The issue of stress and stress-related illnesses has become a thing of concern for school authorities. Stress is increasingly affecting students’ academic performance and health. According to reports, 20% of college students have experienced stress on more than six occasions in the past year, and 45% claim they have gone through more than the average amount of stress.
Stress is real, and its effects on college students are devastating. Over the last decade, studies have shown that stress is a significant precursor to various mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, and that over 47% of young adults going through stress have had suicidal thoughts.
This article will serve as a guide to help you identify various types of stress, their causes, and how to overcome them as a student.
Types of Stress
Before we start identifying various types of stress, let us take some time to understand better what stress is, and why so many college students have stress-related issues.
According to experts, stress is a result of changes that happen in the body due to emotional or challenging situations that we encounter in our daily lives. It is a situation that is always accompanied by some form of biochemical, physiological, and behavioral changes in the body.
When properly managed, stress can help you get stuff done effectively. It only becomes harmful and makes you susceptible to various unwanted health conditions when you are constantly under pressure.
Let us take a good look at the various types of stress.
Acute stress is a type of stress that occurs prior to some demanding task or challenging situation. It happens suddenly and subsides soon after the stressful situation is eliminated.
In small doses, acute stress can help us handle these situations effectively, and it seldom leaves a lasting effect on affected individuals. It is common among college students and may arise due to something repetitive and familiar, such as trying to meet a deadline for submission of a particular assignment.
Episodic stress occurs just like acute stress, but in this case, it happens more frequently. People who suffer from episodic stress are frequently showing signs of anxiousness and worry.
Health issues associated with episodic stress are persistent headaches and migraines, hypertension, and heart disease. Students who are prone to episodic stress are those who typically procrastinate when it comes to their college assignments.
Chronic stress is common in people having long term issues that do not have an immediate solution. It tends to weigh the affected individuals down for as long as that problem persists.
According to experts, chronic stress is more dangerous than other forms of stress because it can lead to various chronic health issues such as stroke, depression, heart attack, etc.
How Can You Manage Stress?
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is vital for healthy living, and not getting enough of it can be detrimental to your body. Try going to bed early to meet daily sleep requirements for adults—seven hours minimum.
Manage Your Time Well
In college, you cannot afford to live without proper time management skills that will enable you to prepare for deadlines on time. Furthermore, it helps you steer clear of situations that might trigger acute or episodic stress.
Managing your time effectively also allows you to have enough study time, and not miss out on social activities necessary for your mental health.
Due to how fast-paced college life can be, it is logical that college students frequently opt for fast food. The downside of these processed foods is that they leave you with low energy levels in the body that may also affect your stress threshold. A proper diet ensures that your body gets the right combination of nutrients.
Try Not to Overburden Yourself
A good number of students engage in extracurricular activities, and some may even have side jobs. However, overburdening yourself with too many activities can make time management challenging. Also, it exposes you more to episodic stress that may lead to various health issues.
College life can be quite stressful for students, and those who fail to utilize their time effectively can easily get exposed to stress-related illnesses, such as depression and heart disease.
However, sticking to healthy routines like eating well, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and effectively managing your tim