Stress Free Zone

by Sara Waldron on April 18, 2017

What is the Stress Free Zone?

images[4]The Stress Free Zone is offered the week before finals to help reduce stress. This is the time of the semester when everything seems to be due at once and it can be difficult to manage your stress. Stress can manifest in your mind and body in many ways. Stress in the body can be experienced as tight muscles, headaches, and increased heart rate. In the mind, stress can be experienced as racing thoughts, worrying, sadness, irritability, and anger. It’s important to learn to manage your daily stress to break any unhealthy habits and feel better in the moment.

What are the Effects of Stress on your Health?

Anything that poses a challenge or threat to one’s wellbeing is a stress. Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to the daily demands of life. Some stress can be good for you and motivate you to complete goals or deadlines. When stress undermines your mental and physical health, it is bad for you. Your brain is wired as an alarm system for your protection. The fight-or-flight response is the body’s sympathetic nervous system reacting to a stressful event. As a response the body produces larger quantities of the chemicals adrenaline, cortisol, and noradrenaline. At the same time, non-essential body functions slow, such as the digestive and immune system. It’s vital to have tools and outlets to help handle the daily stress since our response does have an affect on our mental and physical health.

Tips for Stress ManagementimagesVHDMBPIP

  1. Just Breathe. Take a brief moment to take simple and conscientious breaths. One trick is to count backwards until you regain a sense of calmness.
  2. Get a good night’s sleep. It’s beneficial to turn off your computer or TV off at least half an hour before going to bed. The blue light can trigger the brain into thinking that it’s still daylight and increase sleep difficulties. If you can get the recommend 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night your body and mind will thank you in the morning.
  3. Use positive re-framing. Turn those negative thoughts into positive ones. If we immerse ourselves in negativity our outlook becomes destructive. Negativity can be easily spread to those around us and who wants to be responsible for that? Keep a positive focus on the good things in your life.
  4. Make time to socialize. Engage in face-to-face interactions with family and friends. Any activity with eye-to-eye interaction engages our right brain which leads to emotion regulation. So the more we interact, the better we can manage our emotions. Join a social group with similar hobbies or take a walk with a friend.
  5. Put down those electronics occasionally. We have become so dependent on electronics that it is rapidly becoming an addiction in our society. These electronics become demanding by consuming the majority of our time. It’s imperative to learn the difference between urgency and triviality when faced with an overwhelming amount of electronic communication.
  6. Meditate for a few minutes every day. Meditation has many benefits such as reducing stress, building our immune system, and promoting healthy hormonal balance. Take a few minutes per day to pay attention to your breathing, which can help improve your life and lower your stress level.


Try following some of these tips to help manage your stress and be a healthier you. Like the BSU Outreach Education page on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter @bsuoutreach, and check out our calendar for upcoming events on the Involvement Network.

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