Opinion: Stress is a silent killer

Mica Pflug

Naming stress “the silent killer” may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s not far off from reality.

Stress is something every person experiences regardless of age, life experience or occupation. It can manifest in many different ways.

Feeling overwhelmed could lead to overeating, or an impending deadline might leave you with tightness in your chest and the realization: Wow, I’m stressed.

It’s not uncommon to feel this, especially for college students who have lots of commitments, responsibilities and immediate challenges in front of them.

With the average college student’s busy schedule including at least four or five classes, friends to entertain, part-time jobs, meetings to attend or a significant other to dedicate attention to, most young adults already have several big stressors on any normal week.

These typical stressors exist before considering more severe situations, like mental illness.

According to the American College Health Association’s Spring 2014 National College Health Assessment, 54 percent of young adults experience some form of overwhelming anxiety.

This isn’t to say that each of those 54 percent are treated for or even diagnosed with anxiety, but the statistic shows an alarming margin of students who admit to experiencing stress in a very real and sometimes scary way.

While every situation is specific to the person experiencing it, there are ways to deal with the typical stressors that most students experience.

Some things that may help relieve stress include: getting organized with a planner or other electronic means of keeping track of tasks, working out regularly, finding a hobby that makes you feel good
(for me, I sing in the car) and even writing down your thoughts helps empty whatever issues may be clouding your psyche.

Keep in mind that every person will find a unique way to cope with stress, so finding your best method for getting through tough times is imperative to your mental well-being.

Mica Pflug is a columnist, contact her at [email protected].