Reacting to Stress & Problems

Three Basic Reactions to Problems:

  • Get angry. Scream, shout, throw things, start a fight, or go postal.
  • Withdraw. Drink, isolate self in room, take pills, daydream, or stop talking to everyone.
  • Take charge. Think out the problem, try to find a solution, ask for help, or work for change.

Unhealthy Reactions to Problems:
Aggression and anger may gain attention. Striking out at who seems responsible for the problem may bring temporary relief. Things like drinking too much, driving recklessly, being vulgar with people, and breaking things may be temporarily cathartic. These actions my cause trouble in the long run, and they probably don't solve the problem.

Healthy Reactions to Problems:
When feeling distressed and having physical symptoms like headaches and nausea, fear may creep inside warning you of stress. There are a number of things you can do including:

  • Talk to someone you trust.
  • Share what is bothering you.
  • Listen to music.
  • Relax.
  • Get some physical exercise.
  • Do something that normally gives you pleasure.
  • Give yourself a chance to think.

These tend to be short-term fixes. It is a good idea to continue working out your problems by getting in touch with someone you trust and respect such as a friend, a parent, a coach, or a counselor. Drury University's counseling services offers FREE counseling to students in the Findlay Student Center (down under). E-mail a Counselor at or call 873-7418, M-F, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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