Tips for Friends: Stress

Stress, or ‘bad’ stress, can be described as ‘a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.’ According to a survey done in 2013 of 30,000 students in 34 colleges and universities across Canada, 38.6% reported that their academic performance was affected due to stress.

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As started above, there’s a different between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ stress. Good stress can be managed, and will actually assist you with your everyday activities. On the other hand, bad stress makes you feel like you are loosing control. Instead of motivating you to do what needs to be done, bad stress can cause you to have medical problems. Bad stress makes it hard for you to concentrate, and could make you feel physically sick.

Obviously, there are times when bad stress isn’t easily avoidable. If your friend, or yourself, are struggling with stress, take a look at the list below for some ways to help relax when the stress becomes too much:

  • Make the effort to have healthy meals, and try not to pig out of junk food. That doesn’t mean to avoid junk food such as candy, pop corn, chips, and the like. Eat it in small doses, and concentrate more on healthy goods.
  • Take a mindfulness/meditation break. This can include meditating, yoga, stretching, anything designed specifically to help you relax. Take as much, or as little, time that you need to clear your mind and just concentrate on your breathing.
  • Try to get a good rest. But, if you cannot fall asleep don’t try to force yourself to. If you just find yourself tossing and turning, try reading a book, watch some television, or do an activity that doesn’t require much concentration. This will help reduce anxiety, and you may even get a nap in.
  • Don’t forget to breath. Just take a couple minutes out of your day to concentrate on breathing, sitting back in your chair and concentrating on your breath.
  • Exercise. Go for a walk outside when you are feeling really stressed, or go to the gym for some stress relief.

For further information on stress and ways to relief it, please visit the Heart and Stroke website or News Center.

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