Stress Is a Natural Process
“I am so stressed.” How many times do you hear this a day? I think we can all agree that this is a commonly used phrase in the post-secondary setting, especially during exams. But don’t worry! This is natural. This is your “body’s response to a real or perceived threat” (Canadian Mental Health Association). In order to resolve a situation, stress is crucial.
Stress – high or low – is experienced in everyone’s daily lives, especially during the school year. Although it can be beneficial in motivating you to meet your goals, a large exposure to it can lead to chronic stress. Chronic stress causes an excess amount of cortisol to be released, which can lead to various amounts of health problems.
Stress Gets you Ready for Action
Stress causes cortisol levels to increase in the body. Cortisol regulates changes in the body during a response to stress. This can allow for quick energy production to prepare you for a threatening situation. For example, if a dog is chasing you, you need that instantaneous energy to run away. A stress response gets you to take action and out of trouble! Thank you stress!
Understanding your stress will help you thrive. When you experience an increased heart rate, sweating palms, or other symptoms, be aware that this is your body working with you and not against you. So, instead of suppressing your anxious feelings, allow your body to do its job and assist you.
So How Can You Get Rid of Unwanted Stress ?
Chronic stress may be harmful to your body but we can minimize the effects by coping with it. The Move U team came up with a few de-stresser tips to help you lower your stress level this semester.
When midterms arrive, it’s tempting to pull off all-nighters, skip workouts, and increase your caffeine intake. It’s also easy to forget about our mental well-being. A 4.0 GPA is just as important as our mental well-being. Just as we aim to improve our GPA, we should also aim to improve our mental health. Move U has gathered the Top 5 Mental Wellness Tips that will help you get through the stress.
2. Don’t Forget To Stretch
Stretching helps to relieve stress by increasing your blood’s circulation levels, reducing pain, and inducing relaxation. As we just learned, stress is our body’s “fight or flight” response and causes our body to tense up. If individuals are stressed for long periods of time, blood flow is restricted in the body and leads to chronic pain in places where tension is held. Stretching can ease fatigue, impatience, and lack of sleep while improving function and assisting in eliminating the need for medication used for treatment. Stretching can also allow muscles to relax by increasing blood flow to the muscles. Heart health and cardiovascular function are also improved by increased circulation of blood to the brain. Lastly, stretching helps with mood elevation – allowing any stress to roll off your body and mind.
3. Check Out Move U’s Special Events!
Move U’s goal is to inspire and educate students about the benefits of physical
activity. We host tons of fun events throughout the year ranging from cooking competitions, amazing races, carnivals, weekly sneaker squad runs and more! These events will help refresh your mind, and give you a fun break away from your assignments, midterms, and finals. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to stay updated !
4. TPASC – Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre
A 42 ft. climbing wall, four gymnasiums, a training pool with a mobile floor, indoor track, a fitness centre and three studios! Where? At the Toronto Pan Am Sport Centre! Did you know that as a UTSC student, you already have access to TPASC? TPASC offers a large variety of free group fitness classes, registered instructional fitness and sport programming for all fitness levels. Can’t wait to get started? Check out the drop-in times for the gym today! Search up when the next Zumba, Yoga, or Athletic Conditioning class is, and MORE at http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/athletics/group-fitness.
Bring your T-Card and we’ll see you there !