College of Liberal Arts

Three Questions to Ask When You're Stressed Out

Tue, Oct 8, 2019
Illustration by Abriella Corker and Thuy Nguyen, UT Austin LAITS.
Illustration by Abriella Corker and Thuy Nguyen, UT Austin LAITS.

From big class presentations and midterms to navigating the social scene and balancing a large workload, the school year — and life in general — brings on stress, but asking yourself three questions can help fight anxiety with curiosity rather than panic.

Jasper Smits, a psychology professor and director of the Anxiety & Stress Clinic at The University of Texas at Austin, has a stress-filled job teaching, researching and treating anxiety disorders. His clinic provides affordable services to the Austin community while training doctoral candidates in a clinical setting. An overarching goal throughout his research, teaching and clinical efforts is to encourage healthy stress-response behaviors — especially when they can curb the effects of daily anxieties associated with school, work and life.

It takes just a little self-evaluation and a lot of courage exposing yourself to those fearful but otherwise safe situations, which you can work up to by asking yourself these three question.

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