Data Analysis

Tracking Stress at University Part 1

Last semester was pretty intense. I was studying almost every day and looking back, I definitely overworked and subsequently didn’t manage my stress very well. This semester I decided to change that.

If I record my day-to-day stress, I can attempt to establish correlations. In this short post, I will lay out what I plan to track, how I plan to do so, and what correlations I will be evaluating.


I will be mainly tracking the following variables:

  1. Stress
  2. Happiness
  3. Energy
  4. Motivation

I might choose to track other factors if they become more relevant.

Self-reporting via Google Forms

I figured this would be the easiest solution. Here is what the form looks like:

I explored a few apps like Daylio to track this information but they were simply not customizable enough and many did not have the option to export your data.


I have roughly divided what I will be evaluating into two categories. Stress Predictors are variables that are external and mostly uncontrollable but I have a suspicion could be affecting my stress levels. Stress Responses are behavioral or habitual changes that I make as a result of increased stress.

This list is not exhaustive but it serves as a start for my exploration.

Stress Predictors

  1. Work
    • Due Dates
    • Incomplete Tasks
    • Exams
  2. Weather
    • Cloud Cover
    • Temperature
    • Precipitation

Stress Responses

  1. Sleep
    • Duration
    • Quality
  2. Resting Heartrate
  3. Eat
    • Overall Caloric Intake
    • Caloric Breakdown
    • Food Types
  4. Web Usage
  5. Physical Activity
    • Minutes Sedentary

Obviously, there could exist strong correlations between these variables, independent of stress, and I will investigate those if it seems necessary.


If I have time, I will check back at the middle of the semester. If not, this analysis will serve as a summary of my semester tracking stress. Overall, this should be pretty interesting and I’m excited to see what I find.

I implore any others who want to determine what causes their stress and how it manifests itself in their daily life to try this experiment. I will do my best to make my code as reusable as possible.