Stress, Positive or Negative?

Both: positive and negative.  Believe it or not, stress in a person’s life can indeed be a positive aspect in which it adds flavor to our challenges.  When you are stressed out, it is helpful to think of stress as a positive addition to your life in which it helps to motivate and drive you to meet your goals.  Sometimes it helps to just think positive.  On the other side, stress can also have negative effects on a person.  It can be mentally and physically defeating.  The amazing thing about the negative side of stress is that there are ways that can help a person deal with the demands of everyday life.  So, when you are overwhelmed with juggling school, work, bills, relationships, or anything else just take a deep breath and realize that there is hope for feeling better.
It is important to realize that all people are different and the ways in which they handle stress are also different.  What may be stressful to you may not be to another; therefore, it is important to keep in mind that just because you are stressed does not mean that you are weak.  It means that you have become alarmed to a task in which YOU find challenging.  You are the only person that knows how you feel when you are stressed.  Below is a list of several methods to help cope with stress.  Because we are unique and handle life differently, pick the method or methods that best suit YOU.

  • Be Realistic—you can not possibly be in numerous places at one time.  You can sometimes say no to others.  It is important to prioritize your duties.
  • Meditate—take a break from your busy world.  Try listening to music while meditating.
  • Shed the superwoman/superman desire—perfection is almost an impossible quality.  Don’t expect perfection from yourself or of others.  It is wise to have a goal; however, not unrealistic ones.  Don’t be scared to ask others for help.
  • Exercise—this method pleases the body and mind.  Remember that stress affects both the body and the mind.
  • Share your feelings with family, friends, significant others, counselors.  You do not have to go through this feeling alone.

Source: -National Mental Health Association: and Plain Talk About Handling Stress handout.
By: Bridget Loland/Graduate Assistant

University Counseling Center
Room 224 Elkins Hall
Nicholls State University
(985) 448-4080
Monday-Friday 8am-4:30pm