The time to relax is when you don’t have time to relax

Azka Khan

Long lectures, late-night cramming and, of course, papers due in two classes on the same day all are a part of college life. All these things can cause a great deal of stress. Yet many students do not know much about stress and its effects.

“Stress is your body’s response to stressors,” said Sarah Hallsky, a University Health Services worker who is a health promotion graduate student.

Hallsky said the “flight-or-fight” response has much to do with the concept of stress. She said some people flee from stress by not acknowledging it and remaining calm. Others will attempt to face stress directly, which will provoke anxiety and apprehension.

Overall, it is all about how you handle stress. There are many ways to manage.

“Everyone responds and reacts to stress differently,” Hallsky said. “There is no set response for everybody.”

According to, stress is a matter of judgment, and people usually make two main judgments. First, people must feel threatened by the situation, and second, they must doubt their ability and resources to meet the threat.

The site recommends analyzing your life to find your stress points and then eliminating or avoiding these points.

“I would advise practicing routine, don’t overcommit and give yourself time to adjust to and set your priorities,” Hallsky said.

Hallsky said the most best ways to avoid stress are a healthy diet, eight hours of sleep and exercising at least 30 minutes a day.

Beth Patton, senior community health education major and yoga instructor, said yoga is an induced meditation that forces you not to think about anything outside of yourself and focus on your mind. If students are interested in yoga, she advocates taking instructional classes rather than instructional videos.

“You might be teaching yourself the wrong thing, and you don’t want to get hurt,” Patton said.

Patton recommends a quick stress relief exercise called “visualization.” Close your eyes, if possible, she said, and picture something in your mind that relaxes you.

Patton said many people picture themselves in a desert with a hill of salt in front of them. It is raining, and the hill slowly begins to disappear — just as the stress does.

Patton said the key to this exercise is to focus on all five senses when creating the vision. Breathing in and out through the nose several times and stretching your back can also alleviate tension and anxiety.

It is also important to note that stress, to an extent, can be healthy.

“It is useful when it motivates you and gets you through things,” Hallsky said. “It becomes bad when it inhibits you from doing anything.”

When feeling out of control about stress, students can visit, a site that allows students to ask questions to psychologists at Columbia University.

DeWeese Health Center offers psychological services through professional psychologists. To get more information, call (330) 672-2487.

The Coleman Professional Services 24-hour Stress, Suicide, and Depression Crisis Assistance can be reached at 1-800-673-1347. The Townhall II crisis hotline is available at 1-866-449-8518.

To learn more about yoga classes at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, visit or call (330)-672-4732.

Contact general assignment reporter Azka Khan at [email protected].