Where am I when I get stressed?
If different situations, people, or thoughts are involved:
What are the feelings I have that are associated with my stress?
What are my primary physical reactions/signs?
What is my primary emotion in the stress situation?
Do I want to express the feelings that I'm having directly?
If the answer is "yes," why am I not doing so?
What am I thinking about the situation?
Are there any images going through my head? If so, what are they?
What are my realistic options here?
How do I want to constructively cope with this?
What realistic choices to I have?
Is now a realistic time to implement some idea or strategy?
Affective: anxiety, fear, dread, depression, anger, irritation, panic, feeling shaky, agitation, tension, feeling trapped, frustration,
Physical: flushing, sweating, dry mouth, shallow rapid breathing, difficulty drawing breath, tightness across the chest with or without pain, heart pounding, heart palpitation, increased blood pressure, headache, backache, stomach tension or ache, feeling weak, fatigue, intestinal distress, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite, loss of sex drive, loss of joy in life, compulsive behavior, insomnia, gas and abdominal cramping, irritable colon, faintness and dizziness, tingling sensations, tight band around forehead.
Cognitive: worry, dread, inattention, distractibility, forgetfulness, nightmares, rigid problem solving, self-criticism, and various kinds of cognitive distortions and misattribution.
Motor/Behavioral: muscle tension with or without pain, tremors, tics, spasms, increased startle reaction or jumpiness, lack of coordination, decreased performance, freezing, avoidance, escape behavior.
If you are in doubt about where to turn for assistance, please feel free to call the Counseling Center at 661-654-3366.
This information was prepared by the Colorado State University Counseling Center to assist students with academic stress management. Information contained herein was gleaned from on-line publications.