Proactive Stress Management
Additional resources are available from the UT Dallas Counseling Center:
Mind and body are integrated as can be seen with the issue of stress. It is no secret that psychological stress and physical illness are related. Stress triggers physiological and chemical (hormones) changes in the body. Physical illness is commonly accompanied with increased stress. Thus, as we learn to manage stress we must address physical as well as psychological factors. As you consider the following tips, keep in mind that maintaining balance between your intellectual, social and personal development is the key to a well adjusted college experience.
- Add a physical workout to your schedule at least every other day. One does not need to be gifted athletically to accomplish this. You can jog, power walk, use stepping, rowing or biking machines, swim or any other form of exercise. Do not see this as "recreational time" that can be blown off. Physical activity is one way to ensure that life's minor stresses do not build.
- Manage your time. Develop a schedule that provides for academic, social and physical time. Follow the schedule! Seek the help of an advisor in developing better time management skills.
- Set both long term (this semester or this year) and short term (this day or this week) goals. Write them down. Make them part of your time management schedule.
- Each day find twenty minutes of "alone time" to relax. Take a walk, write in a journal or meditate.
- Don't sweat the small stuff ... always ask yourself if the issue at hand is worth getting upset about. If it isn't affecting your goal achievement, it may not be worth fretting over.
- Humor and positive thinking are important tools in stress management.
- Most importantly, communicate! Talking to a person who you trust be they a friend, roommate, family member, professor, significant other or co-worker about issues of concern is helpful. We all need someone to listen.