Dr. Ken Nedd is a family doctor and stress expert.
He explains that stress can cause several physical problems:
- Back pain
- Heart issues
“As far as happiness goes, it is obvious that we as physicians/practitioners, we want to make people happy,” said Nedd. “The impact of happiness on health is amazing.”
When people are happy, there is chemistry in the body that positively changes. “Leave stress behind and adopt the happier life,” said Nedd. He helps clients, patients, and online visitors achieve happiness every day.
Stress and the College Process
How can students and their parents learn to deal with the stress associated with the college process? Stress is not the events of going off to college and wondering if you are going to be liked, how you will handle the financial aspect, etc. It is not these stressors that cause the stress, but how you respond to them.
“Stress is not the event, stress is your response to the event,” said Nedd.
Definition of Stress
The definition of stress is, “Stress is the response of an individual when he or she recognizes that their demands are beyond their ability to cope.”
There are three windows you can use to defeat stress.
- Identify stressors
- Deal with perceptions
- How to respond
Stress is the response when you perceive things are beyond your ability to cope.
But just look at the stressor directly in the eye and ask, “What can I do?” And instead of using your energy feeling remorseful about what you can’t cope with – use your energy via a different perception. Perceive it as something you can handle. “I can handle that. And that alone will give you a certain amount of power,” said Nedd.
How to recognize stress:
How can parents recognize if their students are stressed? Here are a few indicators:
- Changes in behavior
- Eating habits change
- More upset/irritated
- Don’t listen
- Physical issues: headaches, abdominal pain, etc.
“You begin to intervene at that point,” said Nedd.
Stress: Good or Bad?
According to Nedd, all stress is bad. People need stressors in their lives, but their responses need to be self-enhancing and powerful. Don’t run away from stressors. Just learn to handle them correctly.
“The stressors in your life might stimulate you to be better,” said Nedd.
Adrenaline and Cortisol
Stress impacts the following in your body: adrenaline and cortisol.
- Cortisol: Decrease so it does not make you nervous or impact your memory.
- Adrenaline: Decrease to improve responses.
Example: Student does not do well on college entrance exams or get good high school grades and feel stressed as a result. What does the parent do?
- Tense your body and breathe through your nose to become calm
- Lower sympathetic tone
- Ask student to release tension as well
“Once they learn the technique, then the problems don’t seem as big,” said Nedd.
Too Much Stress
When going to college, money is a major concern and stressor. Therefore, ask what is not necessary? Does your student have to go to a college that costs $80,000 or would a college that costs $5,000 be just as good?
“Sometimes we take on more than we need to,” said Nedd. “Unload what is unnecessary.”
When it comes to scholarships, applications, and other aspects of the college process – instead of trying to do it all, only do the stuff that makes the difference. Don’t wait until the student’s senior year to do everything. You can predict what the stressors will be, so plan ahead.
“The biggest obstacle to success is opportunity,” said Nedd. “Focus, focus. Take some time. Look at your values. What are the things that you really value in life? Go after the few things that really matter.”
- Keep the tone of stress low. Watch your sympathetic tone and tense level!
- Find free time and don’t take on too much.
- Visual Rehearsal: Face a crisis head on. Anticipate and visualize what you have to do in advance. See yourself there as articulate, relaxed, confident, and intellectually superior.
“It’s amazing how these little techniques will propel your success,” said Nedd.
The Link Between Happiness and Stress
Happiness is a decision. It is equivalent to exercising and feeling better because of the hormones that are released in your body.
“Happiness is one of the most important factors that will determine how healthy you are and how your brain functions,” Nedd said.
Being happy generates these positive health results:
- Fights off infection
- Fights off depression
“Happiness is relevant,” said Nedd.
Students and Happiness
Most parents go through the whole college process because they want their kids to grow up to be happy. Going to college is at the root of being happy in life. To create happiness, students should do the following:
- Don’t be selfish
- Be altruistic/giving
- Encourage others
“Assume the role of a happy person,” said Nedd. Problems won’t go away, but you will be able to control the problems better.
What can parents do to implement happiness? Remember, if you are happy, you will be healthier and live longer.
- Make the decision to be happy.
- Be more complimentary and help others.
- Reduce tension and lower sympathetic tone.
- Focus on what you really want.
- Use your imagination for upcoming events.
“Whenever life hands you a problem, look it in the eyes and say, ‘I can handle that’,” said Nedd.
Books and Resources
Check out Dr. Nedd’s books, 25 Ways to Stop Stress Now and Life a Happier Life and The Power Over Stress, at www.drnedd.com. Also, go to www.poweroverstress.com for an audio program to help you deal with stress and be happy.
Visit Dr. Nedd on Facebook, too.
“You’ve got the power to deal with the stressors in your life!”
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Brad is not affiliated with Dr. Ken Nedd.