Sarah Nasif
Staff Writer

Eliminating harmful stress

When going back to school, students have many different feelings, such as excitement, fear and many more. Throughout the school year, students are going through many feelings towards the new school year, a common one is stress. Stress is the body’s normal reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. It is a common feeling among students. According to a mental health study, 8 in 10 college students have frequently experienced stress in their daily lives in school. Stress is known to have negative effects on the body and many stressed people have reported symptoms such as headaches, stomach upsets, and sleep problems. Despite these serious problems, stress can be quite beneficial at times. People that experience the negative effects of stress usually let stress take over them without acknowledging it or taking any action to reduce it.

Despite being back in school for only a couple of weeks, several students at Benedictine University are already stressed about picking the right classes, graduating on time and managing between school, work, sports, and other extracurricular activities. “The pressure of graduating on time and taking 18 credit hours a semester is already stressing me out,” says Senior Dania Hassan. However, acknowledging stress and understanding what’s causing it can turn stress into a drive to accomplish goals and succeed. In fact, several studies show that being stressed can be a good thing in regards to productivity. Here are some ways to use stress to your advantage:

Finding your stressors and acknowledging the stress you’re feeling helps you channel that stress to drive you to accomplish your goals and reach deadlines. If you are feeling stressed right now, it could be a good sign as it shows that you care about the issue that’s stressing you out and should motivate you to get it done.

By asking yourself “what can I do to feel less anxious/stressed?” you are on the right track of tackling your stress factor and using it for your own good. Being stressed will make you more alert, you will become more aware of the situation which means you will be able to plan ahead and figure out ways to get a successful outcome out of your stressful situation. By being more alert, you are more likely to plan ahead of time and not leave work to last minute. In addition to that, once you have identified your stressors it is easier for you to realize when you’re getting too high strung and take appropriate steps back to center yourself. When you feel like you are coping with stress you feel this sense of motivation that will yield you to successful outcomes.

Thinking about stress as a means to an end can be advantageous to the innate desire for accomplishing things and wishing for something to be fulfilled, and once it is fulfilled our stress is naturally taken away. In order to get work done, a person should experience a certain level of stress/arousal according to the Yerkes-Dodson Law. The Yerkes-Dodson law states that performance increases when stress/arousal increases up to a certain point, until it becomes too overwhelming and will decrease productivity. This is why when a person is feeling stressed because they need to know they need to do something; it can be beneficial because it will increase their potential to do get it done.

Learning to cope with stress is like a springboard of energy that will lead to high productivity. At a certain level of stress, you can be more productive than when completely relaxed. Therefore, make the best of a stressful situation this year, even when it seems like the situation is controlling you, take a step back and breathe and turn it in your favor.