Stress Reduction

What Is Stress?

Stressed student looking at computerWhen the brain responds to different life demands it can produce a stress response. Exercise, work, school, major life changes, or traumatic events—can be stressful—can affect your health. Paying attending to how you manage minor or major life events, "stress events" is important for overall health. Being a college student is another type of stressor and can further complicate your stress responses and possibly impact academic success.

The tips below can assist with responding to stress. Links on the right are also available as resources. Most importantly, seek assistance when you feel stress is building. Address it before it negatively impacts your ability to academically success.

5 Things to Know About Stress
  1. Stress impacts everyone and it can come from a variety of sources.
  2. Not all stress is "bad" stress. Sometimes stress can help motivate or help prepare you to perform well; like when preparing for a job interview, or performing for a skill test or other event.
  3. Stress can take a toll on your long-term health. Unchecked, stress can: impact sleep and immune systems, or develop chronic health issues like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and depression or anxiety.
  4. Although it may not feel like it, there are ways to manage stress. More on that below.
  5. It's important to ask for help. At LWTech help could include finding and using student resources like the Academic Advising, Counseling Services, Learning Lab, or Disability Services. Students are always encouraged to talk with trusted faculty and staff. They are a great resource for assistance.

Adapted from 5 Things to Know About Stress Brochure from the National Institute of Mental Health

Things That Stress Out Students

Identifying what and which life events stress you out is important. This short list can provide some insight into what might provide a stressor that needs addressing.

Being a student includes many opportunities to be stressed out. Think of the examples below and determine how they might impact you.

  • Taking multiple classes with competing for homework and assignment deadlines.
  • Not having good study practices.
  • Difficulty engaging with class topics because it is new to you.
  • Difficulty engaging in classmates, for a variety of reasons.
  • Difficulty working or connecting with faculty, for a variety of reasons.

Life events, outside of college commitments, also provide stress. Things like:

  • Car trouble, like mechanical issues.
  • Housing issues like paying for rent, difficult neighbors, or rough neighborhood.
  • Dealing with legal issues.
  • Difficulty with significant others or family.
  • Child care issues.
  • Eldercare issue.

Reflecting on these or other issues impacting your life can help you identify tools or actions you can take to reduce your stress level. 

Things That Stress Out Students of Color

Students of color have a unique and difficult set of stressors to address, due to being a student of color. 

Stressors could include:

  • Microaggressions

    Microaggressions

    These are everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership; like ethnicity or culture.

    They can impact: people of color, people with disabilities, religious or sexual minorities. An aggression might be something like complimenting an English Language Learner on how they have "such a great English speaking skills."

    Adapted from Psychology Today article, Wing Sue, D., Nov. 17, 2010

  • Impostor Syndrome

    Impostor Syndrome

    This is the intense and consistent feeling students might have that others, from the majority culture, might determine they are not competent enough. In this case, students of color might feel that those from the majority culture are going to determine they are not smart enough to be in college classes.

    This is very damaging and stressful for students. The tips section outlines approaches all students can take to address these stressors. 

  • Institutional racism or stereotype threat

    Institutional racism or stereotype threat

    Coming soon!

Although students of color and others from traditionally marginalized communities have a social

resilience, these issues are never-the-less still present. Visit the RISE Center in East Building, E126 for assistance and support if feeling stressed out about these issues. 

LWTech Resources

Depending on what you might be dealing with there are many free, on-campus resources available to all students that can help reduce stress due to managing your college life.

Academic Success Resources

  • Having trouble studying or using textbooks?
    Visit the Learning Lab in East Building, E214.
  • Do you need to learn more about using technology in or for your class?
    Get assistance from e-Learning, Technology Building, T313.
  • Don't know if you're in the right career field?
    Look up services at the Employment Resource Center, West Building, W207. 
  • Do you need to work on a computer to complete homework because you're isn't working?
    Visit the Computer Lab in the Technology Building, T215H.
  • Need to know which classes you're taking next quarter?
    Your Navigator or Faculty Advisor can provide you insight into which classes to register for. Visit West Building, W207 for more information.
  • Can't afford the full cost of a textbook?
    Consider renting a textbook from the College Bookstore. Visit East Building, E127 for more information.

Social Success Resources

  • Do you need a social network?
    • The RISE Center to learn more about the Diversity Club, programs and services for all students. The Center specializes in connecting students from marginalized communities to student life. Visit the East Building, E126 for more information.
    • Student Programs has information about joining or starting a campus club. Visit East Building, E128 for more information.
  • Do you need a place to land between classes to relax and reflect?
    • Visit the Meditation Room. This reflection space provides a semi-private to decompress between classes. Visit East Building, E126 for key card access.
    • Visit the Library and Learning Commons. There are small study spaces, DVDs available for rent, and resting spots to take a break. Visit Technology Building, T215 for more information.