Student Counseling Center
Student Services Building 4.600
Phone (24 Hour): 972-883-2575

Office Hours
Monday 8:30 am - 6 pm
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 8:30am - 7:30pm
Friday 8:30 am - 5 pm

Mailing Address
UT Dallas Counseling Center
800 W. Campbell Rd., SSB45
Richardson, TX 75080

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Self-Help: Stress Management

What is Stress? Stress is pressure from external circumstances that can cause internal tensions. This corresponds to our addiction to speed and our obsession with activity.

Filling our lives with so much to do and so little time, we live and work in a state of chronic catch-up, never stopping to take our "psychological temperature" along the way.

Not surprisingly, it has been found that much illness is related to unrelieved stress.

If you are experiencing stress symptoms, you need to reduce the stress in your life and/or improve your ability to manage it.

Here are several ways to help you reduce your stress level.

Deal With the Cause
If tension comes from your relationship with a person, talk out your differences. If tension comes from an unfinished task, restructure your priorities so you can get the responsibility out of the way.

Learn To Pace Yourself
It's not humanly possible to be in high gear all the time. When you have a number of must-do tasks, deal with them one at a time, in order of their urgency, while setting aside all the rest for the time being. Take time out to reward yourself with at least a rest once you've reached a goal.

Escape For Awhile
Sometimes, when things go wrong, it helps to escape from the problem for awhile: to lose yourself in a movie, a book, a game or a brief trip from a change of scene.

Realize Your Limits and Plan around them
Don't take on more than you can handle. Less stress is caused, in the long run, by turning away tasks than by leaving work unfinished.

Work Off Your Anger
If you feel like lashing out at someone who has provoked you, try holding off that impulse for awhile. Pitch your pent up energy into some physical activity you like, such as walking or more do-it yourself projects.

Give In Occasionally
If you get into frequent quarrels with people, feel obstinate and defiant, ask yourself "Is this really worth fighting for?" If not, give in. Competition and criticism are contagious, but so is cooperation.

Eat Sensibly and Get Plenty of Rest
When your body is run down from lack of food or sleep a lot of things look worse than they really are and your ability to cope with them is also reduced.

Don't Try To Be Perfect
Give the best of your effort and ability but don't beat up on yourself if you can't achieve the impossible. Also, give yourself a pat on the back for the things you do well.

Plan For Change
Coping with the unexpected is a great source of stress; however, you have control over many elements of your life. Whenever possible, plan to avoid too many big changes coming at the same time, and try to accept and prepare for the inevitable changes.

Have Fun
Recreation is essential for good physical and mental health. Plan to do something you enjoy as part of a set routine.

Develop A Positive and Outgoing Disposition
If you look on the bright side of things and beyond yourself, you won't concentrate on failure. Positive emotions help fight stress while negative ones produce or intensify stress. Even smiling relieves stress.

Talk Out Your Troubles
Talk your problems over with a level-headed person you can trust. It can release pressure, make you feel better, help you see worries more objectively and figure out ways to handle the problem.

Learning stress management takes patience and commitment, but it's benefits are priceless — personally and professionally. By learning to take care of yourself while taking care of business, your work becomes more creative, effective and fulfilling.

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