Let’s Talk About Stress

"If your teeth are clenched and your fists are clenched, your lifespan is probably clenched." ~Terri Guillemets


Skin Problems

 Suppressed immune system

Negative social life

Muscular Pain

Unable to Concentrate




Stress is a physical, mental or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension. Stress can be caused by both external factors (environment, psychological or social situations) and internal factors (illness or medical conditions). As college students, stress is a part of our everyday lives. Although there are many ways in which we potentially reduce stress, there are five areas in which a college student can focus on to maximize reduction in stress. They are as follows:

Time Management

“You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it.” Charles Buxton


1. Planning and Scheduling-lay out your schedule for the week (school, work, events) via a calendar! This will allow to see everything in one place.

2. Set Goals and make priorities-with your schedule in front of you, you can now plan time wisely!

3. Sense of Control-now that you see your schedule and planned accordingly-you are now free to take a breath and enjoy life!


(Full essay at the bottom of the page)


“Eating right is just as important as managing stress because vulnerability to stress increases with poor diet.” -Philip Rice


1. You don’t always have to remove specific food from your life entirely, instead try substituting foods with a healthier option.

2. Controlling the amount you eat and being able to portion your food size.

3. Reducing chronic health diseases by watching what you eat.


(Full essay at the bottom of the page)







 Sleep (temp)

“⅔ of college students report having sleep problems and poor sleep quality”


1. Essential oils such as lavender can aid in sleep quality-studies show improved sleep quality when lavender is used.

2. Lavender is easy to obtain! Whole Foods, Target, and online retailers make the obtaining of Lavender easy 1, 2, 3!


(Full essay at the bottom of the page)







Exercise (temp)


1. Exercise improves your quality of living mentally and physically.

2. 30 minutes of moderate or vigorous exercise per day is proven to have positive benefits in lowering overall stress level.

3. Aerobic exercise is most beneficial with increasing perceived overall health, and is associated with aiding physical and mental health problems due to stress.


(Full essay at the bottom of the page)

Social Support

“social support plays a significant regulating effect on the relationship between stress and depression”(Wang, 2014)


1. Experiencing different perceptions, from friends or other social groups, can give you better insight.


2. Going out and doing activities will get your mind off of the stress factor and allow for you to blow off steam.


3. Being around a positive environment can change your attitude for the better. When stress comes around you are starting out with a better attitude and you will have less trouble dealing with the stress.


(Full essay at the bottom of the page)

Conclusion: As college students we face several obstacles that can cause an immense amount of stress. If we don't learn how to manage it effectively it can cause serious and even life threatening problems. Through these techniques we hope to help educate students on better ways to cope with stress.

Stress is a physical, mental or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension. Stress can be causes by both external factors (environment, psychological or social situations) and internal factors (illness or medical conditions). When stress occurs your bodies fight or flight response kicks in and the body floods itself with hormones that elevate your heart rate, increase blood pressure and boosts your energy in order to prepare you to face the problem. Negative stress can lead to several health problems.

Effects of stress include:    

 -Lack of sleep and fatigue

- Irritability

- Negative impact on social life

- Unable to concentrate 

- Hypertension which increase your risk of stroke, heart failure, kidney failure and heart attack. 

- Suppresses the immune system making you more vulnerable to disease and slows the rate at which you are able to recover.

- Skin problems such as break outs and acne.

- Muscular pain from the tension that stress causes on them.

Stress and Time management 

All students are apprentice jugglers. An average student attempts to balance school, work, friendships, extracurricular activities, and day-to-day chores (pay bills, clean house, by food, etc). It is no surprise that many of us wish the days were longer than 24 hours-there doesn’t seem to be enough time! Poor time management skills leads many students to end up in last minute cramming binges and still ending up with poor grades, thus being an a near perpetual state of distress. To help my fellow college students combat this,   I will now provide you with three pieces of advice that you can do right now that have been shown in research to hold a correlation with stress reduction. Note that these three recommendations are more based on the ability to use them now.  

  • Planning and Scheduling-at the beginning of each week, make a list of all the “to-dos” in all areas of your life (school, work, activities, bills, appointments, etc). It helps to translate it onto a calendar so you can see how it will play out in the week. This step is the foundation in which you will build off of
  • Set Goals and make priorities-Now that you can see your schedule for the week, you can begin to make a plan of attack. For example, let’s say you have a bio test on Wednesday morning and you work Tuesday evening. It would be good to dedicate time on Monday and Tuesday to study. This may even require moving another activity that is not as priority on a different day or off completely. This step is putting your schedule into your own hands.
  • Sense of Control-The last advice is actually a natural result of the first two. As you begin to implement the advice above, you will begin to feel a sense of control of your time. You will begin to feel more in control of your situation then being under control by it. This leads to a reduction in stress and anxiety.

Don’t despair if this may seem overwhelming at first, to go from no planning to some is indeed a very big step. However take it day by day, let every failure be a lesson for next time, and you will see the wisdom said by Charles Buxton “You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it.”

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages. http://dx.doi.org/xx.xxx/yyyyy


Macan, T. H, Dipboye, R. L., Phillips. A. P., & Shahani, C. (1999). College Students’ Time Management: Correlations With Academic Performance and Stress. Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol. 82 (4), 760-768.

How Does Exercise Affect Stress?

Everyone goes through stress in life. It can be family related, work, health, or many other types of issues. At most times, these issues are inevitable. One of the most effective ways to deal with stress related issues is exercising. Exercise improves your quality of living mentally and physically. It also plays a role in lowering your overall stress level. Many people have many reasons for not exercising: Not being able to afford it, dealing with kids, the pain, or lack of time. In reality, there is always a way to get some sort of physical activity during the day. One of the best exercise choices for the average person is aerobic exercise such as walking, jogging, or even dancing. A study was conducted by the researchers from the department of movement education and sports training to see the type of physical activity that carries the most benefits on a school teacher’s stress level. They used school teachers’ because they generally have high amounts of stress. The researchers conducted an online survey taken from 1,066 school teachers. They measured the teacher’s levels of physical activity by using a physical activity questionnaire, and they measured the perceived mental and physical health of the teachers using something called a Short Form 36. Once the data was collected, the researchers found that aerobic exercise is correlated with increased perceived overall health. They also concluded that teachers who participate in aerobic activity may be less likely to have physical and mental health problems associated with stress. 

Bogaert, I., De Martelaer, K., Deforche, B., Clarys, P., & Zinzen, E. (2014).      

  Associations between different types of physical activity and teachers’ perceived 

  mental, physical, and work-related health. BMC Public Health, 14(1), 1492-1511. 


Stress is an inevitable piece of life.  However, it doesn’t have to become more of the puzzle.   A good way to manage stress is to have a good social group.   That’s right, amazing friends are good for your health.  This also includes groups formed at school, in sports, clubs, or any activity with others.  In a study of six-hundred-thirty-two college students, the researchers found “social support plays a significant regulating effect on the relationship between stress and depression”(Wang, 2014)   Having a great social support can help keep stress away in any way:

  • Different people will have different perceptions.  Another may have a good viewpoint and help shine some light on the situation.  
  • Activities are all around and going out with a group is a nice way to blow off steam and focus on another task.
  • Being around a positive environment can do wonders for attitude. 

A good social group will help relieve stress and make memories to look back upon for motivation.  Make your puzzle with some friends.  


Everyone in the world we live in today deals with excessive amounts of stress unfortunately, it is impossible to get rid of it completely however there are a ways to manage it and help coup with stress. Getting an adequate amount of sleep every night is a great way to do so. College students often struggle with getting enough sleep due to studying, stress, work environment, school, and trying to maintain a social life. Approximately two thirds of college students have reported having sleep problems and poor sleep quality. (Hicks & Pellgrini, 1992; Lund et al., 2010) Overall a combination of all of these stresses put together can take a toll on social health, physical health, and mental health. All of these affect our ability to sleep at night. If college students can get better sleep it can cause an overall better mood, grades, overall health and continue to get benefits into later life. 

In two major studies of research the hypothesis that good sleep hygiene (an overall healthy person, no caffeine during the day, healthy diet, exercise, and no vigorous activity 30 minutes before sleep) and inhaling the essential oil lavender could positively impact one’s ability to sleep better.

The first study had a group of volunteer college students keep tract of their sleeping schedules with a journal. This was a double blind study that had one group of students just use good sleep hygiene as a factor. The other group used good sleep hygiene and had lavender. Results showed that although good sleep hygiene showed some improvement in sleep aid. The best results were given to the group who had good sleep hygiene and used the essential oil lavender.

You can purchase lavender at whole foods, target, other supermarkets, and even online! Most lavender products cost less than ten dollars. You can apply two to three drops on your hands and rub on your back, neck, feet, and chest if you would like to help you sleep. You may also use it as a spray and spray your pillows and blankets at night.

Lillehei, A. S. (2014). Effect of lavender aromatherapy via inhalation and sleep hygiene on sleep in college students with self-reported sleep issues (Order No. 3632533). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text. (1568556399). Retrieved from http://ezproxy.library.unlv.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1568556399?accountid=3611

Hicks, R. A., Johnson, C., & Pellegrini, R. J. (1992). Changes in the self-reported consistency of

normal habitual sleep duration of college students (1978 and 1992). Perceptual &

Motor Skills, 75(3 Pt 2), 1168-1170.

Foods to eat! 

- Fresh fruits



-Whole grains

Foods to avoid!

-Junk food

-Caffeinated food

-Foods high in sugar

-Processed food 

 Instead of this: 

-White bread 

-White rice

-Fried vegetables

-French fries

-Ribs and bacon

Try this:

-Wheat or whole grain 

-Brown rice

-Steam or broiled vegetables 

-Baked potatoes or sweet potatoes

-Lean pork and turkey bacon