Dealing with stress

If you need help immediately, visit your local emergency department or call 911

Common Warning Signs of Students Experiencing High Levels of Stress Stress is not always a bad thing; stress is only harmful when it is excessive. Here are some warning signs that yours or your friend’s stress levels may be excessive. Physical Symptoms

  • muscular tension
  • colds or other illnesses
  • high blood pressure
  • indigestion
  • ulcers
  • difficulty sleeping
  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • backaches

Emotional Symptoms

  • depression
  • anger
  • fear or anxiety
  • feeling overwhelmed
  • mood swings

Cognitive Symptoms

  • forgetfulness
  • unwanted or repetitive thoughts
  • difficulty concentrating
Common Warning Signs When Someone Is Considering Suicide

  1. Talks about suicide, death, or having no reason to live
  2. Is preoccupied by death and dying
  3. Has trouble eating or sleeping
  4. Experiences drastic changes in behaviour
  5. Withdraws from friends or social activities
  6. Loses interest in hobbies, work, school, etc.
  7. Gives away prized possessions
  8. Loses interest in their prized possessions

How To Best Deal With Stress* Dr. Michael Van Ameringen, a professor in the department of psychiatry at McMaster University and former co-director of the anxiety disorders clinic on campus, suggested students build these five habits to stay mentally well.

  1. Manage expectations: “It’s important to learn to have reasonable expectations of yourself when you go to a new place. You’re not going to instantly figure out the way to learn and get 90s in all classes.”
  1. Take a break: “There’s no doubt that people are more efficient when they work for fixed periods of time, followed by planned breaks.”
  1. Build your social network: “Human contact helps to alleviate stress. It’s important not to allow yourself to become isolated. Get involved with campus activities because they provide vehicles for meeting new people.”
  1. Hit the gym: “It’s been proven repeatedly that physical activity helps people manage anxiety and elevate mood. Make sure you incorporate exercise as part of your week.”
  1. Ask for help: “Every campus has a student health service and they are quite good at dealing with students and helping those who are stressed out.”

Information originally published by Maclean’s Magazine.