Stress is All Mental

In the college environment, it is common practice to blame all of our stress on physical environmental attributes. While the causes may be true and the reason you are acquiring this stress, it is in fact your mental perspective on how you view stress that can make or break how your health and mental stability is impacted by life stressors. Stress can be either friend or foe. However, it is the personal perspective you have of it that can help you either benefit from its uses or be negatively impacted by its pressures.

Common Stress Relief Coping Mechanisms:

If you have recently searched stress relief techniques on Google, Pinterest, or Yahoo, a common list is sure to come up. Some recurring techniques may include:

  • take a nap
  • go for a walk
  • make a list
  • de-clutter your life
  • meditate
  • exercise
  • don’t procrastinate
  • eat healthy
  • give a hug
  • socialize

Now the list could go on and on, however I chose these few due to their common recurrence on the internet and the methods in which the effect the body in relieving stress. Simply looking at the list of ten stress reducing examples, you can see that more than half of these strategies affect your mental state and develop physiological changes in the brain. Hormones in the brain are released and chemicals are changed in order to fight against the stress inducing adrenaline responses that wear down the mind and body if always in action.

Food for Thought:

Stress is always seen as the enemy, especially in a college setting. However, people tend to forget that it is our bodies natural defense system to our surrounding environment. Stress is strictly a mental system, which then branches into physiological responses to a specific stressor. Perhaps if we changed our view of stress, we would be able to beter handle it effects. A simple change in the way we view stress could benefit our bodys mental and physical health in the long run rather than diminish it. This is exactly the information that is covered in a TED Talk given in June of 2013 by Health Psychologist Kelly McGonigal.

In addition to McGonigal talking about coping with stress in a mental state, she discusses how stress will lead you to need to socialize. The evolutionary trait for socialization is ever present on a day to day basis, however, the neuro chemical, oxytocin, when released, increases our need to be around others. As well put by McGonigal, “When life is difficult, your stress response wants you to be surrounded by people who care about you.”

TED Talk link:

Just for Funsies:


“100 Ways to Reduce Stress.” Chill Out! 100 Ways To Reduce Stress. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2015. <>.

McGonigal, Kelly. “How to Make Stress Your Friend.” TED Talks. N.p., Sept. 2013. Web. 29 Mar. 2015 <>.

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