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An Overview of Stress Management

Elizabeth Scott, PhD is an author, workshop leader, educator, and award-winning blogger on stress management, positive psychology, relationships, and emotional wellbeing.

introduction to stress essay

Carly Snyder, MD is a reproductive and perinatal psychiatrist who combines traditional psychiatry with integrative medicine-based treatments.

introduction to stress essay

Stress Management

Stress management is the range of techniques, strategies, and therapies designed to help people control their stress. This can include lowering acute stress, but it is often aimed at lowering chronic stress to improve health, happiness, and overall well-being. Stress management strategies may include:

  • Deep breathing
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Guided visualization
  • Hobbies and leisure activities
  • Mindfulness
  • Positive thinking
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Psychotherapy
  • Social support

We all experience stress in our lives. Because many health problems are caused or influenced by stress, it's essential to understand how stress affects your body and learn effective stress management techniques to make stress work for you rather than against you.

What Is Stress?

Stress is your body’s response to changes in your life. Because life involves constant change—ranging from everyday, routine changes like commuting from home to work to adapting to major life changes like marriage, divorce, or death of a loved one—there is no avoiding stress.  

Your goal shouldn't be to eliminate all stress but to eliminate unnecessary stress and effectively manage the rest. There are some common causes of stress that many people experience, but each person is different.

Stress can come from many sources, which are known as " stressors ." Because our experience of what is considered "stressful" is created by our unique perceptions of what we encounter in life (based on our own mix of personality traits, available resources, and habitual thought patterns), a situation may be perceived as "stressful" by one person and merely "challenging" by someone else.

Simply put, one person's stress trigger may not register as stressful to someone else. That said, certain situations tend to cause more stress in most people and can increase the risk of burnout .

For example, when we find ourselves in situations where there are high demands on us but we little control and few choices, we are likely to experience stress. We might also feel stress when we don't feel equipped; where we may be harshly judged by others; and where consequences for failure are steep or unpredictable.

Many people are stressed by their jobs , relationships , financial issues , and health problems, as well as more mundane things like clutter or busy schedules . Learning skills to cope with these stressors can help reduce your experience of stress.  

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Just as stress is perceived differently by each of us, stress affects us all in ways that are unique to us. One person may experience headaches, while another may find stomach upset is a common reaction, and a third may experience any of a number of other symptoms.

While we all react to stress in our own ways, there is a long list of commonly experienced effects of stress that range from mild to life-threatening. Stress can affect immunity, which can impact virtually all areas of health. Stress can affect mood in many ways as well. Creating a stress management plan is often one part of a plan for overall wellness.

If you find yourself experiencing physical symptoms you think may be related to stress, talk to your doctor to be sure you are doing what you can to safeguard your health. Symptoms that may be exacerbated by stress are not "all in your head" and need to be taken seriously.

Stress can be effectively managed in many different ways. The best stress management plans usually include a mix of stress relievers that address stress physically and psychologically and help to develop resilience and coping skills.

7 Highly Effective Stress Relievers

Use quick stress relievers.

Some stress relief techniques can work in just a few minutes to calm the body's stress response. These techniques offer a "quick fix" that helps you feel calmer at the moment, and this can help in several ways.

When your stress response is not triggered, you may approach problems more thoughtfully and proactively. You may be less likely to lash out at others out of frustration, which can keep your relationships healthier. Nipping your stress response in the bud can also keep you from experiencing chronic stress.

Quick stress relievers like breathing exercises, for example, may not build your resilience to future stress or minimize the stressors that you face. But they can help calm the body's physiology once the stress response is triggered.  

Develop Stress-Relieving Habits

Some techniques are less convenient to use when you are in the middle of a stressful situation. But if you practice them regularly, they can help you manage stress in general by being less reactive to it and more able to reverse your stress response quickly and easily.

Long-term healthy habits, like exercise or regular meditation , can help to promote resilience toward stressors if you make them a regular part of your life.   Communication skills and other lifestyle skills can be helpful in managing stressors and changing how we feel from "overwhelmed" to "challenged" or even "stimulated."

Eliminate Stressors When You Can

You may not be able to completely eliminate stress from your life or even the biggest stressors, but there are areas where you can minimize it and get it to a manageable level.

Any stress that you can cut out can minimize your overall stress load. For example, ending even one toxic relationship can help you more effectively deal with other stress you experience because you may feel less overwhelmed.  

Discovering a wide variety of stress management techniques, and then choosing a mix that fits your needs, can be a key strategy for effective stress relief.

Stress FAQs

There are a number of common questions that you might ask about stress and stress management.

Is All Stress Harmful to Health?

There are several different types of stress , and not all are harmful. Eustress , for example, is a positive form of stress. But chronic stress has been linked to many serious health issues and is the type of negative stress most often mentioned in the news.   While we want to manage or eliminate negative stress, we also want to keep positive forms of stress in our lives to help us remain vital and alive.

However, if we experience too much stress in our lives, even "good" stress can contribute to excessive stress levels, which can lead to feeling overwhelmed or having your stress response triggered for too long. This is why it is still important to learn to relax your body and mind periodically and cut down on unnecessary stress whenever possible.

How Can I Tell When I’m Too Stressed?

Stress affects us all in different ways, not all of which are negative. In fact, the stress of an exciting life can actually serve as a good motivator and keep things interesting. When stress levels get too intense, however, there are some stress symptoms that many people experience.

For example, headaches, irritability, and "fuzzy thinking" can all be symptoms that you’re under too much stress.   While not everybody who’s under stress will experience these specific symptoms, many will.

If you find that you don't realize how stressed you are until you are overwhelmed, it's important to learn to notice your body's subtle cues and your own behavior, almost like an outside observer might. To notice how your body is reacting to stress, you can try this body scan meditation (it helps relax at the same time).

What Can I Do When I Feel Overwhelmed?

We all feel overwhelmed from time to time; that’s normal. While it’s virtually impossible to eliminate times when events conspire and the body’s stress response is triggered, there are ways that you can quickly reverse your body’s reaction to stress, buffering the damage to your health and keeping your thinking clear, so you can more effectively deal with what’s going on in the moment.

Is There a Way to Be Less Affected by Stress?

By practicing regular stress management techniques, you can eliminate some of the stress you feel and make yourself more resilient in the face of stress in the future. There are several things you can try, ranging from a morning walk to an evening journaling practice to just making more time for friends. The trick is to find something that fits with your lifestyle and personality, so it’s easier to stick with.

National Institute of Mental Health. 5 Things You Should Know About Stress .

Ma X, Yue ZQ, Gong ZQ, et al. The effect of diaphragmatic breathing on attention, negative affect and stress in healthy adults .  Front Psychol . 2017;8:874. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00874

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine. Mind and Body Approaches for Stress: What the Science Says . 2020.

Bota PG, Miropolskiy E, Nguyen V. Stop caretaking the borderline or narcissist: How to end the drama and get on with life .  Ment Illn . 2017;9(1):6985. doi:10.4081/mi.2017.6985

Lehrer PM, Woolfolk RL, Sime WE. Principles and Practice of Stress Management . 3rd edition. New York: The Guilford Press; 2007.

By Elizabeth Scott, PhD Elizabeth Scott, PhD is an author, workshop leader, educator, and award-winning blogger on stress management, positive psychology, relationships, and emotional wellbeing.

Stress: What Is It Actually? An Introduction

  • First Online: 30 September 2022

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introduction to stress essay

  • Gert Kaluza 2  

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In the 1940s, the Austrian-Canadian physician and biochemist Hans Selye (1907–1982) introduced the concept of stress into medicine. He used it to refer in general terms to the effects of stress on living bodies. His research showed that a wide variety of physical and mental loads lead to characteristic physical and mental changes that, if prolonged, can pose a serious threat to health. Scientists from a variety of disciplines, including biology and medicine, psychology, sociology, and occupational science, have since conducted intensive research on the development of stress and its consequences for physical and mental health. This chapter presents the role of stressors, stress responses, and stress amplifiers.

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Kaluza, G. (2022). Stress: What Is It Actually? An Introduction. In: Calm and Confident Under Stress. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-662-64440-9_1

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Stress, Lifestyle, and Health

Introduction to defining stress, what you’ll learn to do: describe stress, its impact on the body, and identify common stressors.

Man sitting at a desk with his laptop and a coffee, looking over some work papers with his hand on his head, appearing to be stressed out.

Stress is a process whereby an individual perceives and responds to events appraised as overwhelming or threatening to one’s well-being. The scientific study of how stress and emotional factors impact health and well-being is called health psychology , a field devoted to studying the general impact of psychological factors on health. While there are circumstances in which stress can be good, we know that stress can have serious negative consequences on the body.

Stressors can be chronic (long term) or acute (short term), and can include traumatic events, significant life changes, daily hassles, and situations in which people are frequently exposed to challenging and unpleasant events. Many potential stressors include events or situations that require us to make changes in our lives, such as a divorce or moving to a new residence. Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe developed the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) to measure stress by assigning a number of life change units (LCUs) to life events that typically require some adjustment, including positive events. Although the SRRS has been criticized on a number of grounds, extensive research has shown that the accumulation of many LCUs is associated with an increased risk of illness. Many potential stressors also include daily hassles, which are minor irritations and annoyances that can build up over time. In addition, jobs that are especially demanding, offer little control over one’s working environment or involve unfavorable working conditions can lead to job strain, thereby setting the stage for job burnout.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe various definitions of stress, including the difference between stimulus-based and response-based stress and good stress and bad stress
  • Describe the contributions of Walter Cannon (fight or flight) and Hans Selye (general adaptation syndrome) to the stress research field
  • Explain what occurs in the sympathetic nervous system, and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal system during stress
  • Describe different types of possible stressors, including major life readjustments and the connection between stressors, job strain, and job burnout
  • Modification, adaptation, and original content. Provided by : Lumen Learning. License : CC BY: Attribution
  • What is Stress? and Stressors. Authored by : OpenStax College. Located at : https://openstax.org/books/psychology-2e/pages/14-1-what-is-stress . License : CC BY: Attribution . License Terms : Download for free at https://openstax.org/books/psychology-2e/pages/1-introduction
  • Image of man working. Authored by : caio_triana. Provided by : Pixabay. Located at : https://pixabay.com/en/work-stressed-accounts-2005640/ . License : CC0: No Rights Reserved

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Essay on Stress Management

500 words essay on stress management.

Stress is a very complex phenomenon that we can define in several ways. However, if you put them together, it is basically the wear and tear of daily life. Stress management refers to a wide spectrum of techniques and psychotherapies for controlling a person’s stress level, especially chronic stress . If there is effective stress management, we can help one another break the hold of stress on our lives. The essay on stress management will throw light on the very same thing.

essay on stress management

Identifying the Source of Stress

The first step of stress management is identifying the source of stress in your life. It is not as easy as that but it is essential. The true source of stress may not always be evident as we tend to overlook our own stress-inducing thoughts and feelings.

For instance, you might constantly worry about meeting your deadline. But, in reality, maybe your procrastination is what leads to this stress than the actual deadline. In order to identify the source of stress, we must look closely within ourselves.

If you explain away stress as temporary, then it may be a problem. Like if you yourself don’t take a breather from time to time, what is the point? On the other hand, is stress an integral part of your work and you acknowledging it like that?

If you make it a part of your personality, like you label things as crazy or nervous energy, you need to look further. Most importantly, do you blame the stress on people around you or the events surrounding you?

It is essential to take responsibility for the role one plays in creating or maintaining stress. Your stress will remain outside your control if you do not do it.

Strategies for Stress Management

It is obvious that we cannot avoid all kinds of stress but there are many stressors in your life which you can definitely eliminate. It is important to learn how to say no and stick to them.  Try to avoid people who stress you out.

Further, if you cannot avoid a stressful situation, try altering it. Express your feelings don’t bottle them up and manage your time better. Moreover, you can also adapt to the stressor if you can’t change it.

Reframe problems and look at the big picture. Similarly, adjust your standards and focus on the positive side. Never try to control the uncontrollable. Most importantly, make time for having fun and relaxing.

Spend some time with nature, go for a walk or call a friend, whatever pleases you.  You can also try working out, listening to music and more. As long as it makes you happy, never give up.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

Conclusion of the Essay on Stress Management

All in all, we can control our stress levels with relaxation techniques that evoke the relaxation response of our body. It is the state of restfulness that is the opposite of the stress response. Thus, when you practice these techniques regularly, you can build your resilience and heal yourself.

FAQ of Essay on Stress Management

Question 1: What is the importance of stress management?

Answer 1: Stress management is very efficient as it helps in breaking the hold which stress has on our lives. Moreover, you can also become happy, healthy and more productive because of it. The ultimate goal should be to live a balanced life and have the resilience to hold up under pressure.

Question 2: Give some stress management techniques.

Answer 2: There are many stress management techniques through which one can reduce stress in their lives. One can change their situation or their reaction to it. We can try by altering the situation. If not, we can change our attitudes towards it. Remember, accept things that you cannot change.

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Home — Essay Samples — Nursing & Health — Stress Management — Coping Up With Stress


Coping Up with Stress

  • Categories: Stress Stress Management

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Words: 931 |

Published: Jan 21, 2020

Words: 931 | Pages: 2 | 5 min read

  • Schwarzer, Ralf. Self-efficacy: Thought control of action. Taylor & Francis, 2014.
  • Meichenbaum, Donald. "Stress Inoculation Training: A preventative and treatment approach." The Evolution of Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Routledge, 2017. 117-140.
  • Figley, Charles R., and Hamilton I. McCubbin. Stress and the family: Coping with catastrophe. Routledge, 2016.

Should follow an “upside down” triangle format, meaning, the writer should start off broad and introduce the text and author or topic being discussed, and then get more specific to the thesis statement.

Cornerstone of the essay, presenting the central argument that will be elaborated upon and supported with evidence and analysis throughout the rest of the paper.

The topic sentence serves as the main point or focus of a paragraph in an essay, summarizing the key idea that will be discussed in that paragraph.

The body of each paragraph builds an argument in support of the topic sentence, citing information from sources as evidence.

Should follow a right side up triangle format, meaning, specifics should be mentioned first such as restating the thesis, and then get more broad about the topic at hand. Lastly, leave the reader with something to think about and ponder once they are done reading.

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introduction to stress essay


Essay on Exam Stress

Students are often asked to write an essay on Exam Stress in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on Exam Stress

Understanding exam stress.

Exam stress is a common issue faced by students. It is the feeling of pressure that one might fail or not perform well. This stress can lead to anxiety and lack of focus.

Causes of Exam Stress

The main cause of exam stress is the fear of failure. Other factors include high expectations, lack of preparation, and poor time management.

Effects of Exam Stress

Exam stress can affect a student’s mental and physical health. It can lead to sleeplessness, loss of appetite, and even depression.

Managing Exam Stress

Effective stress management includes proper planning, regular study, healthy eating, and adequate sleep. It’s also important to take breaks and do relaxing activities.

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250 Words Essay on Exam Stress

Exam stress, a common phenomenon among students, arises from the pressure to perform well acadically. It’s a psychological condition wherein students experience severe distress and anxiety in the face of their examinations. This anxiety is often fueled by high expectations from oneself, parents, teachers, and the societal pressure to excel.

One of the primary causes of exam stress is the fear of failure. The competitive academic environment and the need to secure high grades can make students perceive exams as a threat rather than an opportunity to showcase their understanding. Additionally, lack of preparation, poor time management, and inadequate study habits can exacerbate the sense of stress.

Implications of Exam Stress

Prolonged exam stress can have detrimental effects on a student’s mental and physical health. It can lead to sleep disorders, depression, loss of appetite, and even impact cognitive functions such as memory and concentration. Moreover, it can hinder a student’s performance, creating a vicious cycle of stress and poor results.

Combatting Exam Stress

Combatting exam stress requires a multifaceted approach. Developing effective study habits, such as creating a study schedule, taking regular breaks, and using active learning techniques can help manage the workload. Moreover, practicing mindfulness, exercising regularly, and maintaining a balanced diet can significantly reduce stress levels.

Exam stress is a pressing issue that needs to be addressed. While a certain level of stress can act as a motivator, excessive stress can be harmful. Therefore, it is crucial for students to adopt effective stress management strategies and for educational institutions to create a supportive and balanced learning environment.

500 Words Essay on Exam Stress

Introduction to exam stress.

Exam stress is a prevalent issue among college students worldwide. It is a psychological condition in which students experience severe distress and anxiety in the face of upcoming examinations. This stress can manifest in various forms, such as insomnia, loss of appetite, irritability, and even depression.

The Causes of Exam Stress

The roots of exam stress can be traced to various sources. Primarily, the pressure to perform well and meet high expectations from oneself, peers, and family can contribute significantly to this stress. The fear of failure and its potential consequences on future career prospects is another source. Furthermore, poor study habits, such as procrastination and cramming, amplify the stress as the exam date approaches.

The implications of exam stress are manifold and can have severe repercussions on a student’s mental and physical health. It can lead to sleep deprivation, weakened immune system, and other stress-related ailments. In terms of academic performance, it can result in poor concentration, reduced memory retention, and ultimately, lower grades. Beyond academics, it can also impact social relationships and overall quality of life.

Thankfully, exam stress is not an insurmountable problem. Effective stress management strategies can help students navigate this challenging period. Firstly, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate sleep can significantly reduce stress levels. Secondly, good study habits, such as having a study schedule, breaking down tasks, and avoiding last-minute cramming, can make exam preparation more manageable.

Role of Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques

Mindfulness and relaxation techniques can also play a significant role in managing exam stress. Techniques like deep breathing, yoga, and meditation help in calming the mind and enhancing focus. Additionally, mindfulness encourages living in the present moment, which can reduce anxiety about future outcomes.

The Importance of Seeking Help

Recognizing when to seek help is vital in managing exam stress. If stress becomes overwhelming, it’s important to reach out to counselors, mental health professionals, or trusted individuals who can provide support and guidance.

In conclusion, exam stress is a significant concern for college students. However, with the right strategies and support systems in place, it is manageable. It’s important to remember that exams are just one aspect of education and not a determinant of one’s worth or future success. By maintaining a balanced perspective on exams, students can mitigate stress and perform to the best of their abilities.

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introduction to stress essay

How to Start a College Essay: 5 Effective Techniques

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Impressionable Openers

Descriptions and demonstrations, show vulnerability, be authentic, stay personal, fun & quirky, common mistakes to avoid in your college essay.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Starting a College Essay

College essays are a huge part of your college career. If not huge, one of the biggest, and for someone who has been there and done that, I know the amount of pressure the beginning of a college essay, as well as the entire essay, can put on your shoulders.

Not only are you trying to juggle things like word count and grammar errors, but you're also trying to create the perfect college essay introduction that will attract admissions officers to your application or professors to your writing skills. And that, itself, can feel impossible, fill you with dread and self-doubt, but just breathe. I am here to help all present and future students know how to start a college essay.

Today is all about starting a college essay. I have come up with five easy and effective techniques that will help you create essays so good you're going to leave your readers wanting more , starting with your opening sentence! So, this is for all college students and college applicants. Stress no more! This guide was created to help you write a successful college essay. Let's get into it.

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introduction to stress essay

The beginning of your essay should, first and foremost, always have a strong opening sentence . This sentence sets the tone for not only your readers but for the entire essay. Having a wobbly, almost interesting opener can steer an admissions officer and/or professor away, so you want it to be strong. And it doesn't have to be complicated! Less is more in this situation. Here are a couple of ways you can accomplish this.

  • Look within and be relatable
  • Use your real life for inspiration
  • Think about ways to evoke emotion

Here are some examples of impressionable openers:

  • Example 1: When I was 11 years old, my mother told me she had cancer over breakfast.
  • Example 2: Maybe yellow isn't my favorite color.
  • Example 3: I sat next to this girl in class who made me feel stupid.

DISCLAIMER : your opener should ALWAYS adhere to the essay prompts. These are just a few examples that can capture your reader's attention almost immediately.

In order to keep readers interested, visuals are key . Image-based descriptions will not only add value to your writing, it will give your readers front seats to your essay's journey. These descriptions let actions speak for themselves.

Here is an example of a description and demonstration in an essay:

  • Example 1: "I was sitting on a bar stool when the word 'cancer' hit me like the smell of her coffee brewing on the stove. The Rice Krispies were popping in my cereal bowl, and MTV Jams was playing in the background, yet all I could hear was the sound of doom all around me. The lips of my mother were moving, but I was frozen, crumbling on this stool like my mother's health. She was sick, and I didn't know how sick or what that even meant, and that terrified me."

Why This Works:

Here you can clearly feel the writers emotional state: shocked, still, scared. Not only is this moment at breakfast traumatic, you feel frozen in time with the writer. Using descriptions like this will evoke so much emotion and leave your reader wanting more.

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Something one of my teachers told me in high school was any good essay will have personal elements in it, no matter the topic. That always stuck with me and became the way I approached my college essays. Showing vulnerability in your writing will always guarantee interest. It also evokes emotion.

You can show vulnerability by:

  • Being honest
  • Explaining what's going on inside underneath the exterior
  • Describe what's going on around you at the moment
  • Letting go of the fear of being seen
  • Connecting with the topic
  • Being transparent about mistakes/flaws

Examples of showing vulnerability:

  • Example 1 : My mother telling me she had cancer over breakfast was not on my bingo card this year.
  • Example 2 : I never thought losing someone I love would change me.
  • Example 3: I had to lose everything in order to gain everything.

I know being vulnerable can be tough for some , but showing this side of you to college admissions officers and/or professors will not only make you stand out, but it can also help free you of things that might be weighing on your mind. Not to sound corny, but it can be therapeutic and make you a better writer . Just make sure you are staying on track with the essay prompt, and you're set!

Whether it's believed or not, an admissions officer wants to see pieces of you in your personal statement, so starting your essay by showing authenticity is a major major key. Along with being vulnerable, there are a few ways you can achieve this.

  • Reflect : Take the time to reflect on your experiences, values, and beliefs that have shaped who you are today. Let your values, passions, and interests shine through in your writing.
  • Mind Your Voice : Write in your own voice and avoid trying to sound like someone you're not. Authenticity comes from being genuine and true to yourself.
  • Tell Your Story : Share personal anecdotes and insights that show your unique perspective.
  • Be True to You : Focus on what matters to YOU (as long as you're on topic!). Write about what is meaningful and important to you rather than what you think admissions officers want to hear.

Above all, be open . Showing introspection and self-awareness in your essay will show any admissions committee who you are beneath the surface, as well as your personal growth.

You can also begin your essay being as random and silly as you'd like . It goes hand-in-hand with other important factors like vulnerability and authenticity. But don't get too crazy . Beginning your essay with something strange will definitely draw readers in. Let me show you what I mean.

  • Example 1 : I start my mornings off in silence and solitude to keep people away from me.
  • Example 2 : Sometimes, I like to circle big words in complex articles to learn new words. Yeah, but to also keep one in my back pocket for later use.
  • Example 3 : Being the youngest child means getting away with everything you want, and that's exactly how I like it.

Do you see how each sentence draws you in? Not only are they light-hearted, but they also make you want to know why you want to keep people away in the morning and what kind of weapon you're forming against others with new words. And every youngest sibling will attest to feeling that exact same way. All of these examples are sure to make your essay fun, show who you are, and leave readers wanting more.

mistakes to avoid in college essays

Years of writing college essays have taken me through every high and low of the process possible. And when they're good, they're great! But for some reason, my mistakes stick out more than anything. So, I've compiled a list of common mistakes to avoid when writing your college essay .

  • Avoid Being Cliche - While you want to be captivating, you want to avoid overly used syntax and phrases that could potentially lose your reader's curiosity. For example, "in today's day and age," "follow my heart," "don't judge a book by its cover," etc. are all cliches that can be avoided by thinking outside of the box.
  • Using Vocabulary to be Impressive - I know you want to impress the admissions committees, but it's important to stick to what you know and not what you can allude to. That is, use verbiage that resonates with your personality. Using extravagant words can work against you, and they can also sound forced. College admissions officers want to see the real you, so show it to them.
  • Steer Clear of Controversy - Though it's not said enough, your college essay should tell your personal story and not touch on things that can stir the pot. For instance, talking about politics and religious beliefs may not be the route you want to take UNLESS it's called for in the college essay topic. And if so, stay on track with the essay prompts.
  • Procrastinating : Waiting until the last minute to start writing your essay will bite you in the butt. You will feel rushed and end up writing a poorly crafted piece. Give yourself enough time to complete an essay draft, edit the draft, and repeat this two-step cycle until your essay is complete.
  • Lack of originality : This goes hand-in-hand with avoiding cliches. Your college essay should exude a lot of your personality, so show admissions officers and teachers who you are! Include your cultural background, test scores that you're proud of, any future aspirations, etc. This all depends on the essay prompts, of course, but in my experience, every essay topic has room to show who you are.
  • Ignoring the prompt : This is a major key. STAY ON TRACK. Make sure to carefully read and understand the essay prompt, and write your essay accordingly. The last thing you want to do is write a college essay that has nothing to do with the prompt. Reading is essential here.
  • Lack of focus : If you want to know how to start a college essay, that means knowing how to stay focused. Find a quiet space, turn off electronics, hide your phone, and really nestle into how you want to capture your reader's attention. This will help you use your five senses clearly, keep your writing strong and not write an overly wordy essay. Focus is the tool here.
  • Poor organization : Make sure your essay has a strong structure with clear transitions between paragraphs. An outline will work best to accomplish this. If you go into starting your college essay without a plan, be prepared to hit all roadblocks.
  • Neglecting to Revise and Edit : Like procrastinating, don't fail to revise and edit your work. Always, always, always proofread your essay for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors , as well as clarity and coherence.
  • Not Seeking Feedback : Listen, I know that completing an essay is an accomplishment in itself, and you immediately want to submit it, but it's so beneficial to have others read your essay for feedback. You can only spot so many holes in your work when your eyes are constantly reviewing it, so a second, third, or even fourth set of eyes can help point out areas for improvement.

Above all, trust the writing process. Though I do want you to be aware of your jargon, don't get too wrapped up in thinking you're making a mistake. That's what editing is for! Once you complete your college essay, you should always revise and edit accordingly . What you thought sounded good might make you edit it to sound great. Just keep in mind that many colleges are looking for honesty and authenticity vs how well you can sound on paper . So, if you're aware of these factors, you'll be good to go.

ways to overcome writers block

Ways to Overcome Writer's Block

Take it from someone who has suffered from chronic writer's block, it's a pain to get through . Imagine being on a writing streak so good that when you stop, the entire essay writing process stops as a whole. It's definitely a challenge, but after 10 years of writing essays and really honing my craft, I learned a few things that have helped me get through even the thickest of writer's blocks, and I want to share them with you. Check them out:

  • Take a break : This works every single time. Take a short break and step away from your computer to clear your mind and come back with a fresh perspective. For me, 15 minutes is all I ever need. If you need more time, that's okay. Just try not to make your break a rest.
  • Freewriting : Sometimes, I'd start writing without worrying about my structure or grammar to get the ideas flowing, and surprisingly enough, I found my essay taking a pleasant turn.
  • Change your environment : Move around. Don't underestimate the effects of a different location or workspace to stimulate creativity. Try coffee shops, bookstores, a park, or a new room in your house. New environment, new energy.
  • Set small goals : This one is actually the most important. Some people get overwhelmed with the word "essay" for things like lack of proper writing skills, pressure to write a great essay, etc. But if you try breaking down your writing task into smaller, manageable chunks to make it less overwhelming, it can help. For example, set a goal of three paragraphs one day, take a day to edit those paragraphs, two more the next day, and so forth. Find a formula that works for you.
  • Brainstorming : Write down all your ideas--everything. No matter how small you think the idea is, write it down. Even if these ideas seem unrelated, they will help you generate new thoughts and connections.
  • Read or listen to music : It took me a while to realize this helps, but engaging in other forms of art can inspire new ideas and break through mental blocks. And new creativity can lead you to impress admissions officers.
  • Talk it out : As a writer, it's hard to let people in on the creative process, but discussing my ideas with a friend, family member, or colleague helped me gain new perspectives and insights.
  • Relax and Meditate : Hear me out: it works! Practice deep breathing and/or meditation to reduce stress and anxiety that may be contributing to writer's block.

I won't sugarcoat it: the college application process can be intimidating , but it doesn't have to throw you off your game. When it comes to college essays, I see them as opportunities to be fun and expressive. Trust me when I say if you have fun with it, you'll attract the reader's attention , paint vivid details, and write an essay that will leave the admissions officer wanting you at their school. So, take it one step at a time and watch your personal statement come to life.


How can I make my college essay stand out to admissions officers?

Simply put, be yourself. As long as you stay on track with the essay's topic, showing pieces of yourself will allow admissions officers to know more about who you are. Essays are meant to show readers who you are, how you feel, and what you think naturally, not robotically, so be authentic in your writing, and you'll be sure to stand out amongst the rest.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when writing a college essay?

Some common mistakes to avoid in your essay are using cliches and boring wording. You also want to avoid procrastinating, wasting time, not focusing, not editing, etc. When writing your essay, you want to make sure you give your writing the time and attention it deserves, so make sure you're aware of what is pulling you away from your writing. This will help you stay focused. If you have any other doubts, refer to the section about mistakes in this article and let it guide you to success.

How important is the college essay in the admissions process?

Your college essay is key in the admissions process . It's an admissions committee's first impression of you as a writer and potential student, so it should be taken very seriously. Trying to cut corners or rush through the writing process will be obvious, and it will stand out more than things like test scores, academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and any other positive influence you've had in your life. So, don't take the easy way out and really work on your essay.

Feeling confident in your college essay skills and want to explore some other essay content? Explore our blog on the comma splice to enhance your technical writing skills!

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Effects of Stress on Human Health

  • To find inspiration for your paper and overcome writer’s block
  • As a source of information (ensure proper referencing)
  • As a template for you assignment


Stress and health.

Stress has an adverse effect on human health; it leads to numerous health complications if not effectively managed. When stressed, people risk suffering from stress-related complications. According to Ciccarelli & White, 2012, health can broadly be divided as physical health (free of diseases) and psychological health (being able to make sound decisions).

When under stress, an individual’s decision making capacity is hampered making the person psychologically unhealthy (Ciccarelli & White, 2012). This paper discusses the relationship between stress and human health.

There are numerous theories and researches on stress and health, they all agree that stress has an adverse effect on human health; the statement goes “a stressed man is an unhealthy man”. Although human life cannot be free of stress, it becomes unmanaged stress which causes havoc to human body and mind . According to psychologists, human body is “wired’’ to communicate with the state of the mind; the communication is meant to protect threats against predators and other aggressors.

The statements predators and other aggressors used to mean life threatening activities or actions which include meeting deadlines, fighting back, reacting to a certain situation, or making life challenging decisions. The challenge facing human kind is failing to understand the right way to manage stress; in most cases the activities they engage in lead to more stress (Ciccarelli & White, 2012).

When someone is stressed for a long period, he or she exposes his body to uncontrolled brain cortisol and other stress managing hormones, which in turn can result in health complications like eczema, obesity, depression, digestive problems, sleeping challenges, and heart diseases.

Human state of mind determines the kind of life decisions they make; in the event that someone is stressed, his or her mind will be hampered from making sound and reliable decision as their mind, soul, and body are not at peace with each other. Some day-to-day health feelings like fatigue, headaches, and boredom can be attributed to the state of the mind; state of the mind is unhealthy with stress.

Stress affects human body, thoughts and feelings, when the above have been affected, then the behaviors and to some extent the personality of an affected person change. When unchecked, stress results in health complications like high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes (Ciccarelli & White, 2012).

According to Ciccarelli & White, 2012, the human body responds differently to stress; some people are likely to show fast heath deterioration when stressed while others are likely to have slowed health complications. What remain constant is that prolonged stress without proper management will have a negative effect on human health.

Stressed people need to enroll in stress management classes/lessons where they can be trained on basic methods of preventing and managing stress. In the event that an individual is suffering from a certain ailment, and then happens to be stressed, the recovery rate of such an individual is low. There is much connection between the rate of recovery from health complication and stress that the patient has (Ciccarelli & White, 2012).

Stress is a common occurrence in human beings; well-managed stress is of benefit to human beings as it assists when making decisions. However when stress is not managed effectively, it has an adverse effect on human health. Some complications related with ineffective stress management include depression, heart diseases, and diabetes.

Ciccarelli, S. K., & White, J. N. (2012). Psychology. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.

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Watch CBS News

Employees are sick with guilt about calling in sick

By Megan Cerullo

Edited By Anne Marie Lee

October 9, 2023 / 1:49 PM EDT / MoneyWatch

Being sick is bad enough, but employees in the U.S. feel so guilty about taking time off from work to recuperate that they often work through illness. 

Not all workers in the U.S. are entitled to paid time off from work. In 2022, almost one-quarter of private industry workers did not have paid sick time, according to the  Bureau of Labor and Statistics . But even employees with allotted paid "sick days" are loath to use them when under the weather. 

Nearly 90% of U.S. workers say they worked through sickness over the past 12 months, according to a survey from Bamboo HR, a provider of human resources software. And despite the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily shining a spotlight on worker health, sick-leave policies in the U.S. remain subpar. 

"It's no longer just front-line workers who don't want to take time off, it is trickling over to full-time workers who have sick time as a benefit of being an employee," said Yolanda Owens, career expert for The Muse, a career information site.

The U.S. only guarantees workers unpaid sick leave, leaving them to choose between two essentials to well-being: Their health and a paycheck. 

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"Stress, anxiety, guilt"

Nearly 65% of workers say they experience "stress, anxiety, guilt or fear" when requesting sick time from their employer, the Bamboo HR survey found. Twenty-five percent, or one in four workers say they have been either pressured or explicitly asked to work while they've been sick.

"People are getting sick and they're deciding they're going to work through sickness," Anita Grantham, head of human resources at Bamboo HR, told CBS MoneyWatch.

She attributes part of workers' reluctance to take time off to the current economic climate, in which employers are conducting more layoffs and have regained some of the leverage they lost during the " Great Resignation " when large swaths of workers were choosing to leave their positions.

"In the salaried workforce people are feeling taxed, it's a tough environment with no economic relief in sight and there's no federalized support or care. That leads to a compounding effect which we're seeing in the data," Grantham said. "They're going to work because they need their jobs, they need their benefits."

Workers' anxiety over sick day requests isn't necessarily unwarranted or overblown, either. 

Almost 80% of managers say they have been skeptical of sick day requests , according to the survey.

Poor health, poor performance

In the end though, nobody — neither the worker nor the company — wins when an employee comes to work sick. They deliver poor results, can infect others, and their health worsens.

"If a company's workforce isn't physically and mentally well and there is mistrust between leaders and team members, performance will suffer," Grantham said. 

Change in attitude needed

A societal shift in attitude toward taking sick days is in order, according to experts.

"It is a matter of continuing to emphasize that taking a sick day is important," Rebecca Gorman, a compensation consultant for Salary.com told CBS MoneyWatch. "You can be a hard worker and productive contributor and still take a sick day. But for decades, centuries maybe, there has been this 'I'm going to work through it' attitude and we need to shift that paradigm."

It starts with leaders setting an example, experts say.

"It all starts there. When you have manager in the hospital answering emails and taking meetings, that sends a message that you better not take time off," Owens said. "If a manager says, 'I am not feeling well, I'll get back to you when I'm feeling better,' that is a much more positive response for people to follow." 

Megan Cerullo is a New York-based reporter for CBS MoneyWatch covering small business, workplace, health care, consumer spending and personal finance topics. She regularly appears on CBS News 24/7 to discuss her reporting.

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