Stress: what it can do for you

Caitlin Restelli

Stress cannot and will not go away on its own.

Once a stress response is launched, it takes the person dealing with it to get rid of it. And with stress being a consistent factor in student lives, sometimes it seems impossible to shake off on their own.

Debra Henning, senior biotechnology major, said she realizes stress can lead to anxiety and exhaustion. Her approach is sleep.

“I sleep so it’s a new day,” she said. “I get everything done that needs to be done before the weekend so I can relax.”

Stress adds different pros and cons into a person’s life.

“A lot of evidence suggests stress is a life-saving factor,” said Kathy Kearney, part time instructor of health education and promotion. “I don’t want a stress free life. I’d turn into a couch potato.”

Stress actually serves as a motivation factor for people to get through the day. Once it reaches a certain point, stress begins to have a negative effect.

However, reacting to stress is a different story. Everyone reacts the same way through the chemical and hormonal changes because human bodies are all built one way.

“Where we go from there is an individual effect,” Kearney said.

Sarah Lobbe, sophomore business management and accounting major, said she’s found balancing time to be a crucial stressor.

“I exercise and take breaks when I feel overwhelmed,” she said.

Later in life, she feels that social issues such as work and marriage will cause stress.

Even though stress varies from person to person, most of it comes from psychosocial stress, also known as social stress.

“There’s no physical threat from it; it’s just a threat to our identity,” Kearney said.

Conflicts in relationships, friendships and even with bosses can lead to many social stresses.

Anger is also a big factor. Anger in and anger out are ways to describe whether a person is letting everything out or bottling everything up.

“Beating up the tiger,” as Kearney coined it, is confronting the person or situation that is causing the stress in your life.

Writing is also recommended for letting anger out. Simply by writing a long letter to the source of the anger and burning it the next day is a recommendation from Kearney.

Anger in means a person keeps everything bottled up, which doesn’t allow them to resolve their problems.

Until the stress fizzles out, the hormonal level fluctuates, the heart rate increases and sleep is lost.

Many times, the big things in life are easily spotted for being stress factors, but daily activities can cause just as much harm.

Grant Brown, senior history major, said he has heard stress can cause wrinkles later on in life. Fearing crow’s feet (wrinkles on the outside of eyes), Brown said he tries to take charge when stress enters his life.

“I try to take a timeout and go do something recreational,” Brown said.

Everyone reacts to stress differently, and fixing it is an individual task.

“You have all the answers in yourself,” Kearney said.

You can contact Caitlin Restelli at [email protected].