Stress can have positive effects on students

By Lindsay Dowdle, Contributing Writer

 Stress is something that every college student knows way too well. However, the positive effects of stress are often overlooked. Vilma Ruddock, author of “What Is Positive Stress?” says, “Positive stress or eustress (also called good stress) is when you perceive a stressful situation as an opportunity that will lead to a good outcome.” Stress can lead you to accomplish your goals and allow you to be successful.
 
Lisa Witzberger, West Liberty University’s counselor, said, “A certain level of stress can be helpful and at times stress acts as a motivator to accomplish goals.” Stress can lead to motivation, causing us to complete a difficult task or event that we must deal with.
 
John Whyte, Former Chief Medical Expert and VP, Health and Medical Education at Discovery Channel, wrote, “Occasional stress can help keep you focused and improve your recall, which can be a plus when cramming for that test or preparing for an important presentation at work.” 
 
Stress can be positive in the way that it can motivate you to not only do better on tests, work and events, but it can also push you to your fullest potential. 
 
Another way stress can be beneficial is that it helps people learn the best way to overcome and manage stressful situations. Tammy McClain, Interim Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at West Liberty, said, “Exercising regularly, having time to relax and getting enough sleep are effective ways in managing stress.” 
 
Everyone responds to stress differently and has to figure out their way to manage stress
 
WLU student Meredith Garner said, “Exercise is my gateway to happiness and my way to manage my stress.” Stress is something you have to learn to cope with and figure out your method to deal with it. 
 
Positive stress also has a surprising health benefit. At Stanford University of Medicine, they have conducted a study on how stress can boost your immune system. 
 
Christian Nordqvist, author of “What is Stress? How To Deal With Stress,” wrote, “Some situations which are not negative ones may still be perceived as stressful. This is because we think we are not completely prepared to cope with them effectively.”  
 
Even though the situation is not negative, it may cause us to become stressed because we don’t know how to handle the situation presented. Nordqvist also stated, “Your interpretation of events and challenges in life may decide whether they are invigorating or harmful for you.” Not every event can have a negative effect on you, and it depends on your perception of the event to determine how it will affect you.
 
Stress is something we all must deal with at some point in our lives. You just have to find the way that works best for you to deal with it. 
 
Once you learn how to manage stress, it can have benefits. 
 
If you need someone to talk to about how to deal with stress or just need advice, talk to Lisa Witzberger, the counselor on campus. She can be reached in Main Hall 139 or can be contacted via email at [email protected]
 
Photo credit: Lindsay Dowdle
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