First of all let’s talk about how stress can affect your life. Studies have shown that excessive stress can cause headaches, anxiety and depression. Stress also affects your sleep and overall happiness.
As a student, I’ve found that stress is a very pervasive problem, whether it be from homework, tests or a long list of other stressful aspects of a student’s life. Here are my top 10 ways to relieve stress.
I’ve found that exercise is a great way to reduce stress. Studies show that regular aerobic exercise reduces tension, boosts your self confidence, and elevates your mood. It also improves your sleep. And to benefit, you don’t have to work out like a professional athlete. You just have to spend 20 to 30 minutes each day being physically active.
Do you have a seemingly endless load of homework? Me too! Meditation and breathing exercises are another great way to reduce stress. Whenever I feel stressed, I’ve found that taking a few deep breaths and thinking of the things I am grateful for really does calm me down. Doing this can help you stay in the moment and reduce your stress.
3. Heat therapy
Heat therapy has been shown to lower stress levels and relax your muscles. Microwavable heating pads are a great way to deliver heat therapy. You heat them up in the microwave and then wrap them around your neck or any other part of your body that you want to relax.
4. Getting organized
When I get really stressed out, I like to organize my room. It might sound weird at first, but I promise you it really does help! I go around my room and tidy up the shelves, put stuff in drawers, and make my bed. Having a clean room has been proven to improve not only your productivity but your happiness!
5. Listening to music
Listening to some good music is a great way to unwind and let go of stress. I even like listening to music whenever I’m doing hard or grueling homework. It makes me feel better and it helps my productivity. Music is also a great way to pass time while relaxing.
6. Spending time in nature
Going outside for a walk always makes me feel better. It helps me unwind and de-stress. Sometimes, it is difficult to get out of the house but I’ve found that it’s usually worth the effort. When you go outside, it’s usually an exercise of some kind so you’re really hitting two birds with one stone. When I come back inside, I usually feel a lot better and I find that I am much more productive and relaxed.
7. Getting a sufficient amount of quality sleep
We’ve all heard it before - sleep is very important. Here is some mind blowing evidence to support that claim: did you know that on the Monday after daylight savings time, hospitals report a 24 percent increase in heart attacks? This happens year after year. Getting good quality sleep is incredibly important. Have you ever noticed that some mornings you feel a lot better than others even when you got the same amount of sleep? That’s because the quality of your sleep differs from night to night. Though I’m not always successful, I try to limit my screen exposure in the last hour before I plan on going to sleep. In preparation for sleep, I also turn the temperature down. The last thing I do before going to sleep is putting on an eye mask. It helps me in the morning when light is streaming in.
8 Spending time with my pets
Spending quality time with a loved pet is a great way to feel better. Research has shown that simply petting a dog lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Interacting with your pet has also been shown to elevate your mood and lower your blood pressure. If you are having a very stressful day, just take a few minutes to relax with your pet!
Writing down your worries or anything else you feel anxious or stressed about has been shown to reduce stress and make you feel better. There are many benefits to journaling. It is a proven method to reduce stress and anxiety. Some people journal a history of their lives. Others use journaling to track their weight. It is a very versatile tool - feel free to use it any way that makes sense for you. Putting down your thoughts, fears, anxieties, goals, and tasks on paper unburdens you and allows your mind to relax and stop spinning. It’s a great way to unwind at night and set the stage for some quality sleep.
I love to read. Period. But I especially enjoy immersing myself in a good book when I feel stressed. It’s an escape from everyday life; a chance to just step away from your responsibilities and just be. Research has shown that reading fiction is very effective at reducing stress. In fact, stress levels were shown to be reduced by more than 60 percent after reading. While your brain is engaged in the story, your heart rate slows down and your body relaxes.
These are my top 10 ways to reduce stress for students. I hope that you enjoyed this article and will try a few of my methods for yourself.