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Stress takes a toll on the body

March 3, 2015

From one day to the next, time is dominated by homework, jobs and other activities, which leads to the inevitable feeling being overwhelmed.

Stress affects the body far beyond just a mental standpoint. Here are some of the physical consequences of stress, according to the American Psychological Association.

Musculoskeletal system 

Muscles tense up when stressed, and chronic tension can lead to headaches, migraines and other issues.

Cardiovascular system 

Short-term stress increases heart rate and causes stronger contractions in the muscles of the heart. Long-term stress can increase chances of heart attacks, strokes and hypertension.

Gastrointestinal system, stomach

Stress causes the brain to become more aware of activity in your stomach. This leads to feeling nauseous or having a stomach ache.

Nervous system 

When stressed, the sympathetic nervous system creates the well-known “fight or flight” response, where the body shifts all of its energy to fight or flee from the task at hand. If this response is triggered during long periods of time, it will result in physical draining.

It’s important to recognize that these are very broad, general results of stress. The effects extend far just beyond these and can become quite specific.

So, with the constant presence of anxiety, it’s imperative to find ways to relax.

Everyone has their own techniques unique to the way they operate.

Special education senior Lisa McCune said setting aside time for homework helps to alleviate stress.

“Usually if I have a lot of stuff to do, I just have to lock myself in a room and just sit down and go through it,” McCune said. ”I write everything down that I have to do.”

Marketing senior Jacqueline Cox has a similar practice.

“I think when you have a very stressful schedule, it’s important to prioritize and make a congregate list of things you need to do in order,” she said.

A lot of times, adjusting energy to eliminating the root of the stress before it becomes a problem is the best way to stay stress-free.

This is the technique that works best for supply chain management freshman Cameron Smith.

“I get stressed over school, so I just do my schoolwork ahead of time so that the stress doesn’t come later when it’s due,” he said.

Being overwhelmed in college is fairly common, so finding ways to manage all of life’s pressures is just as important as the pressures themselves.


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