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Handling Stress

Handling Stress # This essay is about handling the stress of University studies. We will be looking into many ideas and different peoples views on how to handle stress. I will also be giving my own opinions on how I think stress can be controlled or relieved. The first thing we must do is ask ourselves one very important question, what is stress? WHAT IS STRESS? According to an Australian born physician, Hans Selye (1979), stress is the nonspecific response of the body to any demand made upon it. The body responds in many ways.

One is to the loss of blood and the other is to the lack of sleep. Both of these are nonspecific responses, however all demands made on the body evoke generalised, nonspecific responses. For example, they all unable you to concentrate as would normally be expected, they activate ones sympathetic nervous system, and they also increase the amount of the hormone epinephrine that is being released into your body. When people say theyve been under going alot of stress they are usually referring to a couple of unpleasant experiences. Now that we have an idea on what stress is the next question we should ask ourselves is what is or can cause stress.

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CAUSES OF STRESS There are many different things that cause stress. One may be if you have a big term paper due and you want to do your best to impress your seminar leader. Another may be peer or family related. All in all it is things, events, situations, and people that cause stress. It is how we perceive them that will determine whether or not stress will be a result from the encounter. Not only negative situations are the cause of stress.

Joy and happiness can also cause stress even though they are positive. In a sense, it is we then who choose our own stressors. Selye noted that with the absence of stress there is death. Current researchers are also discovering that too little stress may be a major cause of depression or boredom. It is therefore up to us to choose the best Handling Stress # stressors and the optimal level of stress. Since we have now begun to understand the definition of stress as well as the causes we now ask ourselves what can I do to control my stress? CONTROLLING STRESS There have been many studies done on the managements of stress.

One group of researchers found out that many university students tended to gain weight their first year away from home. These students stated they overate in response to the many life-style changes and varying stresses of the university environment (Journal of College Student Personnel). This group of students were placed in stress management sessions. These sessions included overall stress assessment, assertiveness training, time management, exploration of stressful thoughts or belief systems, and life-style and stress reducers. The main focus of these sessions were: a) how to manage stress by using things other than food and b) how to apply stress management principles to the amount of food you take in.

The majority of these students found better ways to manage or control their stress by using more healthful outlets, such as walking or taking up a sport. During the last twenty years disease prevention and health promotion have been found to be related to the development of healthy life-style behaviour and the management of stress. The course entitled Psychology and the Management of Stress: Theory and Application (Personnel and Guidance Journal), has been set up to: a) acquaint students with theory and research related to stress management techniques b) to provide guidance and information about diet, physical exercise, and other matters of a healthy life-style and c) to provide an opportunity for students to learn and practice how to apply stress management to their present lives. Each Handling Stress # course is developed around four dimensions. Two of these are, the influences of diet, physical exercise, and alcohol, drug, and cigarette use on stress and physical health, and principles related to effective time management. These courses have been proven to be highly effective. The stages in which the students are taught are as follows: a) the students are asked to identify the stressors b) they are asked how they experience and cope with them c) they are asked how they would like to manage them d) they are then told more effective ways to manage their stressors e) they are asked whether it was effective or not f) how they plan to continue to maintain their new behaviour and g) habits they want to change.

Most studies indicate that social support holds an impact on stress. For example, in a 30-year longitudinal study of undergraduate college students, Valliant (1974) found a significant and positive correlation between supportive family environments and adult psychological adjustment in later life (Journal of College Student Personnel). Social support is a good way to help the handling of stress for it is the number of others that one can turn to. That available support system is a lean to for people as they can get others to help in their management of stress. Another study was done where eleven junior college students who received success-stress management training exhibited less stress and higher grade point averages than an equal number who received success group training (Journal of College Student Personnel).

As well multicomponent strategies employing cognitive restructuring and relaxation have been found to be highly effective in treating the worry and emotionally stressed with test anxiety. A number of studies have shown that low achievers seem to experience more anxiety than high achievers and that they appear to lack good healthy study skills and habits. Borkovec, Grayson, and Cooper (1978) found that 1/5 of a group of college students reported feeling tense during at least 50% Handling Stress # of each day. Speilbergers (1966) estimate that 15% of college students are test anxious supports the contention that some of this daily tension may result from test anxiety (Journal of College Student Personnel). All in all the success-stress management program was found to be more effective in reducing …


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