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Resources for Stress: Home

This guide provides information and resources on stress, especially stress related to education and young adults.

                                                                                                                Stress Management Concept Banner. Royalty Free Cliparts, Vectors, And Stock  Illustration. Image 95964987.

The following guide is for informational purposes only and not intended to diagnose or give medical advice.

What is Stress?

Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous.

Stress is your body's reaction to a challenge or demand. In short bursts, stress can be positive, such as when it helps you avoid danger or meet a deadline. But when stress lasts for a long time, it may harm your health.

(Medline Plus, https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003211.htm)

Stress or Anxiety?

Generally, stress is a response to an external cause, such as a tight deadline at work or having an argument with a friend, and subsides once the situation has been resolved.

Anxiety is a person’s specific reaction to stress; its origin is internal. Anxiety is typically characterized by a persistent feeling of apprehension or dread in situations that are not actually threatening. Unlike stress, anxiety persists even after a concern has passed.

(Stress vs Anxiety, https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/external/2018/06/stress-vs-anxiety/)

Types of Stress

Acute stress

This is short-term stress that goes away quickly. You feel it when you slam on the brakes, have a fight with your partner, or ski down a steep slope. It helps you manage dangerous situations. It also occurs when you do something new or exciting. All people have acute stress at one time or another.

Chronic stress

This is stress that lasts for a longer period of time. You may have chronic stress if you have money problems, an unhappy marriage, or trouble at work. Any type of stress that goes on for weeks or months is chronic stress. You can become so used to chronic stress that you don't realize it is a problem. If you don't find ways to manage stress, it may lead to health problems.

(Medline Plus, https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003211.htm)

Symptoms of Stress

All people are different, so your symptoms may vary, but this is a list of possible symptoms of stress:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Skin problems
  • Menstrual problems
  • Headaches
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Jaw pain
  • Changes in appetite
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Increased use of tobacco, alcohol, or drugs
  • Worsening of chronic health or mental health problems

(MedLine Plus, https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003211.htm; NAMI, https://www.nami.org/Your-Journey/Individuals-with-Mental-Illness/Taking-Care-of-Your-Body/Managing-Stress; CDC, https://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/stress-coping/cope-with-stress/index.html)

McFarlin Databases about Health

For a comprehensive list of McFarlin databases consult our A-Z Database List. Databases may require you sign into the library system before viewing; you will be automatically prompted if a login is necessary.

Ways to Reduce Stress

Accept your needs

Recognize what your triggers are. What situations make you feel physically and mentally agitated? Once you know this, you can avoid them when it's reasonable to, and to cope when you can't.

Manage your time

Prioritizing your activities can help you use your time well. Making a day-to-day schedule helps ensure you don't feel overwhelmed by everyday tasks and deadlines.

Practice relaxation

Deep breathing, meditation and progressive muscle relaxation are good ways to calm yourself. Taking a break to refocus can have benefits beyond the immediate moment.

Exercise daily

Schedule time to walk outside, bike or join a dance class. Whatever you do, make sure it's fun. Daily exercise naturally produces stress-relieving hormones in your body and improves your overall physical health.

Set aside time for yourself

Schedule something that makes you feel good. It might be reading a book, go to the movies, get a massage or take your dog for a walk.

Eat well

Eating unprocessed foods, like whole grains, vegetables, and fresh fruit is the foundation for a healthy body and mind. Eating well can also help stabilize your mood.

Get enough sleep

Symptoms of some mental health conditions, like mania in bipolar disorder, can be triggered by getting too little sleep.

Avoid alcohol and drugs

They don't actually reduce stress: in fact, they often worsen it. If you're struggling with substance abuse, educate yourself and get help.

Talk to someone

Whether to friends, family, a counselor or a support group, airing out and talking can help.

(NAMI, https://www.nami.org/Your-Journey/Individuals-with-Mental-Illness/Taking-Care-of-Your-Body/Managing-Stress)

Getting Help

You may want to get help for stress if it lasts for a long period of time or begins to interfere with your ability to function, such as eat, study, and have fun. TU has counselors who would love to help you reduce stress.

This site provides information about and contact information for TU's Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).

If you are having a mental health crisis, the following sites provide help:

 

Call or text 988 - Oklahoma's statewide mental health lifeline