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Stress Management

Although stress typically is thought of as ‘bad’, it is important to understand that stress is only harmful when it is excessive or intrusive. Most stressors are not life or death, but rather small, cumulative and chronic annoyances that add up to become unmanageable. Stress-management techniques can help and PVCC offers a class CPD102AH. If stress is causing deeper and more serious emotional problems, there are counseling faculty available to help you.

Find more information on How to Avoid Stress in College: Tips for Students

Sources of Stress

  • Environmental - noise, pollution, traffic, crowding, and the weather
  • Physiological - illness, injuries, hormonal fluctuations, and inadequate sleep or nutrition
  • Thoughts - the way you think affects how you respond both emotionally and physically to stressors. Negative self-talk, comparing, catastrophizing, and perfectionism all contribute to increased stress
  • Social Stressors - relationship conflicts, financial problems, school and work demands, social events, and experiencing a conflict or loss

Symptoms of Stress

  • Physical – muscular tension, illness, high blood pressure, stomach pains, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, headaches, backaches
  • Emotional – depression, anger, fear/anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, moodiness
  • Cognitive – forgetfulness, unwanted or repetitive thoughts, difficulty concentrating, negative self-concept

Guidelines to Help Manage Stress

  • Identify your stressors, their causes and consequences, and your role in creating these stress reactions
  • Learn and apply time-management skills
  • Learn and apply specific relaxation techniques
  • Gain perspective on problems by discussing them ("We are only as sick as our secrets")