Written by: Theophilus Izobofolo

23rd May 2017

Being a student was a stressful time for me; I know it is the same with many students today. Some stress is positive and negative, the positive stress motivates you to reach your targets and focus on your goal by studying more and working harder. The accelerating events, expectations or experiences stimulate positive stress that helps you work tirelessly. The positive stress is called ‘U-stress’, it is stimulated during exciting moments;a moderate level of adrenaline is secreted when happy and it enables the body to meet the goals set up by the mind in positive mood.

The negative stress is the opposite of U-stress, when it reaches an unhealthy level, it prevents you from functioning well and meeting your goals…this is called Distress. Your health, school performance and social life can all suffer when stress becomes too much to handle. That’s because stress can affect your mood and ability to think clearly. It can also weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to getting sick.


Stress are named according to the experience and need of man, but the Chronic Stress is adverse and detrimental to the health, cause high blood pressure, autoimmune illnesses, Anxiety, digestive issues and depression. It is actually very important to manage stress, prevent negative stress levels and listen to your self to know when you are feeling negatively overwhelmed. Here are some guidelines for managing and preventing stress as a student;


NASA Study: Stress Management and Resilience Training for Optimal Performance (SMART-OP)Researchers in the UCLA Anxiety and Depression Research Center (ADRC) have incorporated the use of technology in managing and treating stress and anxiety problems. The CALM Study utilized a computer-based CBT treatment for anxiety in primary care. Another completed study, funded by National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) through a cooperative agreement with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), developed and evaluated a self-guided multimedia computer program to train users in stress management and resilience skills. But the following are some major tips to control your stress level;

  1. Watch out for signs of stress overload: Symptoms of too much stress can be physical, emotional, mental and behavioral. While everyone is different, some common signs are: memory problems, trouble concentrating, racing thoughts, irritability, anger, sadness, headaches, frequent colds and changes in sleep or appetite.
  2. Know what triggers your stress: Stress and its triggers are different for everyone. Certain people, places or situations might produce high levels of stress for you. Think about what causes you stress, and brainstorm solutions. If public speaking or presentations make you stressed, start researching early and practice several times. If there are friends or social situations that cause extreme stress, you may want to avoid them when you are already feeling tense or overwhelmed.
  3. Don’t be over ambitions: Pulling yourself in different directions will only stress you out, so try not to over-commit yourself or do extracurricular activities when you’re super busy with school.
  4. Take time to relax: While it’s impossible to eliminate all negative stress from your life, you can control the way you react to stress. Your body’s natural fight-or-flight response can take its toll. When you’re faced with a stressful situation that your mind perceives as a threat, it sends various chemicals, like adrenaline and cortisol, throughout your body. As a result, heart rate and breathing speeds up and your digestion slows down. This tires out the body. Relaxation techniques are a huge help in calming you down, boosting mood and fighting illness. Try a variety of techniques — like yoga, breathing exercises, meditation and visualization — to see what works for you, and schedule a relaxation break every day.
  5. Exercise Regularly: All forms of exercise reduce stress hormones, flood the body with feel-good endorphin, improve mood, boost energy and provide a healthy distraction from your dilemmas. Plus, exercise may make you less susceptible to stress in the long run. Find physical activities that you enjoy and try to devote about 30 minutes to them each day.
  6. Manage your time well: Time can seem like a luxury in college, but there are various ways to manage it effectively. First, focus on one task at a time. Multitasking rarely works. Jot down everything you need to do in a calendar or a task management app/program, prioritize your list and break projects into single steps or actions.
  7. Reduce or stop caffeine: Caffeine might help you study in the short term, but it interrupts sleep and makes you more anxious, tense and jittery. This obviously ups your stress level. Try and drink no more than one caffeinated beverage a day.
  8. Avoid self-medication: Some students drink, take drugs, smoke and use other unhealthy behaviors to cope with stress. However, these behaviors can exacerbate stress by negatively affecting your mood and health.
  9. Control your temperament: Most students suffer from bad temperament, as a result seek solace in isolation. Life is relational not a transaction, when you are too emotional you stand the chance of being stressed during anger.
  10. Associate and socialize: If you’re stressed out, talk to your friends and family. If you feel like you can’t handle the stress on your own, schedule an appointment with a counselor on campus.