Stress Management

Attending college can be a stressful time. The stress management information on this page can help you learn to recognize the signs of stress in yourself and manage stress in healthy and effective ways. If stress becomes unmanageable for you, please come to the Counseling Center where our counselors can help you learn to manage your stress in a variety of helpful ways.

You can’t eliminate stress from your life, but you can change the way you react it. You may feel as though there is nothing you can do that will help, but you do have options. You can choose how you are going to react to the situation in a manner that will serve you in a more constructive way.

One method for managing stress is SBRC or *Stop-Breathe-Reflect-Choose. This technique takes about 2 minutes and it can help reduce your negative reactions to stress.

  • Step 1: Stop – what you are doing and the continuous flow of negative thoughts about the situation.
  • Step 2: Breathe – take in a deep breath, feeling your abdomen rise and fall, releasing any tension in your body as you exhale.
  • Step 3: Reflect – consider what is really going on. Is the situation a crisis? If so, can you cope with it? Will worrying and becoming tense help to solve it? What action will help you in this particular situation? Who can you consult with to help?
  • Step 4: Choose – now make a choice. You can make a choice about how you are going to react in a positive manner. A choice that serves you. This choice may be different depending on the situation, but through this process you can begin to realize that you have the power to choose your actions in the face of stress. With practice, you can take control of your reactions.

*SBRC method is adapted from “The Wellness Book”, Herbert Benson, MD

Recommended Links:

2 to 11 minute audio downloads: MIT Guided Relaxation and Stress Reduction

Understanding Stress: Signs, Symptoms, Causes and Effects

Stress Management: How to Reduce, Prevent, and Cope with Stress

Relaxation Techniques for Stress Relief: Relaxation Exercises and Tips

Apps for Smartphone:

Anxiety/Panic/Social Anxiety

Panic Relief provides animations to coach/reduce symptoms of panic attack

SAM (self-help anxiety management) offers psycho-education, relaxation tools, and social networking

Worry Watch helps you track & analyze what you worry about most

Public Speaking Skills provides tools to reduce public speaking anxiety

Depression/Mood Tracking

Optimism charts mood concerns (i.e. depression, bipolar disorder)


Sleep Better Smart Alarm tracks sleep, dreams, improves sleep hygiene