Suzie is having a hard time sleeping. Her brain keeps running through what she has to do the next day, making her worry if she’s gotten all of her homework done. Suzie drags herself to class and makes herself pay attention, but she zones out by accident. After Chapel, she’s in the library studying and catching up on homework. She doesn’t bother to grab something to eat before heading to the library. Her friends manage to get her to eat dinner, but she doesn’t stay long. She’s back at the library or at her dorm room, working away with help from the midnight oil. Soon, Suzie starts to get headaches that won’t go away and her muscles start to hurt. She says it’s nothing, but her friends quickly become concerned for her health. Suzie is overstressing herself and making herself sick in the process.
Stress is a natural part of life, but too much stress can become a bad thing. Too much stress can lead to headaches, muscle pain and tension, chest pain, fatigue, sleep problems, anxiety, lack of motivation or focus and depression. All things college students do not need while worrying about classes and relationships, but even these things cause us to stress.
In a study, intrapersonal sources of stress, like vacations/breaks, new responsibilities and changes in social activities, were reported as some of the most frequent sources of stress in college students during the spring semester. Having an increase in workload, getting a lower grade or switching majors all can cause stress on a student as well.
So being too stressed about classes, making time for that new boyfriend or girlfriend, maintaining your social life and spiritual life can all take a toll on your body, causing you to overstress. Overstressing can lead to many health problems like Insomnia and overeating or not eating enough. You also could have faster breathing, which causes your heart to work more. Too much stress causes the liver to create extra blood sugar that may go unused and could lead to the development of type 2 diabetes.
Many other health risks arise with overstressing. Luckily, there are ways to destress yourself and keep your stress levels at healthy levels. Scientifically, going for a 10 minute walk, eating a snack that will fill you up, like a handful of nuts or a hard boiled egg, getting away from your computer screen, listening to or making up your own music, or even chewing a piece of gum can help you destress and refocus.
Figuring out how to handle your stress is important, and keeping it from going to high can be beneficial for your health. Yes, stress is inevitable, but being able to control it and know when to step away to relax and refocus will help you in the long run.