Student Health Services


WCU Students report stress is the number one thing that interferes with school and grades (ACHA 2007)

What is stress? Stress is your reaction to change and the demands of your life. Each person interprets stress differently. The physical signs of stress you experience are your body's Fight or Flight response.

stressed out

While putting those last minute touches on your paper the computer crashes.
How do you react?

Do you slam the computer shut and yell at your roommate?
Do you take a few deep breaths, gather your books, and head to the computer lab?

You can't control the unexpected but there are effective ways to manage your stress response.

Is stress good or bad? Stress is both good and bad. Good stress motivates you to get things done. Too much stress can cause you to shut down, snap at friends and family, and over time cause physical issues. Long term stress is linked to headaches, difficulty sleeping, and a weakened immune system.

How do I know if I am stressed? Stress occurs in 3 different ways: physiological, behavioral, and cognitive.

  • Physical Signs
    (changes in your body)
  • Shallow, rapid breathing
    Increased heart beat
    Tightness in chest
    Difficulty sleeping
    Loss of appetite/overeating
  • Behavioral Signs
    (actions others can see
  • Acting impulsively
    Losing patience
    Being careless or forgetful
    Increased conflict with family and friends
  • Cognitive Signs
    (your thoughts)
  • Difficulty concentrating
    Distracted by worries
    Self-defeating thoughts
    Low self-esteem
    Excessive worrying

What is your current stress level? Take this quiz to measure your stress level.

You know you are stressed. Now what?