Stress Management Techniques for Students

College is an amazing place to be for any young person, the sense of freedom and independence that comes with it is unmatched. However, the college also has its fair share of stress. What with all the study goals you write down, fixed finances, living away from home, and trying to blend into a new environment? Being mindful, and practicing mindfulness by living in the present moment can help a student to calm their mind and keep stress at bay while appreciating the world around them. 

Several factors can contribute to a student being stressed at school, the main one is struggling with mental health. Many young people struggle with mental health especially when they exhibit symptoms of an underlying issue like isolating themselves from others, which can be confused with being a personality. Reactions to stressful circumstances come in different ways: Behavioral which includes avoiding or escaping the situation through habits like drug abuse, physical reactions like increased heart rate, shaking, and constant unexplained headaches, and psychological like fear, panic, and the feeling that something bad might happen, or is about to happen. 

Below are recommendations of how a student can manage the stress that comes with college:

Get Enough Sleep

grayscale photo of sleeping woman lying on bed
Sleep is essential; it allows your body and mind to recharge.

Life as a student is hectic, to say the least, more so with schedules packed back-to-back. Classes to attend projects to present, extra-curricular activities to take part in. With all these heaped on one person, it is easy to skip out on sleep, or not have enough of it to beat deadlines. Neglecting sleep is a hazard in waiting; the student will suffer a burn-out operating in a sleep-deprived state and may find it difficult to concentrate.

Practice Visualization

silhouette of person performing yoga
Visualizing yourself as successful helps you believe it and work towards it.

When practiced daily, visualization is an incredibly powerful tool that a student can use to leverage all aspects of life; from accomplishing goals to being more productive and being wholesome as a person. Guided visualization is more effective as they help you calm down, detach from what’s stressing you, and develop a positive stress response. Visualization works well because you take your mind off stressful situations and focus your mind on the positive things you want to see.

Don’t Be Too hard on Yourself

man lying on bench wearing blue denim jacket
Being hard on yourself can ruin your mood and productivity.

Sometimes you may wander off and fail to meet your targets as laid down on your to-do list. This happens occasionally and you should not be too hard or too judgmental of yourself. This is completely normal and it happens to everyone at some point. So when it happens, simply acknowledge it and give yourself enough time to get back on track. It could be by doing simple things like taking deep breaths or long walks to bring your attention back to what matters.

Don’t Skip on Exercise.

pair of black running shoes
Exercising not only reduces weight, but also combats stress, anxiety and depression.

Exercise is an important part of life that does not get the attention it deserves. It is easy to ‘forget’ to exercise, or even fail to give it a slot in the schedule. One of the best ways a student can blow off stress at school is to exercise. It does not have to be intense, even simple activities like yoga and walking are effective, as long as you keep your body moving. You can also choose to ditch the bus and instead cycle to school or do your assignments walking on the treadmill – anything to keep your body moving and heart rate up. When you incorporate regular exercise into your schedule, it can help you live a longer, healthier, and more stress-free life.

Take Deep Breaths and Listen to Music

white Samsung Android smartphone turned beside white earbuds on brown board
Music has the power of reducing stress, improving sleep quality and mental alertness.

Music therapy has a positive effect on both the body and the mind. It is a convenient stress reliever as you can listen to music almost everywhere. The beauty of music is that you don’t have to stop what you’re doing to listen to it, you can easily listen to music as you engage in other activities. Music is a perfect mood booster, stress reliever, and motivator. While listening to music, you can also practice some breathing exercises that help you calm your nerves. Take deep controlled breaths at given intervals and you’ll be surprised what it does to your body.

Some of the common causes of stress among students include:

  • Deadlines
  • Examinations
  • Poor time management
  • Lack of organization
  • Poor living conditions
  • Difficulty to adjust to a new environment
  • Problems at home
  • Difficulty dealing with personal relationships

Stress stems from an accumulation of pressure from different corners, which gradually builds up and erupts if not well managed. Stress affects the mind and body; therefore, to stay alert, acknowledge when things are not working out, practice the pause, and start again.

Educational requirements are stringent in all levels of education but become more rigorous the higher you go. It is paramount for students to take care of their mental health and be mindful of what goes on around them. Stress, when not well managed, can affect performance and general well-being. 

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