Managing Stress

Not only is it normal to experience stress, it is essential to our daily functioning. Stress is not an event, but rather your body’s response to a demand placed upon it. How you respond to stress will determine how you manage the many challenges in life.

Stress can be positive or negative. Positive stress, for example, created by a deadline to finish a paper, can motivate you to finish an assignment on time. Negative stress feels out-of-control and overwhelming. Too much negative stress can be harmful to your health and well-being; too little stress can lead to apathy and fatigue.

Depending on how stress affects you, you may need to learn new skills for balancing your personal, school, and work lives.

Beat stress with these useful skills:

  • Use positive self-talk to help calm down (“I can do this”, “This is only temporary”, etc.).
  • If you’re feeling low, talk to someone by reaching out to friends, family, or a counselor.
  • Get enough sleep and take naps, if needed.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet and exercise (pack healthy snacks, walk longer routes on campus).
  • Make time for yourself to read a magazine, eat lunch with a friend, or do something enjoyable.
  • Learn to let go of what you cannot control (people, events, traffic, etc...).
  • Use humor to deal with tough situations; laughter releases endorphins, which are the body’s natural, “feel-good” chemicals.
  • Take deep, cleansing breaths when you are feeling stressed out.
  • Prioritize by making a list of things to do and follow through.
  • Set limits and boundaries for yourself. Say “no” when you cannot sensibly take on extra work; people will understand, and if not, remember that you cannot control how they react!
  • Be realistic about expectations and goals.
  • Reward yourself after a long night of studying or after a test.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff!

If you have tried managing the challenges and demands of your life, but need extra help, reach out and ask for it. Sometimes talking about problems with a neutral person can help bring clarity, find direction, and explore solutions.

For further information or help, visit the suggested websites and read through the material or visit the Health Center, Bldg. 67B and request personal counseling to speak with a mental health therapist.

Stress Affect: www.stressaffect.com/

Stress Focus: www.stressfocus.com/

Ulifeline: www.ulifeline.org/

Half Of Us: www.halfofus.com/

Mt. San Antonio College

1100 N. Grand Ave., Walnut, CA 91789
Phone: 909.274.7500 • TTY: 909.594.3447
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