Stress Management

The experience of stress is universal – everyone, everywhere feels stress.  Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to the demands of life. When there is a stressor in your life, your body responds with the fight-or-flight response. When the stressor is gone, your body returns to normal. Unfortunately, the non-stop stress of being a college student means that your body may stay in fight-or-flight mode instead of returning to normal.  Chronic stress can lead to negative physical, psychological, social, and academic impacts over time - that's why stress management is essential to your health and well-being!

Common Signs and Symptoms of Unhealthy Amounts of Stress

  • Feelings: anxiety, irritability, moodiness, embarrassment, overwhelmed.
  • Thoughts: self-criticism, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, forgetfulness, repetitive thoughts, fear of failure.
  • Behaviors: crying, withdrawal from social group, increased or decreased appetite, irritability with friends, acting impulsively, alcohol or other drug use, teeth grinding, and jaw clenching
  • Physical: sleep disturbances, tight muscles, headaches, fatigue, back or neck pain, stomach distress, more colds and infections, rapid breathing, and pounding heart

Stress Reduction Tips

Managing stress looks different for everyone and it’s important that you find the strategies that work best for you. What helps one person may not be that helpful for someone else. Check out the tips below and find what works for you.

  • Practice self-care: Taking care of yourself will help maintain your physical, emotional, and social well-being to help prevent and manage stress. This includes regular sleep, exercise, eating well, and making time for relaxation and fun.  
  • Evaluate your priorities: There are so many amazing activities and student organizations to join at Georgia Tech, but if you try to do everything, you may spread yourself too thin. Try out the JOOL app (link to JOOL page) to help you discover your purpose and choose activities that align with your values.
  • Consider doing less: Before taking on an additional responsibilities, take some time to think about if you really have the time and how it will affect your overall health and well-being.  Are the benefits worth the potential stress of having too much on your plate? 

  • Practice setting limits:  It can be tough to say "no" to others.  Rather than automatically saying "yes" to new responsibilities, take the time to determine whether it’s something you have the time, passion, and desire to commit to. It is okay to say no!

Stress Relief Strategies

  • Talk to someone: Friends, family, counselors, or religious advisors are all great people to talk things through with. Having a support system is crucial to maintaining your overall health and well-being.
  • Have fun: Do something purely for fun and enjoyment – get crafty, go to the movies, bowl at Tech Rec. You deserve to have some fun!
  • Write it out: Sometimes it’s helpful to get your thoughts out of your head and onto paper. Journaling is a great way to de-stress, relax, and think through what you are feeling.
  • Get out and about: Unplug and explore the outdoors by taking a walk, discovering a new place on campus, or venturing out to one of the many parks in Atlanta. Research shows that spending time in nature reduces stress and anxiety while increasing positive emotions.
  • Try a relaxation activity: deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or getting a massage are all great options.
  • Move your body: Find ways to get active and incorporate more movement into your life. Campus Recreation is a great campus resource that offers group fitness classes, personal training, swimming, intramural sports, massage therapists, and also has an amazing outdoor recreation program.

Programs & Services


Person meditation

Through mindfulness, you are able to be aware of where you are and what you are doing and not be overly reactive or overwhelmed by what is going on around us.  

Wellness Coaching

team fist pumping

Learn more about the wellness coaching services offered in Health Initiatives.

Mental Health & Well-Being Resources

Stress Management Resources