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sevenfourteen's avatar

How do I take control of my stress and prevent my body from showing it?

Asked by sevenfourteen (2414 points ) November 7th, 2009

I’m a junior in college and am under stress (obviously, who isn’t). For the past 3 years I’ve been pretty good about managing my stress and am naturally a very healthy person. I get sick less than once a year and when I do I’m usually healthy in 3 days.

That being said lately I’ve been getting sick a lot, but with a twist. A few weeks ago I had what seemed like allergies and went away instantly when I went home for the weekend.

This past week I started feeling the same way and just ruled it out as the allergies coming back. Our school has had a possible flu outbreak and started sending anyone home with a fever over 100 degrees and a cough. Yesterday morning I walked into health services with a cough, runny nose, body aches, headache, sore throat, and a fever of 102. I collapsed trying to follow the nurse into the room. I spent all day sleeping and feeling like dealth but decided at 4 pm (I was there since 9 am) that I could attempt to drive home, my fever at this point was 99.7. I’m not lying when I say after I passed the first state line every single symptom was gone. A day later I do have a slight cough but nothing compared to what I was.

My roommate has mentioned that maybe stress is causing me to be sick. It does make a lot of sense considering I feel completely better as soon as I’m home, and I learned once that strong emotions on the inside can manifest into physical ailments. I used to exercise a lot but have had a hard time this year trying to find time for the gym, and I know this is probably one of the reasons I’m going through this now. What else can I do to cope with my stress and stay healthy? I feel stressed but not enough to keep getting sick over it. Along with being sick I’m constantly tired, have trouble paying attention, and am easily distracted. I can’t keep letting my body show my stress, I need advise.

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15 Answers

Ame_Evil's avatar

Psychosomatic symptoms of stress usually only develop under conditions where you are sufficiently stressed. What sort of stress do you experience normally day to day? If it is a stress related problem this sort of question would need to be answered first.

faye's avatar

What’s in your environment at school that could be giving you allergic reactions? even something as common as a different detergent could start you off.

Fred931's avatar

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marinelife's avatar

You should rule out anything physical first. See a doctor at the Health Center, and describe what is going on. Is there any chance of mold in the building you are living in? Physical symptoms as severe as those you are descibing are worrisome.

No matter what the cause, you need to make time for exercise. One that is very good for stress is yoga. You could start with a one a week class, and then practice daily on your own time.

Eating healthy (regularly) is also important. You can’t put these things which are the foundation of being able to be a good student as afterthoughts.

skfinkel's avatar

I believe that stress can make you a bit more susceptible to illness, but what you are describing sounds way more involved than that. I like Marina’s suggestion about checking out your living quarters. If this is just stress—time to go see a person who can help you figure out what is going on.

jrpowell's avatar

I had something that was kinda similar. But it was mostly a constant runny nose and it turned out that mold was the problem.

sevenfourteen's avatar

I can double check with my physical atmosphere but I’m living in brand new dorms that aren’t even completely finished yet. It can’t be the construction that is bothering me because as the year progresses the contruction moves further away (the dorm is being built in sections and at the beginning of the year they were in the next room down but now they’re far away). Also I don’t think an allergy would act up 10 weeks into school. As winter is getting closer typical things that would cause allergies are going to sleep, and we have no more leaves on the trees (they’re still trying to grow grass around the dorm) so I don’t think that’s it. I haven’t changed my diet, and if I have it’s to eat less ramen noodles and more actual food again.

faye's avatar

you can be allergic to carpet glue, the glue they used to make your cupboards, etc. 10 weeks is perfectly possible. environmental allergies are growing. go see a medical doctor, at the very least you’ll get more info

gailcalled's avatar

Do allergies and stress cause fevers? That is the one suspicious symptom during this time of rampant flu and flu-like illnesses.

sevenfourteen's avatar

true, and I thought I did have the flu except my fever wouldn’t just disappear like nothing. I spent most of my day on the couch resting in case I do have the flu but I feel fine except for the occasional coughing.

gailcalled's avatar

I had a bad reaction to the flu shot that included a dry cough that lingered for two weeks, plus a random collections of aching, muscles, joints, and my eyes. (But no fever.)

My sis had the flu and ran a temp. of 103.5 for a week (felt like crap and ate nothing and lost 9 libs.) Then she felt a little better, went about her business and had a minor relapse with several days of general malaise and a low temp.

sevenfourteen's avatar

I refuse to get a flu shot, and I definately will not be getting an h1n1 if anyone offers it to me. They only took my temperature on Friday so I don’t know about any prior fevers I might have had but I know 99.7 doesn’t clear up as quickly as mine did.

Courtybean's avatar

This isn’t so much a medical based answer but perhaps one that can help you to manage your stress. I also get really run down and sick sane time every year which is exam/assignment time at uni. Have a look at making a small amount of time during your day to try and clear your head and refocus. Sometimes my mind gets so cluttered it’s like stress on stress. Have a look at perhaps meditation or EFT. I suffer from anxiety also and the EFT tapping techniques have helped me no end! Good luck!

Number_2's avatar

I had the same problems when I was in college. If you have already gone to a dr or don’t want to, go for a walk. I used to run, and running helped me get through engineering school. Once I started doing it on a regular basis the “illness” part went away, and I was able to sleep better. Good luck!

life_after_2012's avatar

i would have an mri done to make sure your brain isnt producing a unbalanced mixture of chemicals which could making you sick – maybe even get a physical – you know how to research and digg for answers – you’ll solve your problem in due time – just say no to drugs – stay away from energy drinks and coffe till you figure out whats going on – i beleive in god sooo much and love him sooo much i always say – let the holyspirit guide – take everything people say with a grain of salt – even preachers – although thier intentions are good – you know whats best for you – otherwise you woulnd be in college working so hard – take care – and i know you’ll get better

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