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Stress Management

Feeling stressed or overwhelmed? If so, know that you are not alone. It is common for college students to experience stress. We are here for you at WELLWVU and have several tips to help reduce your stress levels!

What is stress?

Stress is a normal reaction that your mind and body experience when you are faced with changes in life. Stress often results from feeling like you are unable to handle or cope with these life changes.  

What causes stress?

Whether you are adjusting to a new college environment, or taking several challenging classes, there are several things that can contribute to your stress level. However, there is not one specific thing that causes stress. Everyone responds to situations differently, so it is normal for you to have a different stress response than a friend or classmate. It is helpful to reflect on the things in your life that increase your stress.

Stress Building Up Poster
Stress building up?

It is common to feel stressed; and in fact, some stress can actually be beneficial. However, when our stress levels build up over time, it gets stored in our bodies in the form of the stress hormone cortisol. As cortisol builds up in our bodies, it can lead to negative outcomes such as a weakened immune system or feelings of fatigue. To help manage and reduce negative outcomes of stress, release cortisol from your body by:

1. Peeing

The stress hormone cortisol can be released from your body through urine. When you are feeling stressed, drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. This will not only increase your energy levels, but also help release built-up stress.

It is recommended that you drink about eight, eight-ounce glasses of water per day to maintain your hydration levels. Consider drinking water before you feel thirsty to prevent dehydration and to help reduce your overall stress levels.

2. Sweating

Cortisol can also be released from your body through your sweat. Engage in your favorite exercise or movement for at least 30 minutes daily to release built-up stress.

Check out the Rec Center’s website for more information: WVU Student Recreation Center 

3. Crying

When you cry, cortisol is released from your body through your tears. It is common to want to hold in your feelings when you are sad or stressed. Give yourself permission to have a good cry when you need it to let out all the built-up cortisol in your body.

Need a shoulder to cry on? Schedule an appointment with WVU’s Carruth Center to talk with a therapist today: WVU Carruth Center 

How can I relieve stress?

Similar to how everyone responds to stressful situations differently, they also react to stress management techniques differently. Unfortunately, there is not a secret recipe for how to get relief from stress—it is about finding what works for you! 

Don't get discouraged if you try a stress management technique and you still feel stressed afterwards. All that means is you have not found what works for you yet. Check out our virtual stress management tools for more ideas! 

How do I know if I need help with stress management?

You are not alone! While stress management techniques can be helpful for some people, it is also common to need additional support to help manage your stress. If you notice your stress start to have a negative impact on your life, and stress management techniques just aren’t doing the trick, consider reaching out to a friend, advisor, or counselor for support. 

For more information on counseling support at WVU, visit

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