Anxiety and Stress

What is Stress & Anxiety?

Stress is a normal reaction to everyday pressures but can become unhealthy when it upsets your day-to-day functioning. Here's the best science available on what happens to your body when stress hits and how to keep your stress at healthy, manageable levels. (American Psychology Association, 2020)

Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes like increased blood pressure. (American Psychology Association, 2020)

Online Resource for College Mental Health

ULifeline is a comprehensive, confidential, online resource center for college students regarding mental and emotional health.

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Overcoming Test Anxiety

It’s completely normal to experience some form of anxiety prior to a test or exam. However, anxiety becomes problematic if it gets to a point where it begins to negatively affect your performance. In case you find yourself getting caught in a test-related worry spiral, we’ve prepared some strategies to help you relax, prepare and focus on the task at hand.

What Causes Test Anxiety? (Download Handout)

Although the root of test anxiety may seem self-explanatory (the obvious answer being, it’s a test!) according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), there are three primary causes of test-related anxiety:

  1. Fear of Failure: If your self-worth is tied to your test score the pressure to perform well may become unbearable. 
  2. Lack of Preparation: It’s easy to get anxious and overwhelmed if you wait until the last minute to study (or don’t study at all).
  3. Poor Test History: A negative mindset that stems from poor past results may influence how well you do on future tests.

Questions to Ask Before an Exam (Download Handout)

  1. How many questions will be on the exam?
  2. What types of questions will be on the exam?
  3. What material will be covered?
  4. How much will the exam count toward the final grade?
  5. Will the questions come primarily from the notes or the text?
  6. Will partial credit be awarded for some answers?
  7. How much time will we have for the exam?
  8. Will there be any extra credit?
  9. What materials (books, notes, calculators, and so on) will we be able to use?
  10. What outside material (handouts, readings, and so on) will be included on the
  11. Do you have a review or example of the questions?

Overcoming Writing Anxiety/Writer's Block

What are writing anxiety and writer’s block? (Download Handout)
“Writing anxiety” and “writer’s block” are informal terms for a wide variety of apprehensive and pessimistic feelings about writing. These feelings may not be pervasive in a person’s writing life. For example, you might feel perfectly fine writing a biology lab report but apprehensive about writing a paper on a novel. You may confidently tackle a paper about the sociology of gender but delete and start over twenty times when composing an email to a cute classmate to suggest a coffee date. In other words, writing anxiety and writer’s block are situational (Hjortshoj 7). These terms do NOT describe psychological attributes. People aren’t born
anxious writers; rather, they become anxious or blocked through negative or difficult experiences with writing. (University of N Carolina @ Chapel Hill Writing Center).

Breathing & Relaxation Techniques

Breathing exercises are a good way to lower stress and move your mind & body away from the fight/flight/freeze response.






List of Activities to Destress:


Support Groups/Discussions/Programs





Domestic Abuse/Stalking


Eating Disorder

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Contact a counselor to schedule an appointment today

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