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General resistance to stress

Everyone experiences stress at some point. According to a survey by the National College Health Association, more than 70% of students reported feeling overwhelmed by all they had to do within the past 30 days. In school, at work, at home - there are many times when we feel like there is more going on than we can handle. This, after all, is “stress” - the feeling that what we need to do is more than can be done.


People often talk about experiencing stress, but there is something more important than feeling like our demands exceed our resources: how we respond to that feeling. We can respond positively in ways that help us overcome those challenges, or we can respond in ways that either don’t solve the problem, create new problems, or both. There are two major things to keep in mind when you encounter stress.


First, how can you handle that stress in a healthy way? While there are tips below, such as the use of mindfulness-based meditation practices, that can be good for reducing stress on your own, but it’s always a good idea to talk to someone about it. It could be a friend, family member, or a trained counselor.


Second, how are you going to respond? As you can learn about in the section on Coping Strategies, there are “adaptive” - or positive - ways to respond, and problematic ways to respond. Make sure that, in times of stress, you’re taking steps to actually address the problem (i.e., making a plan or talking with someone who can help you) instead of ways that will either avoid the problem or simply make you feel more stressed.

If the problem can be solved, why worry? 
If the problem cannot be solved, worrying will do you no good.


How can I improve my Calmness?

Strategies to Use

  • Consider strategies like mindfulness-based meditation, which can give you the skills to acknowledge and process stress. (see Online Resources below)

  • If your stress seems like something more than you can handle, make sure to talk to someone who can help. Your advisor, a counselor, a friend, or family member are all good resources.

Resources at Montclair State

  • Academic Advising helps students create a personalized approach that will help them achieve their personal and academic goals.

  • CAPS provides free, voluntary services to all students including short term individual counseling, a variety of weekly therapy and support groups, consultations, psychiatry services and referral assistance to providers off-campus.

  • Red Hawk Central houses Student Accounts, Registrar, and Financial Aid.

  • Office for Social Justice and Diversity includes centers for LGBTQ+, multicultural, women, and faith communities.

  • Residence Life assists in finding campus housing and offers opportunities to connect with other residents at MSU.

  • Commuter Life strives to create a strong community amongst the Commuter Students at Montclair State University by providing fun, social and educational events and a mentorship for first-year students to help you get the most out of your college career! Look to us for a wealth of resources relative to parking, commuter life, transit info and more.

  • Center for Student Involvement: houses the volunteer center, commuter life, greek life, and civic & voter engagement.

  • Student Government Association aims to enrich your college experience by giving students opportunities to connect with others, explore new interests and lead their own clubs.

  • Health Promotion provides resources, programs, and services to advance student health and well-being. Topics include stress, sleep, alcohol and other drugs, safer sex, and body image.

  • IT Service Desk is the first point of contact for all IT service requests.

  • Red Hawk Food Pantry offers access to food and other essentials to members of the MSU community.

  • Rocky's Closet is a free resource that provides professional attire to students going on interviews or who are looking to build their professional closet as they enter the workforce.

  • Disability Resource Center assists in receiving the accommodations and services necessary to equalize access. The DRC provides assistance to students with physical, sensory, learning, psychological, neurological, and chronic medical disabilities.‌

Online Resources

  • The UCLA Mindfulness Awareness Research Center offers a full complement of free mindfulness exercises from simple 3 minute meditations to 6 week online classes as well as weekly live podcasts.

  • Insight Timer - Meditation: Free access to the largest library of guided meditations on earth. 

  • Anxiety Sisters: Anxiety specific resources for free including a red "panic button" you can click during a severe anxiety episode and a recording will talk you down.

  • Calm is an app that offers resources to help with meditation, anxiety, and even sleep, though there is a cost associated with the full version.

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