Take the Stress Test
Do any of these
apply to you?
1. Always too much work; never able to relax
2. High Pressure periods; deadlines, test come
all at once
3. One or two difficult courses take all my
time; no time left for anything else
4. Efforts often seem for nothing – Don’t get
5. Seems like I have a lot more work than
6. I have to work harder than roommate and
friends to get the same results
7. My job takes up too much time; I can’t
afford to cut back
8. My stress is complicated by commitments I
can’t get out of
If you said yes to many work
…you might consider one of the following:
• Consult with a counselor about time
management and/or priority setting
• Seek out a tutor or other study skills help
• Talk to the career center about work style
1. Tension with family, friends or romantic
2. Incompatibility with roommate’s habits,
3. Change in relationship; love lost/gained
new romantic partner
4. Death of a close friend or family member
5. Parents divorce, separation or conflicts.
Adjustment to parents new partner.
6. Interpersonal conflict; trouble expressing
needs or standing up for rights
7. Reluctant to ask for help
8. Trouble saying no
If you said yes to many people
…you might consider one of the following:
• Talk to a friend, RA or counselor about the
• Go to a program on assertiveness training
• Take an interpersonal
• communication class
1. Worry about what people think?
2. More time spent thinking about what can
go wrong than what can go right
3. More time spent thinking about what DID
go wrong than where you can go from here
4. No time to think, always having to do
5. Motivation problems, difficulty getting
6. Tendency to get too worked up when under
pressure or in a crisis
7. Tendency to get down, dwell on how bad
8. Often feel guilty
If you said yes to many mind
…you are experiencing a lot of internally
• Information or counseling on self talk,
irrational beliefs and reinterpretation might
be a good place to start.
1. Insufficient sleep
2. Frequent colds, sickness
3. Negative effects from caffeine, nicotine,
4. Uncomfortable chair, poor posture,
excessive time hunched over book or
If you said yes to many body
…then try the following:
- Exercise regularly
- Choose healthy foods
- Change your environment (lighting, space,
- Reduce or eliminate caffeine, nicotine and
- Get enough sleep
What can you do
Become Aware of Your
Stressors and Emotional and
- Notice when you are stressed, don’t ignore it
- Find out what stresses you out and what they
might be telling you
- Learn how it affects your body (sweats,
stomach ache, etc)
Recognize what you can change
• Can you change your stressors by avoiding
or eliminating them?
• Can you reduce their intensity (manage them
over time instead of immediately)
• Can you shorten your exposure to stress
(take a break, leave)
• Can you devote the
time necessary to make
Reduce the intensity of your
• Are you expecting to please everyone?
• Are you overreacting and viewing things as
absolutely critical and urgent?
Work at adopting moderate views, see stress as
something you can cope with, not something that
Do not labor on the negative and/or the “what ifs”
Learn to moderate your physical
reactions to stress
Slow, deep breathing will bring your heart
rate and respiration back to normal
Relaxation techniques can reduce muscle
Medications, when prescribed by a physician
can help in the short term.
Build your physical
• Exercise for cardiovascular fitness 3 – 4
times a week
• Eat well-balanced, nutritious meals
• Maintain your ideal weight
• Avoid nicotine, excessive caffeine and other
• Mix leisure with work. Take breaks and get
• Get enough sleep. Be consistent with your
Develop mutually supportive
Pursue realistic goals which are meaningful
to you, rather than goals other have for you
that you do not share.
Expect some frustrations, failures and
Always be kind and gentle with
yourself – be a friend to yourself.
Eliminating Stress From Your
• A poorly organized living space can be a major
source of stress.
• If your environment is well organized and pleasant,
then it can help to reduce stress and increase
• Some people under stress need a calm environment,
others may enjoy the raised levels of arousal
associated with the 'buzz' of a busy space.
To improve air quality:
• Ban smoking
• Open windows
• Use an ioniser
• Have plants in the room.
• Bad lighting can cause eye strain and
increase fatigue, as can light that is too
bright, or light that shines directly into
your eyes. Fluorescent lighting can
also be tiring. What you may not
appreciate is that the quality of light
may also be important.
• Try experimenting with working by a
window or using full spectrum bulbs in
your desk lamp. You will probably find
that this improves the quality of your
A chaotic and cluttered living or work
space adds to stress.
• Don’t be dogmatic, but keep the area
you are working in free of clutter.
• Have calming and happy decorations.
Large amounts of background noise during the
day can cause irritability, tension and
headaches in addition to loss of concentration.
use of quiet rooms when concentration is needed
Try a pleasantly assertive approach. Ask that music
is turned down or that the person use headphones
It is important for people to feel that they have
sufficient personal space at work and at home.
Where no personal space is available, then you can
establish some feeling of ownership by bringing
personal objects such as small plants or
photographs of loved-ones.
Block off a space using furniture, sheet or divider
need some space.
• The essence of meditation is to quiet your
thoughts by focusing completely on just one
• Unlike hypnosis, which is more of a passive
experience, meditation is an active process
which seeks to exclude outside thoughts by
concentrating all mental faculties on the
subject of meditation.
• Keep your body relaxed. It should be in a
position that you can comfortably sustain for
a period of time (20 - 30 minutes is ideal).
• Focus your attention on your breathing.
• Concentrate on breaths in and out. Count your
breaths using the numbers 0 to 9.
• Visualize images of the numbers changing with each
• Alternatively, visualize health and relaxation flowing
into your body when you inhale, and stress or pain
flowing out when you exhale.
Focusing on an object
• Completely focus attention on
examination of an object.
• Look at it in immense detail for the
entire meditation. Examine the
shape, color differences, texture,
temperature and movement of the
• Objects often used are flowers, or
flowing designs. However you can
use other objects equally effectively
(e.g. alarm clocks, desk lamps, or
even coffee mugs!)
Some people like to focus on
sounds. The classic example
is the Sanskrit word 'Om',
Create a mental image of a pleasant and
relaxing place in your mind. Involve all
your senses in the imagery: see the
place, hear the sounds, smell the
aromas, feel the temperature and the
movement of the wind. Enjoy the
location in your mind. 33