Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Stress Sometimes Makes Me Hungry
By Lindsay Cooper

Stress is something all people—students, professionals, parents, friends, and partners can all relate to in different ways and quantities. A student may be stressed out because of an exam they haven’t prepared for, a parent may be stressed out because of a bill they have not paid on time, and a friend may be stressed out because her boyfriend is driving her crazy.

We all have different ways of dealing with the stressors in our lives as well. I know that I personally deal with it by talking to close friends, exercising at the gym, and even by eating A LOT. By eating a lot I mean I will have meal after meal that contain large quantities of grease and fat that I will look back in disgust.

Stress is such an uncomfortable, draining, and frustrating process that I would do anything to escape it if it’s taking over my life. I think it is important that if you are someone who is under a lot of stress constantly that you seek out ways to deal with it in healthy and productive ways. Stress can be dealt with by counseling and stress management skills as the University of Florida Counseling Center explains.

Looking back at the times when my life was overridden by stress, I found counseling very helpful. Sometimes it just helps to vent my frustrations to someone else, even if they aren’t doing anything productive for me. This person that you vent to does not even need to be a professional -- it can be a close friend who you feel would be attentive and useful.

Sometimes I think people need to talk to professional people in learning or relearning ways to cope with stress. This is important because I believe many people don’t really know how to deal with stress and even revert to negative and destructive ways of managing it. Otherwise, I feel people tend to think they don’t need professional advice and will deal with it on their own or even worse—disregard their struggle with stress.

Unfortunately the problem with not dealing with stress in effective ways is that a person may become overwhelmed and crash. In this state, people can develop serious mental and physical problems if they don’t address their ways of coping with stress. The University of Florida’s Counseling Center outlines some of these problems; developing ulcers, high blood pressure, muscular tension, depression, and mood swings.

If its one thing I have to say about dealing with stress, HUMOR helps a great deal. Often I think people associate stress with being a negative and even fearful state. However, I think it is important to gain perspective, sit back, and laugh once in awhile even if what you find humorous is not really that funny.

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