informative speech

attention grabber
It’s one of the most common causes of heart disease, high blood pressure, chest pain, an irregular heartbeat, and hair loss. Also known as “the silent killer,” stress is the second leading cause of death among college students.
reason to listen
As a student attending a university with a vigorous curriculum, juggling everything from studying for exams to meeting deadlines—while still being able to get a substantial amount of sleep—can be very stressful.
thesis statement
Stress can be extremely impacting on the body and mind, but fortunately there are many ways to effectively reduce stress from your life.
credibility statement
As a first year college student who has switched her major two times in the past two semesters, while also maintaining an off-campus job, I’ve found ways to manage a busy schedule without completely dying.
preview main points
1. First, I will explain what stress is and how it affects the body both physically and mentally.
2. Next, I will discuss how too much stress impacts college students.
3. Finally, I will go over healthy stress management.
A. First and foremost, what exactly is stress?
1. Stress is basically the body’s response to change. The human body is designed to experience and react to stress.
a. Positive stress keeps us alert and ready to avoid danger. You’ve probably heard of “hysterical” or “superhuman strength” where everyday people are able to lift cars in order to save someone trapped beneath it. This is caused by the adrenaline rush triggered by an alert stressor.
a. Stress becomes negative when a person faces constant struggles without any relief or relaxation breaks in between challenges. As a result, the person becomes overworked as tension builds up. Stress overload wears your body down. This can lead to headaches, stomachaches, high blood pressure, chest pain, grinding teeth from tension in the jaw, and insomnia.
2. In the long run, too much exposure to stress and not being able to handle it correctly can be detrimental to your overall health.
a. Obesity, asthma, stroke, diabetes, heart murmur, and Alzheimer’s to name a few common stress-related health issues.
b. ADD/ADHD, chronic depression, eating disorders, anxiety, and panic disorders are a few mental illnesses that have the potential to arise from stress overload—which are to be taken as seriously as the physical impacts.
B. Out of the entire population, college students are the most prone to stress.
1. It is a common response for college students to deal with stress in an unhealthy manner.
a. Living with strangers, being away from home, and working under intense pressure with disrupted sleeping, eating and exercise patterns all lays the unstable foundation for a stressful atmosphere.
b. Currently, suicide is the second most common cause of death among college students; alcohol-related causes coming in first. However, often times these two leading causes are interrelated.
c. Drug abuse among college student is not only limited to alcohol—marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and prescription painkillers are only a few more abused by students as a coping method to “de-stress.” Adderall, which is intended to be used for people with ADD/ADHD, is used as a study enhancer.
2. The college you go to determines how much stress you will go through.
a. More competitive schools generally produce a more competitive student body.
b. Paying tuition, rooming, textbook expenses, and other additional costs makes financial pressure an adder stressor.
c. In 2011, the top three most stressful colleges in the United States were Columbia University, Stanford University, and Harvard University.
C. Although it may not be entirely possible to completely rid stress from your life, there are some ways to cope with it.
1. Grim statistics and pessimism aside, getting stressed out isn’t the end of the world!
a. The good news is that your body doesn’t care if it’s a big stress or a little one—it’s the way you handle that big or little amount of stress that determines if your body is going to suffer or benefit.
2. You can control how you respond to stress instead of letting it control you.
a. Write things down: when your brain can see a physical list of tasks you have to complete, you won’t be as freaked out when it comes time to do those things.
b. Control the environment you’re in: avoid people who stress you out or even things that stress you out. There’s nothing wrong with taking a mental health day.
c. Squeeze in at least fifteen minutes of some kind of exercise once a day increases your energy and happiness level.
d. Have something to look forward to: things like going to class every day is inevitable, so plan something fun to do over the weekend.
e. Last but not least, do something you love at least once a day.
conclusion
A. As discussed in my presentation, these techniques do not guarantee that your stress will go away within a matter of seconds, but they will rather reduce the tension in your life.
review main points
1. First, I defined stress as the body’s response to change and went over how it can have physical and mental long-term effects on the body.
2. Next, I discussed how some college students exercise unhealthy habits when coping with stress and why.
3. Finally, I shared some simple techniques to reduce stress in your life.
restate thesis statement
C. Stress cannot be avoided—it’s a natural occurrence in everyone’s life. However, by having knowledge of the different methods to cope with it, stress won’t have to control your life.
closure
Stress may be inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be unbearable.