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Anxiety and stress are very common reasons college students seek counseling. Stress is a normal, but often-uncomfortable part of being a college student. Concerns about grades, projects, relationships, sex, family and friends can accumulate and become overwhelming. A certain amount of stress is actually a good thing. Stress keeps us focused and aware of all the things that need to be done. It can motivate you to study harder when you just aren't in the mood and to be thorough with your work.

But when your stress level becomes more problematic than motivating, you may need to apply stress management techniques to your daily routine. The counselors at Health Services can teach you ways to better manage your stress. There are physical, behavioral, and mental techniques that can increase your ability to handle stress and anxiety.

Unfortunately, there are times when we cannot fully manage our stress levels. When stress becomes a "constant" in a person's life, it can develop into overwhelming anxiety. Too much anxiety can be crippling rather than motivating. It prevents you from completing projects because every little detail might not be "perfect" so you are afraid to hand your project in. You worry about things you know you have no control over, but you just can't stop worrying. You can't concentrate because you are distracted by other concerns. You may even have physical symptoms that scare you, like a rapidly beating heart, or you may fear you are having a heart attack or are even going to die. That is too much anxiety. If these concerns are intense enough or last for a period of time, you may have an anxiety disorder.

Here are some signs that may indicate an anxiety disorder:

  • Restlessness, keyed up or on edge
  • Excessive worry that you have a hard time controlling
  • Mind going blank or difficulty concentrating
  • Muscle tension
  • Powerful physical symptoms, including a pounding heart, sweatiness, feelings of choking, dizziness, numbness of your extremities, fear of dying
  • Avoiding situations to stop feeling anxious, such as social situations, class presentations, social situations, etc.
  • Recurrent thoughts or impulses that are unreasonable, but hard to control or stop
  • Recurring images or thoughts about a traumatic event you experienced that interfere with your life today

If you experience some of these symptoms for a week or more or if they are so persistent they interfere with your ability to live your life, you can contact the Health Services Counseling Department for an assessment, 218-726-7913. Treatment is available and it can help you feel better.

Stress/Anxiety Checklist

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Last modified on 11/03/15 10:33 AM
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