Write Down 3 Things Youre Thankful For
Im sure youre grateful for many things in your life.
Maybe youre grateful for a loving family or loyal friends. Or maybe youre just grateful you passed your last math exam.
But perhaps you dont express that gratitude often.
Did you know that if you write down all the things youre grateful for, your health will improve?
Studies have found that expressing gratitude can lower your blood pressure, improve your sleep and boost your immune system.
So when youre taking a break from studying, why not write down 3 things youre grateful for?
It could be something you take for granted, like the invention of the Internet , or something like the fact that you get to attend school.
Your body and mind will thank you for cultivating a habit of gratitude.
Practice Deep Belly Breathing
You can practice deep breathing between classes, at lunch, or before and after school.
Try Some Stereotypical Relaxation Activities
Lighting a candle, having a cup of tea, or taking a bubble bath may seem like cliched approaches to managing stress, but theres a reason why these activities are so popular. First, they engage your senses, potentially providing a potent distraction from your worries. Second, theyre just plain enjoyable, making them particularly pleasant ways to take a break.
A scented candle or essential-oil diffuser provides one sensory experience that you might enjoy. The warmth of a long soak in the tub can physically help to ease muscle tension or soreness that you may have accumulated due to stress. Simply taking some time to lay down and rest, away from schoolwork and electronics and perhaps with a good book or some music, can also be very relaxing and rejuvenating.
Other spa treatments are popular too, of course. Whether youre into face masks, foot soaks, saunas, or scrubs, these activities can be really enjoyable, and are especially fitting if, for example, youre experiencing skin problems due to stress. Knowing that youre taking care of your physical self in one particular way can help you to relax in other ways.
Recommended Reading: Does Stress Affect Rheumatoid Arthritis
What Is Stress And How Does It Affect College Students
Stress is a physical reaction to a person’s emotions. Both positive events and negative events can cause stress.
When you feel an emotion that triggers stress, your adrenal gland releases epinephrine the hormone responsible for the flight-or-fight response and then cortisol. In dangerous situations, this response can save your life. Too much cortisol, however, can have a long-term, negative impact on your metabolic rate, memory formation, and blood sugar regulation.
Stress can take one of three forms:
- Acute Stress: The most common form of stress, acute stress is the result of day-to-day stressors, such as waking up late, running to class, or receiving a bad grade. Fortunately, most acute stress fades quickly and has little mental or physical impact.
- Episodic Acute Stress: As its name suggests, episodic acute stress develops when a student experiences acute stress multiple times over an extended period. Common symptoms include migraines and tension headaches.
- Chronic Acute Stress: Chronic acute stress happens when someone can’t avoid a long-term stressful situation. For example, students struggling academically in a major course may develop chronic acute stress, which can lead to weight gain, sleep deprivation, and anxiety.
Acute Stress Disorder And Ptsd
Acute stress disorder and PTSD are both stress disorders that can occur after a traumatic event. If you have ASD or PTSD, then you may experience dissociation from your daily life, re-experience the traumatic event thats causing your stress disorder, feel tense or on edge constantly, and have trouble sleeping. You may be at risk for ASD or PTSD following a traumatic event, such as harassment or sexual assault, at your school or outside of it.
You May Like: How To Fight Stress And Depression
How Can Students Handle It
Therapist Jessica Tappana explains that knowing how to breathe is an important part of fighting test anxiety. “Breathing helps us to ground and center and feel present. The increased oxygen flow to the brain will help students think more clearly.”
Getting a good night sleep and eating a balanced meal in the morning is mandatory, adds mental health professional Stefanie Juliano. College students should avoid substances such as alcohol before a test.
Simple Ways To Relieve Stress And Anxiety
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Heres our process.
Stress and anxiety are common experiences for most people. In fact, 70% of adults in the United States say they feel stress or anxiety daily.
Here are 16 simple ways to relieve stress and anxiety.
Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to combat stress.
It might seem contradictory, but putting physical stress on your body through exercise can relieve mental stress.
The benefits are strongest when you exercise regularly. People who exercise regularly are less likely to experience anxiety than those who dont exercise .
There are a few reasons behind this:
- Stress hormones: Exercise lowers your bodys stress hormones such as cortisol in the long run. It also helps release endorphins, which are chemicals that improve your mood and act as natural painkillers.
- Sleep: Exercise can also improve your sleep quality, which can be negatively affected by stress and anxiety.
- Confidence: When you exercise regularly, you may feel more competent and confident in your body, which in turn promotes mental wellbeing.
- Try to find an exercise routine or activity you enjoy, such as walking, dancing, rock climbing or yoga.
Activities such as walking or jogging that involve repetitive movements of large muscle groups can be particularly stress relieving.
Also Check: When Stress Is Too Much
Quick Ways To Reduce Stress
Taking care of your long-term mental and physical health is an important part of stress management. However, there isnt always time to take a nap, hike a fourteener, or read a novel. Thus, here are 25 ways to reduce stress in five minutes or less. From eating chocolate to meditating, there is a quick stress-relieving tactic for everyone.
1. BreatheSlow, deep breaths can help lower blood pressure and heart rate. Try pranayama breathing, a yogic method that involves breathing through one nostril at a time to relieve anxiety. The technique is supposed to work the same way as acupuncture, balancing the mind and body.
2. Listen to Music No matter what the song, sometimes belting out the lyrics to a favorite tune makes everything seem all right. If youre in a public place, just listening to music can be a quick fix for a bad mood. Classical music can be especially relaxing right before bedtime.
3. Take a Quick Walk When youre feeling overwhelmed or having trouble concentrating, go for a quick stroll around the block. Youll get the benefits of alone time, physical activity, and a few minutes to gather your thoughts.
4. Find the Sun If its a sunny day, head outside for an easy way to lift your spirits. Bright light can be an effective treatment for people who suffer from depression, and can even cheer up otherwise healthy people.
8. Rub Your Feet Over a Golf Ball You can get an impromptu, relaxing foot massage by rubbing your feet back and forth over a golf ball.
12. Be Alone
Managing Stress In College
Sometimes stressful situations are unavoidable. However, this doesnt mean that stress has to take over your life. There are things you can do to manage your stress and ensure that it doesnt get out-of-control.
Getting enough sleep is crucial for your emotional well-being. , you can actually improve your mental health. More sleep can give you more energy, which could allow you to make it through stressful situations more easily.
Similar to getting enough sleep, a healthy diet can also have far-reaching effects on your outlook and energy levels. Like sleep, a good diet may improve your mental health, potentially making it easier to deal with stressful situations in your life.
Many students have access to a campus recreation center, where they can exercise while at school. Students who go to school online can find gyms and other recreation centers in their own communities, or try workouts that can be done in the home. By finding time in your daily routine to get some exercise, you can make your body healthier and give yourself more tools to fight stress. Eating well and getting enough physical activity are both essential for staying healthy in college and managing stress.
Find a Stress Outlet
Join a Support Group
Volunteer Your Time
Set Realistic Expectations
Learn Relaxation Techniques
You May Like: How To Help Someone Who Is Stressed
Stress Disorders: Extreme Stress Anxiety And Depression
Weve talked about how stress can be healthy for some people some of the time. However, there are also many ways for stress to manifest in unhealthy disorders. Being aware of the potential stress disorders can help you spot the difference between instances of healthy stress and dangerous stress-related conditions.
Give Yourself A Break
Dont feel bad about setting aside time in your life to do things that you enjoy and that make you happy, whether or not they seem productive. In fact, you should feel good about taking breaksits an essential part of taking care of yourself. All of us need time to rest and refuel.
What you should do on your breaks depends entirely on you. Some people find that quiet activities like reading a book or watching TV are the best way to relax. Others prefer more active breaks spent working on personal projects, exercising, or spending time outdoors. Only you can say which activities work best for letting you unwind.
Clearly, your breaks dont have to be all about you socializing and spending time with friends can also be an important way to break up your schedule. Not only is this fun, it also helps keep you connected with others and builds your support network, which can be another avenue for helping you manage your stress.
Whatever activity you choose, it should be something thats distinctly different from your schoolwork, college applications, or whatever else is causing your stress in the first place. Getting distracted from your stressors, even if its just for a little while, is a great thing.
You May Like: How To Stop Stress Stomach Pain
Write Down The Things Youre Worried About
Its been proven that if you take a few moments to write about your fears just before you take an exam, it will help to reduce your anxiety and improve your grades.
In the experiment, students were asked to complete a brief expressive writing assignment right before taking a test.
The results showed that doing the writing assignment significantly improved the students exam scores, especially those who were habitually anxious about taking tests.
Just writing about your worries before an exam can boost your grades so do this before your next exam!
Hotlines Online Communities And Additional Resources
Oregon YouthLine is a teen-to-teen hotline that can be beneficial to those facing school stress and related pressures. To get help, teens just need to call 877.968.8491, text teen2teen to 839863, email or chat online at the organizations website. PBS also provides a directory of different hotlines and mental health organizations for teens. These include:
- National Safe Place, an organization that helps teens in crisis: 1-888-290-7233
- The Trevor Project, a hotline that helps LGBTQ+ youth: 866-4-U-TREVOR
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK
Don’t Miss: What Is Good For Anxiety And Stress
When Does Medical School Stress Cross The Line
Nobodys day is completely stress-free, but too much of it can interfere with a students ability to stay focused on school work. The following are some signs that a student may be overextended:
- Using performance enhancement drugs, particularly stimulant medications
- Trouble sleeping
If stress becomes overwhelming, students are advised to reach out to a professional for support. There may be counseling resources on campus that make it convenient for them to get the help they need while limiting costs and travel time.
Since medical students are training to take care of others, they may believe seeking help would make them unfit to be a physician. But everyone gets overwhelmed and experiences a dip in mood or an increase in anxiety. Medical students need to manage their own mental health so they can be in the best position to provide help to others.
Top 10 Stress Management Techniques For Students
Most students experience significant amounts of stress, and this stress can take a significant toll on health, happiness, and grades. For example, a study by the American Psychological Association found that teens report stress levels similar to that of adults.
That means teens are experiencing significant levels of chronic stress, and that they feel their levels of stress generally exceed their ability to cope effectively. Roughly 30% report feeling overwhelmed, depressed, or sad because of it.
Stress can affect health-related behaviors like sleep patterns, diet, and exercise as well, taking a larger toll. Given that nearly half of APA survey respondents reported completing three hours of homework per night in addition to their full day of school work and extracurriculars, this is understandable.
Recommended Reading: How To Calm Stress And Anxiety
Take A Meditation Break
Even a 5-minute meditation break in the school pick-up line, before leaving for work or before going to bed can help reduce stress and clear your mind, according to a . You can also use this time to practice deep belly breathing to further reduce stress.
The more you practice mindfulness meditation, the easier it gets to keep your thoughts from spinning out of control.
Frequently Asked Questions About Managing Stress In College
If left unaddressed, stress can lead to depression and anxiety in students. This can, in turn, negatively impact school and work performance and personal relationships with family, friends, co-workers, and peers.
Adopting a stress-management regimen is one of the best ways to avoid and ameliorate problems related to stress. Students may want to practice yoga, meditation, and/or mindfulness on a regular basis.
Many factors contribute to rising stress levels in college students. For one, college continues to grow more and more expensive, which can pose financial obstacles to students and lead to stress and anxiety. Other common causes of college stress include challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, rigor of coursework, struggles making friends, homesickness, and housing and food insecurity.
Students can manage stress in many healthy ways, such as by pursuing a new hobby, building a support system, and working on time-management skills. Other stress-management techniques include journaling and seeking counseling or medical help. Students should refrain from using drugs and alcohol to manage stress.
Editor’s Note: This article contains general information and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a professional advisor before making decisions about health-related issues.
Don’t Miss: How Do You Know If Your Stressed
Spend Time With Friends And Family
Social support from friends and family can help you get through stressful times.
Being part of a friend network gives you a sense of belonging and self-worth, which can help you in tough times.
One study found that for women in particular, spending time with friends and children helps release oxytocin, a natural stress reliever. This effect is called tend and befriend, and is the opposite of the fight-or-flight response .
Keep in mind that both men and women benefit from friendship.
Another study found that men and women with the fewest social connections were more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety .
Having strong social ties may help you get through stressful times and lower your risk of anxiety.
Its hard to feel anxious when youre laughing. Its good for your health, and there are a few ways it may help relieve stress:
- Relieving your stress response.
- Relieving tension by relaxing your muscles.
In the long term, laughter can also help improve your immune system and mood.
A study among people with cancer found that people in the laughter intervention group experienced more stress relief than those who were simply distracted (
Try watching a funny TV show or hanging out with friends who make you laugh.
Find the humor in everyday life, spend time with funny friends or watch a comedy show to help relieve stress.
Not all stressors are within your control, but some are.
One way to do this may be to say no more often.
Assure Them They Aren’t Alone
Remind your kids that they’re not the only ones who may be nervous about starting school again. Other students are likely to be just as anxious as they are about the first day of school. Reassure them too, that the teacher knows kids are nervous, and will probably spend time helping students feel more comfortable as they settle into the classroom.
If your child is concerned about reconnecting with friends they haven’t seen in months, arrange some playdates. Helping your children reconnect with old friends or strengthen bonds with new ones not only reduces anxiety and stress but also can help your child start the year off on the right foot.
Keep in mind that living through the pandemic may have accentuated feelings of isolation and loneliness in kidsespecially if they have been cut off from many of their peers since the start of the pandemic.
Do what you can to reconnect them with their peerseven if it’s virtually for now. In some schools, you can get a class list, which can help you in knowing who to connect with.
But if your school district restricts access to this list, try posting in school community groups online in order to connect with other parents with children in your child’s class. If your child is anxious about not being in the same class with old friends, reassure them that they can still stay in touch.
Read Also: How To Relieve Stress And Anger Naturally