Discharge Emotions

A means of coping with stress is to discharge emotions created by stressful events. This is different from acting on the event itself. Discharging emotions allows the individual to manage feelings which might otherwise be overwhelming. A chemistry student identified exercise as a means for her to manage her stress:

I like to go running or swimming when I feel frustrated. I do not forget my problem, but I burn it off. I push myself until I have no energy to feel tense any more. I can not hold onto my stress when I am exhausted. (Participant 18)

A physics student revealed smoking as a way for him to relieve his stress:

I became a heavy smoker after arriving in the United States. Life is so stressful that I began to smoke more and more everyday. I feel that my daily stress and anxiety can be relieved by smoking cigarettes. The more stressed I am, the more I smoke. There is so much on my mind. There is so much for me to worry about and struggle with. (Participant 13)

Two female students stated that food and candy help to get their minds off their problems as well as to give them temporary comfort. Just as a political science student said:

I have faced many different episodes of stress since arriving in the United States. I feel the need to eat candy whenever I am stressed. I crave for something sweet, especially candy, whenever I am stressed out. I do not know why I have this kind of physical craving whenever I feel the pressure. It lets me feel good to eat something. (Participant 3)

An education psychology student commented:

The more stressed I am, the more I eat. When I am sad, frustrated, depressed, or stressed, I just eat more food. I have gained weight since coming to study in the United States. I think overeating helps me release my stress. (Participant 16)

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