Building an effective ‘Stress’ Management strategy

With college studies getting tougher by the day, it is high time that college students figured out how to build an effective stress management strategy.

Gaurav Macwan
Apr 28, 2020, 17:09 IST
Building an effective ‘Stress’ Management strategy
Building an effective ‘Stress’ Management strategy

Generally, college life is associated with fun, excitement and everything that is good in life. With Films, TV serials and even contemporary books trying real hard to portray college lifeas the dream world for students, the reality is often a rude shock for college students. Even college student experiences immense stress that is part and parcel of their daily life. The stress experienced by college students is not limited to only exam time but different aspects such as peer pressure, family pressure, love life and many others.

When going through stress, college students are often ill prepared or not ready for the challenge as they have perceived their college life to be a bed or roses or an exciting 3 year long vacation. This unprepared approach to managing college stress often leads to depression and other serious problems for the students. Therefore, being prepared with the right and effective stress management strategy is often necessary. So, let’s look at how you can design an effective stress management strategy and live your college life to the fullest.

Figure out your Stress Triggers

Everyone has a unique and different personality and therefore the stress they experience is also due to different factors and parameters. In technical terms these are called ‘stress triggers’. Understanding your stress triggers will help you understand the situations or circumstances that trigger stress or panic attacks for you. For instance, if you know that you experience stress when you are unprepared in class and your professor asks you a question, you can be avoid this by being well prepared for it. Similarly, if fulfilling the expectations of your boyfriend or girlfriend puts a lot of stress on you, you can have a frank and open conversation about it with them to resolve it. In short, figuring out the stress triggers that affect you deeply is the key when it comes to managing your stress during college days.

Evaluate the impact of stress on your life

The second step in building an effective stress management strategy for college students is evaluation of the impact that stress has on your life. Before we move ahead, we have to realize that stress is an integral part of one’s life and living a life which is completely stress-free is next to impossible. Therefore, one should aim at controlling stress rather than making a futile attempt to get rid of it. And understanding how stress impacts one’s life goes a long way in helping college students realize that. This way you can look for the key stress triggers and situations that are deeply impacting you and change the way you live your life to reduce the stress you experience.

Try different stress management techniques

Stress management is not a completely new topic for college students. During the board exams of class 10 and class 12, students have already have experienced tremendous stress and pressure when it comes to academics. Now, when it comes to college life, the factors that induce stress in a students’ life are no more limited to studies or academics. So, here’s here you have to be creative enough to apply the stress management techniques that worked for you in the sphere of studies or academics to other stress triggers as well. For instance, if meditation helped you calm your nerves prior to a viva exam; it should also be effective against the stress you experience prior to a college assignment submission. Similarly, if you could fend off bullies in school with the help of a positive mind-set; the same should also work when it comes to handling seniors in college. So, try out different stress management techniques that you already know and are aware of and identify the ones that can help you to reduce the stress of college life.

Create a customized stress management strategy

As mentioned above, there is no one size fits all kind of stress management strategy that works for everyone. When it comes to stress, everyone has a different problem and therefore needs a unique customized solution. Therefore, creating a customized stress management strategy is a must for every college student who is suffering from stress. Customized stress management means finding or drafting solutions that work best for you under stressful situations. Customized stress management strategy might look stupid or weird at times, but if it works and helps you out in stressful situations, you must adopt them. For instance, If thinking about a vacation trip you had when asked a question in a classroom helps you keep your nerves in check, that is what you must do. It need not work for everyone because that is the whole point of it being customized as per your needs.

Keep improving your Stress Management strategy

There is no perfect stress management strategy for college students or for anyone for that matter. Just like any other strategy, even your stress management strategy is never perfect and requires regular tweaks and updates in order to improve it. As you grow and change over the period of time, so do your stress triggers or the kind and type of stress you experience. Therefore, it is only right that you also make the necessary changes to your stress management strategy as the need arises. Something that helped you manage your friends in school need not necessarily work with your college friends because the situation and the priorities are different. Therefore, keep on working on your stress management techniques and see what works best for you and include them in your strategy.

Stress is like chaos in your life, if you choose to be silent and not do anything about it, it will continue to grow and keep impacting your life in a big way. But the day you decide to take control of the situation by taking an active role in managing your stress, you will feel a drastic different in the way things feel. Remember, you can control the stress that you experience by developing an effective stress management strategy. 

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