Stress is primarily a mental and physicalresponse. When our body is stressed itswitches to ‘fight or flight’ response; releasing chemical hormones such asadrenaline, norepinephrine, and cortisol to respond to the situation.
The challenges we face in our daily life goesinto a state of distress during inappropriate times, thus creating negativeaffect in our relationships and/or schoolwork. This semester has been a whirlwind of allsorts of stress from acute stress to chronic stress. Within the past eight weeks, I encounteredmajor anxiety and pressure during my studies. This affected in loss of interest in studyingeffectively, not following my daily schedules, and going out more to feel therush of happiness and excitement. Thisdid not turn out well because (1) I wasted time and put off my studies andassignments to the very last minute, (2) it increased my test-taking anxietyand dwindled the score on the exams, and (3) becoming passive-aggressive towardpeople who are closest to me.
Although environmentalfactors can cause stress, it can result from internal factors as well. Being a Type A personality, one can be verycompetitive and self-critical of their goals. Personally, I have been critical of myself towhich resulted in distressful moments. Oneprimary moment when this occurred was when I took my second exam for chemistry. I studied hard and prepared in advancedue to the level of difficultness of the materials. After taking the exam and seeing the score, mybody immediately shut-off. I couldn’tunderstand why I received a low score and I became too critical of myself.
When this happened, I eventually lost sight oftaking proper steps to do better the next time. As I previously mentioned, instead of takingmatters in the right direction, I went left and practiced negativereinforcements. Since I knew that Iwasn’t experiencing eustress through practicing better study habits, I turnedto other things like shopping to feel good about myself. In order to combat and reduce my stress, I neededto practice positive habits to eliminate various stress-factors that are takinga toll on my mental and physical state. Irealized that I can no longer avoid the things that stressed me out, so Imanaged my emotional response by developing realistic expectations.
I began to make a list of things that neededto be done for the day and planned ahead by prioritizing in chronologicalorder. Each day I would focus on thelist of goals that needed to be met. This helped me in the long-run because Iwas able to do one thing at a time instead of worrying about the future. Usually, when I am studying I would find aquiet space to avoid unnecessary interruptions.
Sometimes I find that I work better when Ichange the environment in which I am studying in. The atmosphere in coffee shops and theUniversity Library were places that I frequently turned to besides studying atmy dinner table. Over a period of time,I was able to adapt to the different changes in my daily schedule. I substituted negative incentives by studyingat coffee shops to reward myself with a cup of coffee. Ultimately, I learnedthat I could find satisfaction by planning effectively and acting on it as wellas studying in places that made me feel at my best.
Previously, when I did poorly on my exam Iwas shocked to find that I did much better the third round. It was then that I knew I just needed tofigure out what was best for me, instead of ignoring the problems. Overall, I found myself to be less stressedthan before, got enough sleep, maintained a stable relationship with my family,and met the goals I set for my classes as the semester neared. Nutrition is “thesequence of functions by which the body breaks down foods and either absorbs orexcretes them is the digestive process,” according to the literature definition.Nutritious food is essential to our body for maintaining a healthy weight and improvingour well-being.
Water is of majorimportance to the human body; up to approximately 70% of the human body weightcomes from water. The function of waterin our body is used to metabolize proteins and carbohydrates found in food. Water is the primary building block of cells;it dissolves minerals, vitamins, and certain nutrients. During the past eight weeks, I found myselfnot eating as much as I should be eating.
Moreover, I developed a poor habit of convenientlyeating fast food when I became lazy to cook at home. When I continued to exhibit this habit, it becamean issue because (1) I wasted money on unhealthy food, (2) did not gain certainessential nutrients that my body may need, and (3) negatively affecting my mentalhealth. As a college student, there isalready enough pressure in doing well academically and being involved in extracurricular. It is critical to have a healthy diet as astudent because lack of healthy nutrient intake can diminish our energy andfocus, overall affecting academic performances which can lead to unwantedstress. As a science major, we should beaware of how to take care of ourselves, especially for someone like me whowants to become a physician one day.
After reading the textbook required for this course, I became more awareof the essential nutrients that I was missing out on. I turned to my roommate to get somesuggestions on simple, nutritious recipes to cook. It was so helpful to get her feedback becauseshe is a vegetarian. As we all knowbreakfast is the most important meal of the day. When I get up in the mornings, I plan to haveenough time to eat breakfast.
I startedto condition myself to eat cereals, fruits, and other foods for breakfast toreceive good source of fiber and carbohydrates. As for vitamins and minerals, I often cookedgreen vegetables with added peanuts and baked fish fillet. I don’t really track my calorie-intake becauseI believe that when you take thetime to evaluate the nutritional value of the food rather than focusing oncalories, you will make more informed decisions about your diet. Ultimately, I try to balance food intake while acquiring essentialnutrients. During the process of maintaininga healthy diet and avoiding fast food restaurants, I observed changes in myweight control. My weight didn’tfluctuate too low or too high, instead it remained steady (in accordance to myage and height). Additionally, I sawpositive changes in my mood.
This istrue because according to studies out there, a high-quality diet is associatedwith better mental health and vice versa. Previously, when I talked about stress, not only did changing my habitsfor studying and improvising helped reduced stress, the nutrient intakes fromcooking healthy meals made a positive impact as well. In conclusion, throughout the semester, Iexperienced positive outcomes once I practiced good habits. This is essential to living a healthy, happylifestyle and wellness, hence the goal of this course.