Description: The pending arrival of mid-term season can give rise to sometimes overwhelming thoughts about stress and anxiety. Now is a good time to check your plans and to make sure you have booked in enough study and review time to ensure that your levels of stress and anxiety will not build to problematic levels. Now is also a good time to reflect (briefly, because you have other stuff to do!), on the positive roles that your feelings of anxiety play in your planning and coping activities. We DO see a LOT of discussion about the veils of stress and anxiety but think for a moment about some ways in which anxiety might actually be adaptive for you. Once you have a few hypotheses in mind, have a look trough the article linked below and see what psychologist, Lisa Damour suggests.
Source: Why stress and anxiety aren’t always bad, Science News ScienceDaily.
Date: August 10, 2019.
Photo Credit: nami.org
Damour points out that stress, and related anxiety, are basic parts of life and that paying attention to the nuances of good and bad stress and anxiety and adaptive and maladaptive responses that we make to stressful situations can help us to build stress tolerance. As well it can help us learn to use anxiety as a tool to broaden our awareness of the situations we are entering in ways that will help us to behave in ways that will enhance rather than diminish our adaptation to the world. If we focus only on whether or not we are happy we run the risk of missing some of the ways in which our feelings of anxiety can inform us about way in which we can move forward more positively.
Questions for Discussion:
- When might anxiety be useful?
- How are stress and anxiety related?
- What are some things that you do, have done, or could do in order to understand and work towards a positive balance between stress anxiety and wellbeing?
References (Read Further):
Damour, Lisa (2019) “At Ease: Reframing Stress and Anxiety,” presentation at the annual meetings of the American Psychological Association, Chicago, August 8 -11. https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2019/08/stress-anxiety
Damour, L. (2019). Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls. Ballantine Books.
Breedvelt, J., Amanvermez, Y., Harrer, M., Karyotaki, E., Gilbody, S., Bockting, C. L., … & Ebert, D. D. (2019). The effects of meditation, yoga and mindfulness on depression, anxiety and stress in tertiary education students: A meta-analysis. Frontiers in psychiatry, 10, 193. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00193/full?report=reader
Bistricky, S. L., Harper, K. L., Roberts, C. M., Cook, D. M., Schield, S. L., Bui, J., & Short, M. B. (2018). Understanding and Promoting Stress Management Practices Among College Students Through an Integrated Health Behavior Model. American Journal of Health Education, 49(1), 12-27. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Steven_Bistricky/publication/320342241_Understanding_and_Promoting_Stress_Management_Practices_Among_College_Students_Through_an_Integrated_Health_Behavior_Model/links/5a1d5ef44585153731898d61/Understanding-and-Promoting-Stress-Management-Practices-Among-College-Students-Through-an-Integrated-Health-Behavior-Model
Turetsky, K. M., & Sanderson, C. A. (2018). Comparing educational interventions: Correcting misperceived norms improves college students’ mental health attitudes. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 48(1), 46-55. http://www.columbia.edu/~kmt2149/pubs/Turetsky-Sanderson_2018.pdf
Dexter, L. R., Huff, K., Rudecki, M., & Abraham, S. (2018). College students’ stress coping behaviors and perception of stress-effects holistically. International Journal of Studies in Nursing, 3(2), 1. http://journal.julypress.com/index.php/ijsn/article/viewFile/279/227