Stressin’ much?

Stress is a very real part of everyday life. It becomes more than just a lurking feeling. It often clouds our emotions, and can produce physical ailments. Stress can be caused by many factors of daily life, and we are sometimes left wondering how to deal.

“Everything causes stress, and I don’t know how to get rid of it besides taking medication!” said Castleton State College freshman Annie Hartman, jokingly.

In a college atmosphere, stress can build very quickly. The expectations of those around us including parents, teachers and peers can put a great deal of pressure on a student. In such a restrictive setting, where exams and deadlines hang over students’ heads constantly, it’s only expected that we find ways to handle the stress.

“Mounding up of homework in a lot of my classes causes stress,” said Lauck Blake. “To relieve stress, I work out.”

But working out isn’t the only way students deal with stress.

“Talking with other people who can relate to your stress can help. Your friends can help you out a lot,” said Frank Impastado. “Like every college student, kicking back and drinking helps out.”

But not only are students dealing with stress from schoolwork, they deal with stress from outside of class as well, not to mention the adamant social scene.

“People cause stress, and drama causes stress,” said John Anderson.

According to Brock University Student Health Services, stress is defined as “a mentally or emotionally disruptive or upsetting condition occurring in response to adverse external influences.”

It is often characterized by “increased heart rate, a rise in blood pressure, muscular tension, irritability, and depression.”

When the body is stressed, the brain sends a signal to release hormones, which sparks responses, giving the body extra energy. Heart rate and blood pressure increase, and blood-sugar levels rise, according to Brock University Health Services

Although stress is commonly associated with negativity, there are actually two types of stress: eustress and distress. Eustress is a healthy stress, which can cause feelings of fulfillment, and put one at ease. Distress on the other hand may cause feelings of anxiety, and extensive frustration my result.

“I stress about school work, and thinking about what I’m going to do with my future, said student Alicia Zraunig. “Playing softball, going to the gym, and hanging out with my friends.”

But it can be beneficial to view stress from a different perspective, according to a book entitled, ‘Emotions, Stress, and Health’ by Alex Zautra. Stress is relative to each individual, and what may cause stress for one person, may ease stress for another. It’s also common for an individual to attribute feelings such as anger, depression, defiance, fear, and frustration to that of stress, which can create an indefinable gray area of emotion, according to Zautra.

Although stress plays an undeniable role in life, students at Castleton have found ways of dealing with it.

“I go snowboarding, I go to the gym, and I hang out with my friends,” said Jackie Prevocki.

And of course, more than one student talked about drugs as another way to cope.

“It seems as though tokin’ a little ganja helps out with the stress levels too. “I relieve stress by smoking weed and listening to music,” said one student said who asked not to have his name used, only to be echoed by several others.

If stress relief is more difficult for some of you, an article on suggests 66 ways to reduce it, including getting more sleep, painting, volunteering, dancing, screaming, and having sex (safely of course).

Student Steven Shaw gives these words of advice: “Tackle things as soon as you get them. It makes your life a hell of a lot easier.

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