“How Stress is Debilitating and What Can be Done”

Henry W. Noe

Opinions Editor

Stress is a force which affects students and professionals alike. Although stress is seen as a negative within modern society, in small doses it can positively motivate individuals to work towards a certain goal or to advance a project. However, extreme stress is unequivocally deleterious to one’s mental and physical health and should be avoided. Oftentimes, if preventative measures are not utilized to restrict stress’ affect on the body, it can wreak havoc on one’s health and lead to grave consequences. Discovering various ways to limit extreme stress is crucial, as it permits one’s mind to take a break from laboring on a certain subject and allows self-reflection to take place.

Physically, consistent and acute stress leaves individuals more vulnerable to diseases which include the common cold and other infections. Additionally, diabetes and heart disease issues could occur if stress is left unchecked. Equally as damaging are the mental health issues, like irritability, sadness, and anger, which can result from a gradual stress build up that went unchecked. More serious illnesses such as depression and anxiety are symptoms of continued extreme stress.

After considering the possible afflictions of stress, finding ways to relax and calm oneself is necessary to maintain a healthy life. One such avenue a stressed individual can utilize is outdoor interaction. Taking frequent long walks and observing nature for short periods of time increases attentiveness and clears one’s mind of overbearing stressors. Sunlight also increases vitamin intake, which correlates to a positive improvement in mood and immune system. In addition to being outdoors, exercise also enables the body to be better equipped to combat stress. Through regular exercise, one experiences a kind of meditation as individuals are able to focus completely on their movements and let the worries and stress of the day fade away. Furthermore, one’s self confidence can be bolstered and the risk for depression and anxiety can be limited through the regular scheduling of exercise.

Taking a break through the cultivation of personal hobbies also proves to help disarm of extreme stress. Having an enjoyable pastime outside of work and scholastic assignments permits the individual to spend time doing something enjoyable when one becomes overwhelmed by a busy schedule. In lieu of sitting idle, a hobby also allows individuals to mentally rest while also constructively working towards a goal, thus keeping oneself intellectually spry and rested.

Amid the busy routines college students and professionals build for themselves, stress occasionally penetrates the fortresses of their carefully constructed lives. As protectors of one’s own productivity, individuals must devise new ways to circumvent stress in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and a productive life. Although conflict with stress may seem insistent, individuals cannot lose resolve in their personal efforts against stress.

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