The Impacts of Stress and How to Relieve Them


Anna Vannoy, Staff Writer

For students, this is an insanely stressful time of year. We are juggling sports games, club meetings, study sessions, exams, projects, homework, and so much more. I’ve been feeling as if I have barely a minute to myself anymore. There is so much to be done.

Stress reaches everyone, and small amounts of it can even be helpful; however, too much can have drastic impacts.

Stress has a myriad of symptoms, including frequent headaches, teeth grinding, tremors, hives, nausea, chest pain and heart palpitations, excess anxiety, worry, guilt, anger, frustration and hostility, and differences in appetite.

 It can also negatively impact the very events you are stressed about (like exams or sports games), as stress has been known to cause difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, inability to make decisions, and decreased performance ability.

Stress has wide ranging effects on emotions, behavior, and mood. Just as important but less appreciated are the effects of stress on various systems, tissues, and organs all over the body.

The nervous system will shift into “fight or flight” response during physical or physiological stress. The respiratory and cardiovascular systems can be affected too. During the stress response, you will breathe faster and more frequently, and your heart will pump faster, raising your blood pressure. The digestive system under stress produces extra blood sugar to give you more energy. This increases your risk of developing diabetes, according to the American Institute of Stress.

So, obviously the effects of stress are far reaching and nothing to joke about. What can we do to handle our stress in healthy ways?

The Cleveland Clinic recommends to eat and drink to optimize your health. By consuming a healthy and balanced diet, you can combat stress. Secondly, exercise regularly. Exercise not only has physical health benefits; it can also relive stress.

Consider implementing relaxation techniques. By taking the time to relax each day, stress and its harmful effects can be kept at bay. Try deep breathing, imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness meditation. Fourthly, reduce stress triggers. Obviously, we can’t control what is asked of us and how it impacts our stress levels, but practicing productive time management, setting priorities, pacing yourself, and asking for help when it is needed can go a long way. 

Remember that this stressful season in our lives won’t last forever. Look forward to slightly less busy times, and remember to take care of yourself. You got this!


Photo Credits: The Irish News