcome Daniela. When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. John Frick

Thank You Dexter for your Contributions to the Future. The power of positive thinking is the ability to generate a feeling of certainty in yourself when nothing in the environment supports you. John Frick

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Kim’s Answer


This sort of depends on the effect the stress is having on you. I found I definitely had to watch what I ate! Fatty foods were out!

Sleep and exercise are also important. I found that if there was a particular person or situation that was making my life difficult, there was no substitute for a punching bag. A lot of people like to run.

If school is creating the stress, it helps if you can stay ahead of the game. That is, doing readings ahead of class, reviewing after lecture, and not waiting until test time to learn what you should already know! Take advantage of any study assistance available through the school. Form study groups.

If finances are creating the stress, review your finances and create a budget. Find ways to cut expenses. Get help if you need it.

It is much easier to reduce the causes of stress than to try to deal with the symptoms!

Good question!


Thank you!! Daniela T.

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Sarah’s Answer

One way that I really lessen my stress is by outlining my work for the upcoming week during the weekend and deciding when I will work on each assignment/task. Then, I have a daily "to do" list where I simply reference my weekly outline and organize the tasks in a way that I feel I could accomplish them (giving myself breaks to eat/watch a show).

Outside of scheduling your work to lessen any stress that you are behind/forgetting about something, exercise/nature is a great way to relax. Personally, I enjoy yoga and dancing. However, there are many ways to lessen your stress, so try to find hobbies that allow you to do so (baking/listening to music/netflix/taking a walk/talking to friends).

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Jad’s Answer

I find my most relaxing times are when I take walks in nature around my neighborhood. Exercise, or at the least taking a walk, is a great way to relieve stress.

Furthermore, making sure that you are getting enough sleep and eating right is very important in being proactive in stress management.

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James’s Answer

I will take a different approach than other responses. What I will say is that not all stress is bad. Stress can be an indicator that you care about the outcome of something important to you. Before you look at ways to deal with stress, first evaluate whether or not the stress stems from something good.

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Richard’s Answer

Time management is key. Between lecture, lab and studying, the first 2 years will be grueling. Make sure to leave time for yourself to exercise, eat right and even some socializing.
There will be times during 3rd and 4th year when you will be frustrated by your continued lack of skills and knowledge but just remember that there will be plenty of time to master your specialty during residency.

thank you!! Daniela T.

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Sam’s Answer

Exercising helps. Getting a good amount of sleep every night. Mindfulness - start day with a few minutes of meditation.

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Estelle’s Answer

Daniela, this is all great advice! I recommend setting priorities, making short and long term goals, and exercising. This way, you may mark your progress and feel encouraged in your progress . Exercise is a fantastic stress reducer.

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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Daniela! Great question! I agree with previous answers! Life, especially now, can definitely be stressful but there are ways to release stress because as much as having a little bit can be good for us in staying on top of our work, too much of it can be bad. I usually journal, meditate, listen to music, do yoga or read. I like to get my thoughts on paper because it helps me control my emotions, especially in stressful times and yoga and meditation help you feel relaxed and build stamina as well, there are many benefits of both! I also love to read because I get so caught up in a book that I forget any stress or problems that I have at the moment and sometimes really we just need to step away for a minute. Being organized helps as well, that's why I always carry a planner with me to write down my assignments and things I have to do; by being organized you are in control and that can help take some extra stress off your plate. As a last note, if you are ever feeling too stressed it is always helpful to talk with someone, possibly a school counselor or a health professional or even your family. You are not alone and even though it may seem like that with extra stress there are always ways to get help to manage it!

Best of luck!