Tips for Managing Stress

  • Accept only your own responsibility in situations.
  • Set realistic expectations for yourself.
  • Focus on successes rather than on failures.
  • Develop your own personal definition of success, instead of society's.
  • Be realistic about time expectations and perspectives.
  • Remember, life does have troublesome problems. This is normal.
  • Recognize that you will be criticized more than praised by parents, partners, and supervisors.
  • Create variety: do old things in new ways.
  • Make your work/study area more stimulating: redecorate, add music, change colors.
  • Leave the office/campus for lunch and errands, if possible.
  • Learn to be detached from problems.
  • Do paperwork immediately. Don't procrastinate.
  • Ask others for positive feedback.
  • Develop a hobby and spend time on it regularly.
  • Learn and practice sound money management.
  • Don't bring work home with you.
  • Decrease television time.
  • Keep physically fit - good diet and adequate exercise.
  • Avoid excessive use of alcohol and drugs.
  • Spend time in active family activities.

Beliefs that Contribute to Stress

  • We must be loved by everyone and everyone must approve of everything we do.
  • We must be thoroughly competent, adequate, intelligent, and achieving in all possible respects.
  • Certain acts are wrong or wicked or villainous, and people who perform them should be severely punished.
  • It is a terrible catastrophe when things are not as we would like them to be.
  • Unhappiness is the result of external events and happenings that are focused on us and that we have no control over.
  • We should be greatly concerned about dangerous and fearful things and must center our thinking on them until the danger has passed.
  • It is easier to avoid difficulties and responsibilities in life than to face them.
  • We need someone or something stronger than ourselves to rely on.
  • Because something greatly influenced us in the past, it must determine our present behavior: the influence of the past cannot be overcome.
  • What other people do is vitally important to us, and we should make every effort to change them to be the way we think they should be.
  • There is one perfect solution to every problem, and if it is not found, the results will be terrible.
  • One has virtually no control over her emotions; she is their victim and cannot help how she feels.

Academic Resource Center
Sweet Briar College
Sweet Briar, VA 24595