Title: University of Florida Counseling Center leaflets
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00074637/00007
 Material Information
Title: University of Florida Counseling Center leaflets
Series Title: Stress and college students
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: University of Florida Counseling Center
Affiliation: University of Florida -- Division of Student Affairs -- University of Florida Counseling Center
Publisher: Counseling Center, Division of Student Affairs, University of Florida
Subject: University of Florida.   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00074637
Volume ID: VID00007
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida

Full Text


301 Peabody Hall 1 (352) 392-1575

F I Division of Student Affairs

Sa&catin readersfor a fot6afCommunity


College life can be very stressful.
Sometimes parents, faculty and others
tend to idealize their college experience
and remember it as that idyllic time when
they had few worries or responsibilities.
To students currently attending college,
however, the process is often stressful
and frustrating. The competition for
grades, financial concerns, relationships,
fear of STDs, career choice, and many
other aspects of the college environment
can cause stress. Some stress is healthy
and often motivates us to work toward
our goals. The problem comes when you
experience too much stress.

Although some stress reactions are part of
deeper and more serious emotional
problems, many are not. Some of life's
most positive events, such as planning a
vacation or purchasing a home can be
highly stressful. Whether your feelings of
stress are due to positive events or
difficult life experiences, they may be
reduced with counseling or some
relatively simple stress-management
techniques. You can use the following
guidelines to help manage your stress:

1. Become more aware of potential
sources of stress and symptoms that
you might experience
2. Develop a balanced life-style and
effective personal organization
3. Learn specific relaxation techniques
4. Gain perspective on problems by
discussing them, and
5. Clarify your values and develop a
sense of life meaning


There are four primary sources of stress:

1. The Environment-examples include
noise, pollution, traffic and crowding,
and the weather.
2. Physiological-examples include
illness, injuries, hormonal fluctuations,
and inadequate sleep or nutrition.
3. Your Thoughts-the way you think
affects how you respond. Negative
self-talk, catastrophizing, and
perfectionism all contribute to
increased stress.
4. Social Stressors-examples include
financial problems, work demands,
social events, and losing a loved one.

Symptoms of stress appear in many
forms. Some symptoms only impact the
person who is directly experiencing stress,
while other symptoms may have an
impact on our relationships with others.
Perhaps you experience some of the
examples below when your stress levels
are elevated.

* Physical symptoms
muscular tension
colds or other illnesses
high blood pressure
difficulty sleeping
Emotional symptoms
fear or anxiety
feeling overwhelmed
mood swings

*Cognitive symptoms
Unwanted/ repetitive thoughts
difficulty concentrating


Stress reactions to various situations are
also affected by your overall level of
health. Someone who is always feeling
overwhelmed, eats poorly, and doesn't
get enough sleep (a description of many
students) usually has a limited ability to
cope with stressful events. You need to
pay attention to your own well being. The
right balance of sleep, food, exercise,
work, school, and recreation is crucial.

Some people are in a constant state of
trying to catch up. They find themselves
rushing and hurrying from one activity to
another, always racing with the clock and
never getting on top of things. Part of
this problem, for many students, is not
being well organized. Effective time
management can help. See the
Counseling Center website and brochure
on Time Management for more


It is easy to get caught up in a problem or
a narrow view of something you are
doing, and to lose perspective and feel
that a failure or roadblock is a
catastrophe. Discussing your problems
with a trusted, empathic friend can allow
you to gain new perspective and can allow
you to move out of what might seem like
an isolated and negative internal world.
The act of verbalizing your concerns and
putting them together will often help give
you a sense of control.


Relaxation techniques are extremely
valuable tools In stress management. Most
of the techniques like meditation, self-
hypnosis, and deep muscle relaxation work
in a similar fashion. They make it possible
for you to spend a short period of time In a
state of profound relaxation. In this state
both the body and the mind are at rest and
the outside world Is screened out for a
period of time. The practice of one of these
techniques on a regular basis can provide a
wonderfully calming and relaxing feeling
that seems to have a lasting effect for many
people. Your energy level and ability to
cope with the external world are
replenished. Practitioners and researchers
have reported many positive life effects
from the regular practice of one of these

You may want to take a course or read
about one of these techniques. The
Counseling Center, as well as various other
campus agencies, offer stress management
groups. These techniques easy to learn, but
can be difficult to fit into your schedule. If
you don't have an opportunity to get
Instruction, just practice sitting quietly for
15 minutes, with no interruptions. Let
yourself relax by focusing on something
peaceful a beautiful scene at the beach or
In the mountains, for example. Sometimes it
Is your negative thoughts or worries that
create tension. You can practice "thought
stopping techniques" and learn how to use
positive self-talk to cope with stress. Even
simple interruption can help. Stop and take
a purposeful 10-minute break. Go for a
walk, breathe deeply, call a friend, put on
some favorite music. Keep your sense of
humor! Remember, you can talk with a
counselor to learn more about how to
develop these stress-reducing skills.


Stress is often caused by general
unhappiness and a sense of aimlessness or
lack of purpose. People sometimes wind up
making choices and living life styles that
really don't fit them. A student may be
studying accounting when he or she really
wants to be an artist, or he or she may have
a wide circle of friends, but not really have
the kind of intimate relationships that feel

Clarifying your values and deciding what
you really want out of your life, can help
you feel better about yourself and have that
sense of satisfaction and centeredness that
helps you deal with the stresses of life. This
process is, of course, not easy. Most of us
are constantly growing and developing our
sense of self and our ideas about what we
want and how we want to live. A sense of
spirituality can help with this. You might
find this with an organized religion or it
might be a more personal, Individual
process. It may involve a sense of oneness
with nature, or it may be related to the deep
satisfaction gained from volunteer work that
really helps someone. Although each of us
must develop our own sense of well being
and spirituality, it does help to talk about
these issues with others, as a way of
clarifying and challenging our own ideas and

James Archer, Ph.D., and
Christina Carroll, Ph.D., Co-Authors
Jaquelyn Liss Resnick, Ph.D., Series Editor
Published by
University of Florida Counseling Center
301 Peabody Hall I (352) 392-1575
http: //www.counsel.ufl.edu

For students with disabilities, this publication is available in
alternate formats. Please contact the Counseling Center at
(352) 392-1575. Students with hearing or speech
impairments, please call the Florida Relay Service (FRS) at
(800) 955-8771 (TDD).

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs