Stress is a normal life experience that can sometimes build up to seemingly unmanageable levels. If you're experiencing an increased amount of stress, Dalhousie offers Counselling Services to give you tools to overcome the challenges in your life.
Impacts of stress
Stress has many negative impacts on health, aside from the obvious effect it has on happiness. Stress can:
- lower your immune system
- cause headaches and muscle tension
- disrupt your sleep
- put you at greater risk for cardiovascular disease (if severe and/or prolonged)
Coping with stress
The Canadian Mental Health Association recognizes thought process as the main cause of stress—not the event itself nor the physiological response to an event. Instead of automatically labelling a situation as beyond your capabilities, view it as a challenge that you can choose to overcome. Consider your skills and the resources available to you in order to adapt to a specific challenging situation, and identify tools and behaviours that tend to lower your exposure to stressors.
A few well-supported ways to reduce stress involve regular exercise, a healthy diet, adequate sleep, and a supportive social network. Common causes of stress include procrastination and poor prioritizing (e.g. choosing to go out all night on Friday and sleep away half of Saturday instead of spending a few hours socializing, a few hours studying, and getting a good night’s rest to wake up and be productive the next day).
For more information, visit HelpGuide.org's section on Stress Management.