College stress management tips you can use forever

By Mackinna Hart
11/25/2015
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It seems like no matter how hard we try, there's always more to do. The fact is, we're faced with an overwhelming amount of tasks, people, and technological stimuli that constantly demand our attention, until everything suddenly seems impossible to accomplish. It's no wonder we are so stressed out. And this is especially true when you’re in college. Here are some stress management tips to relieve your stressful college life — and for the rest of your life.

1. Pinpoint the stress

 Pinpoint the stress to de-stress

The first step in stress management is to identify the sources of stress in your life. Is it a friend that is too demanding? Is it that Netflix show that you watch for hours after class is over? Maybe it’s the essay you waited until the night before to write. Whatever is making you stressed out, it is important to identify sources of stress so that you can remove them, reduce them, or replace them. Stress is like your brain’s alarm, if you can figure out why it started ringing in the first place, then you can find out how to turn it off!

2. Take action, get active

Take action, get active

One of the easiest, and best methods of stress relief is exercise. Now, we’re not talking marathon, or Iron Man training standards here. In fact, if you can squeeze in just three short ten-minute intervals of fun activities where you’re moving around, your stress level is going to drop! This can be anything from dancing around your dorm to doing jumping jacks in the quad, or even just walking to the supermarket. Once you’re up and about, your body releases endorphins, which is your body’s natural way of making you feel great.

3. Meditate the stress away

Meditate the stress away 

Studies have shown that taking just five minutes a day to stop and think mindfully can change the way the neural paths in your brain respond to stress. So take a few minutes today and just sit. Try out a few positive mantras to get your day going in the right direction. Here are a few of my personal favorites: “I am beautiful, smart, and kind.” “I ace accounting exams!” “I am a great friend.” Customize these to fit what you need!

4. Be healthy

Be healthy 

One of the best stress management tools for long-term stress relief is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This means catching enough z’s, eating your fruits and veggies, and drinking enough water! If your body is well nourished, you will feel better and respond to situations with less anxiety. Also, cut back on the coffee and sugar! The crash after these can cause a lot of avoidable stress.

5. Friends can help you cope

 Find friends to help de-stress

Support systems are key in reducing and dealing with stress, and who better to help than friends? They’ll be able to help you pull it back a bit and tell you if you’re overreacting. Your nervous system can be calmed by the presence of another human who makes you feel safe. So go out and be social!

Even though college can be one of the most stressful (and best!) times ever, learning good stress management techniques and reinforcing healthy habits now can help you for the rest of your life.

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Animations courtesy of Giphy.

About the author

Mackinna HartMackinna is currently a student at Belmont University studying music business. She is also a firm believer that a spoonful of Nutella can solve any problem! She loves to write and be creative whether that be via songs, articles, or poetry.

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