Students encounter stress frequently here at Salt Lake Community College.
Succeeding in school while having stress can be a challenge. But psychology professor Katerina Salini says that stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
“Feeling stressed is information, an internal signal that one is not at ease or that things are not the way one would like them to be,” Salini says. “That feeling of ‘Oh, no, I’m stressed out!’ [causes] the heart to beat faster from the fight-or-flight instinct kicking in. Most [people] just want that bad feeling to stop.”
Salini says doing things you love that are good for the body helps reduce stress. The fight-or-flight feeling Salini describes can trigger energy in the body by releasing adrenaline or causing the heart to pump faster.
Students should seek physical activity to help release the energy. Taking a fitness class, going to the gym, dancing, swimming, or even gardening can bring stress levels down.
Socializing, spending time with loved ones, laughing, playing a game, or getting a massage can also help to alleviate stress.
If lifestyle changes don’t help, students can seek effective treatment with the help of a licensed or clinical professional.
Salini explains that clinical approaches can be done when stress is too much to handle and that clinical approaches will vary, depending on the therapist and the needs of the client.
Some of the red flags that indicate stress cannot be handled are when it interferes with daily tasks or activities, or if it lasts for weeks or months at a time.
SLCC students can seek help for their stress by going to the Center for Health and Counseling. Offices are located at the Taylorsville Redwood, Jordan and South City campuses.
The centers offer a range of services such as mental health counseling, medical care and massage therapy. Students are encouraged to schedule an appointment.