Although the holiday break of Thanksgiving is coming, making the last week of November seem longer than it is once we are dining with our families and thinking about what to snag on Black Friday, the return to Penn State will shatter us back into a reality of struggle as we prep for final exams or add finishing touches to our final papers. According to the modern psychology, stress can come in different forms and bring different impacts. Catastrophes are unexpected and cause massive stress, while hassles are daily annoyances ranging from burning your tongue on a cup of coffee or failing to the perfect knot on our ties. One could further divide stressors to situations where the person has or does not have control, with the uncontrollable stressors being the more strenuous. But one thing these stressors all have in common is change. Maybe it’s your environment or your friend. Even if your life had never changed for 10 years and you become bored of your lifestyle, you still experience a change in attitude.
So how do we deal with change and the stress it will cause? They’re two ways to first look at a situation before coming up with the plan, which brings us to emotion-coping methods and problem-solving methods. Emotion-coping is to change the way one feels about the stress, therefore assuaging the problem. For example, smiling even when the expression is not genuine, is shown to genuinely reduce stress levels. Problem-based solutions are looking at what steps can one take in order to make the problem go away. People stressed about a paper may break down the problem into smaller hassles and then proceed one step at a time until the paper is completed. Notice how situations can call for different types of stress reduction. Emotion-coping works better with problems that are uncontrollable, while problem solving methods cannot help solve unchangeable problems.