Students find means to relieve life’s stress

For some college students, trying to balance work, school and a social life can often be a precursor to stress.

Stress is “mental, emotional, or physical strain caused, for example, by anxiety or overwork,” according to Stress may cause such symptoms as raised blood pressure, and it could even lead to a bigger issue, depression, the Web site said.

But there are activities that can ease stress and make the chances of getting stressed out slim.

Massage therapist Lisa Wilder said stress in men may be shown by an increase in aggression, while overeating, undereating and an excess of emotions show the signs of stress in women.

“Tension in the body caused by stress can be easily cured by a massage,” Wilder said. A massage can relax the muscles and bring the body to a calm state.

Wilder said stress can be felt in the body as tension, and most times students will not know they are stressed until it comes out all at once through some form of a catharsis, which is an emotional release.

Some students find other ways besides massages to relieve their daily stresses. Monica Davis, a 22-year-old senior biology student from Orangeburg, S.C., relies on friends and social gatherings to relieve her stress. She talks to friends who also have stress to get over her difficult times. Davis said her stress stems from worrying about the future.

“Being a senior, graduation is coming up, and I don’t know what I am going to do next,” Davis said. There are times she takes a different approach to fighting stress.

“Sometimes I sit back relax, and I don’t answer the phone just to get away from everything,” Davis said.

For some people, neither a deep massage nor a conversation with a friend helps relieve their stress. But for students who fall into this category, putting on sweats and heading to the gym can also be an activity that will alleviate stress. “Exercise decreases stress by increasing metabolism and energy levels,” said Jarred Duncan, general manager of Gold’s Gym in Tallahassee. Duncan said regular exercise, which is considered physical activity two to three times a week for 30 minutes, leads to higher productivity, a better attitude and less sick days.

“Students get stressed, and they are tired, and their hours are crazy,” Duncan said. “That is why we are open 24 hours a day and closed one day out of the year.”

Some gyms in Tallahassee, such as the FAMU fitness center and Gold’s Gym, offer special services and cater to students. The FAMU fitness center offers student-run classes and student personal trainers in yoga, pilates, cycling and kickboxing.Experts say stress is preventable. However, being a college student can make stress hard to avoid at times.

Whether choosing a massage, relaxing with friends or working out at the gym, experts feel there are always numerous ways for students to cope with stress.