Success Over Stress

Course description

Success Over Stress equips students with the knowledge and skills to recognize the signs and symptoms of stress, identify triggers, distinguish adaptive and maladaptive coping techniques, and implement proactive stress prevention and management strategies.

Course themes

What are the physiological effects of stress on the body? How do healthy behaviors help us manage stress?

  • The stress process and associated physiological changes
  • Various health outcomes associated with unaddressed or chronic stress
  • Common overlap between stress and psychological disorders
  • Benefits of healthy behaviors like proper nutrition, physical activity, and good sleep hygiene

Many of the common sources of stress for students are explored and effective approaches to stress management are provided.

  • Academic and interpersonal stress
  • Time management
  • Financial stress
  • Transitions into and out of college
  • Specific strategies for each common source

Our thinking styles can affect how we manage stress. Through self–reflection, students assess their healthy and unhealthy coping behaviors.

  • Automatic thoughts and cognitive distortions
  • Personality and thinking styles
  • Unhealthy coping behaviors, like substance use and abuse and unhealthy eating patterns

Students continue to discover individual differences in coping styles and learn new effective strategies for common stressors in college and beyond.

  • Resilience research and strategies
  • Optimish, gratitude, and forgiveness
  • Building and utilizing a social support network
  • Relaxation exercises
  • Strategies for academic, interpersonal, financial, and time-related stress

Throughout the course, students reflect on stress triggers and current approaches and experiment with new strategies, both preventive and reactive.

  • Readiness and the Stages of Change
  • Identifying new strategies depending on the source of stress
  • Goal–setting best practices
Opening quotes

I have found many ways to relax and calm myself down when I get stressed or worked up over something.

Closing quotes
Opening quotes

This course allowed me to truly reflect on myself and the stress in my life. I think I developed better coping mechanisms for stress and better time management skills.

Closing quotes
Opening quotes

I have high anxiety and this course helped improve my skills to better manage my stress so I can be successful in life.

Closing quotes
Opening quotes

I am more forgiving to myself, and can fight off the temptations of procrastination better!

Closing quotes
Opening quotes

I have become very in tune with the ways I react to stress and monitoring and changing these when necessary.

Closing quotes

Among Fall 2018 enrolled students in Success Over Stress at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities who completed their course evaluation, 98% self‐reported increases in awareness of campus services/resources and others’ perspectives related to course topics. In addition, not only did they report increased confidence in applying the information and skills learned in the course, but also actual changes in their behaviors. The degree of change—somewhat, moderately, or very—slightly differed for each of these items.

students’ self-reported increases Fall 2018