Five Ways to Fight College Stress

posted Feb 23, 2011, 12:37 AM by College Gloss   [ updated Mar 31, 2011, 11:48 AM by Stephany F. ]

Balancing all of the different aspects of life can feel overwhelming and incredibly stressful at times, especially for a college student. Between keeping track of school work, a job or any organizations you might be involved with, to finding time for the gym, hanging out with friends, and possibly a relationship, life can get rather complicated.

With everything you have to keep organized, it is no surprise that The New York Times recently published an article on the record levels of stress of college freshmen. The article explains that not only has, “the emotional health of college freshmen declined to the lowest level since an annual survey of incoming students started collecting data 25 years ago,” but “every year, women had a less positive view of their emotional health than men, and that gap has widened.” What is a college girl to do?

Learning to deal with and express our overwhelming feelings in a positive and productive manner can really decrease the high levels of stress we feel. Listed below are five relaxation techniques to keep stress in check. Take just a few minutes each day to practice one of the suggestions and you might just be able to breathe a little easier.

  1. Practice yoga, meditation or deep-breathing exercises. Really focus on the present while practicing this type of de-stressing. Try to think about breathing in the positive while exhaling the negative.

  2. Listen to soothing music. This might seem like a no-brainer, but soothing music can really lower your heart rate and increase feelings of well being. Try something like Adele, Jack Johnson or the up-and-coming band Milly Beau.

  3. Take a shower or bubble bath. The hot water and steam from a shower or bath is proven to clear your mind, not to mention soothe any tense muscles.

  4. Light a scented candle. Aromas and scents have a very powerful effect on us because smell and memory are very strongly linked in our frontal cortex. Light a candle that reminds you of a time you felt at ease and relaxed, such as a vanilla scented candle or maybe a candle that is reminiscent of a vacation. 

  5. Read a good book. When asked the location of her favorite place, a friend once replied, “Wherever I am in the book I am reading.” Reading can be a powerful escape from everyday stress. Pick out a favorite and curl up for a little while before you go to sleep and let the novel take your mind off of responsibilities for a while.
Sources: NY Times; University of Georgia; Science

By: Katie Ehrlich
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