In today’s society, stress is becoming more of a normal thing to always experience. Stress is caused by your body responding to demands. College student are a main focus when it comes to stress. The four main types of stress are Acute Stress, Episodic Acute Stress, Chronic Stress and good stress.
Anyone can get stressed, but the most common age group to experience it is between 18-47 years old. Acute stress is typically the more common stress. It is caused by reactive thinking. Negative thoughts are a major influence. An example is if you have any deadlines coming up, or recent arguments. If the stress meets the DSM-5 criteria, the individual will be diagnosed with Acute Stress Disorder.
The DSM-5 stands for The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It is a book of 10 years’ worth of research done by hundreds of international experts who work in different departments of mental health. They put this together in hopes of understanding how these disorders work. Acute Stress usually is temporarily, doesn’t last for too long but it will still cause your body to release the chemical cortisol which has your body shaken up a bit.
There are ways for the individual to help their body relieve the stress. This can be done by breathing exercise, cognitive reframing, progressive muscle relaxation, and mini-meditation. But Acute stress can easily turn into Episodic Acute Stress.
Acute Disorder and Episodic Acute Stress Disorder mirror each other but one has ongoing suffering and damage. Episodic Acute Stress is when people who are already diagnosed with Acute Stress, start to have a change in their reactions. They become short-tempered, irritable, anxious, tense or have uneasy energy. One can also have frequent triggers of stress. People who often display these emotions are ones who live in chaos or crisis. Most of them are occupied with many responsibilities and cannot stay organized in a timely manner. Their minds are at the brink of a stress overload! Their personal relationships start to become progressively worse and work becomes a place of hell. Many of these symptoms can become a health concern as it creates a challenge for their body in many ways. Heart disease, muscle distress, intestinal issues, head aces, and high blood pressure are the main health issues but there are an additional 30 health concerns. Intensive therapy for several months can help this situation. It takes a while because these daily habits are engraved in their minds and they see nothing wrong with what they do because they are accustomed already. But most patients will not be open to change. While this is a pretty serious disorder, Chronic stress out weights Episodic Acute Stress.
Chronic Stress is the most harmful type of stress. It destroys their lives, mind, and body. a lot of the physical and mental damage is irreversible. This stress can most often lead to anxiety and depression as their symptoms are alike. The individual feels like they have no control over their thoughts and emotions. Long term changes can turn into a mental illness. While the mind is working double, the body has no intensions of slowing done either. The body takes a tole as physical issues start to rise. Long term problems for the heart and blood vessel, increasing heart rate, elevated levels of blood pressure and stress hormones are deteriorating the body. chronic stress is the leading cause of sudden death, mostly influenced by heart attacks, arterial disease and a stroke. Exercise and a change in diet would be a big help when trying to get rid of chronic stress. Although these all seem bad there is actually good stress as well.
Psychologist refer this Good stress as “Eustress”. We feel this when we are eager and excited. This stress keeps us feeling alive and well. Some examples for this is when the individual is going on a first date, a roller coaster or Doing things that makes one happy. But too much stress can become bad stress so one must limit their activities to make sure a lot stress isn’t triggered.
As a college student one must find a balance between these 4 types of stress. A study was done by The American Psychology Association to see what age group had highest levels of stress. 18-47-year-olds reportedly were the most stressed. But this is combing millennials (ages between 18-33) and Gen Xers (ages between 34-47). On a scale from 1-10, 10 being the highest level of stress, millennials and Gen Xers had a high score of 5.4 compared to the Boomers (ages between 48-66) who had a score of 4.7. it is clear that college age students have the highest stress. 43% of college students suffer from either Acute Stress, Episodic Acute stress, or Chronic Stress. This does not include good stress. As a college student there are ways to help alleviate the stress.
According to the American Association of Stress an article written by Dr. Ronald L. Rubenzer has a top ten test taking tips to help college student feel less stressed with their work.
TOP TEN TEST-TAKING TIPS (THREE MONTHS PRIOR TO TEST)
Left-brain training to become Fact-Smart:
1) Teach Positively: Students learn more when they like the teacher (William James-Harvard, 1899).
2) Teach memory mechanics. The basic rule is repetition, repetition, repetition.
3) Require students to develop their own flashcards and stack the deck with only the memorized facts.
4) Answer the core question, without being tripped up by “word traps” (irrelevant details) or generalizations (always, never, everywhere).
Both-brain training to become Test-Smart:
5) Be Clerically Correct: For the young, when in doubt, check their skills out (attention, handwriting, reading skills).
6) Provide “Test Rehearsals” (if approved). All great performances start with rehearsal.
Right-brain training to become Stress-Smart:
7) Test for Test-Anxiety. “Stress is sand in the machinery of thought.” All classes will have “test-anxious.” “Testanxious” or “math-anxious” underachieve on tests. As adults they avoid rewarding jobs requiring many tests or using complex math. “Computerphobics” short-circuit their own growth by just plain refusing to acquire 21st century skills. The “anxious” resist change.
8) Consume “Food for thought” just before the test session. Eat fruit, followed by a drink of water.
9) Relax: See your mental health professional on test-anxiety reduction tips. Use humor to relax. See a movie the night before the “big event.”
10) Learn from those who do Best on-tests. Test-Prep can boost test scores by 10%! (Scruggs & Mastropieri, Purdue University, 1992).
One won’t be completely alleviated from stress with these tips but it can help. The signs of Acute Stress, Episodic Acute stress, and Chronic stress should not be avoided. Those that are affected should seek help before the mind and body are too damaged and cannot be repaired.
spacioustherapy.com By: Shawna Freshwater January 17, 2018
verywellmind.com By: Elizabeth Scott April 3, 2018
apa.org By: Lyle H. Miller, PhD, & Alma Dell Smith, PhD.
stress.org By Dr. Ronald L Rubenzer 2008
heartmdinstitute.com By: Stephen T. Sinatra