We all get stressed at some point in our lives, it’s not really something you can avoid unfortunately, it’s not a choice, it just happens when the going gets tough and things manage to build up and get on top of you.
It’s around this time of year when it’s understandable that many students will be feeling a bit anxious of the upcoming exams just around the corner in June.
If you’ve been feeling or experiencing any of the following symptoms: like difficulties getting to sleep or in waking up in the morning, a constant feeling of tiredness, forgetfulness, aches and pains, lack of appetite, loss of interest in activities, more anxious and irritable than usual, an increased heart rate, more frequent migraines and headaches, blurry vision or dizziness, then it’s quite likely that you might be a bit stressed! However, if you’ve been experiencing any of these symptoms for a prolonged period of time though then you really need to actively take steps to reduce your stress levels.
So here’s some things you can do to de-stress if you’re already feeling a bit uptight:
Take a stroll. Walking can help you clear your head and boost endorphins, where possible take a walk in a nearby park or another green space as these places really can put your body into a state of meditation thanks to “involuntary attention”, during which something holds our attention but simultaneously allows for reflection.
If you want to run, then go for it. Basically, any type of exercise is going to help you de-stress. Just be careful with competitive sports when you’re stressed, competition is good but aggression needs to be controlled!
The largest organ in the immune system is the gut, and it’s thought that the immune system along with your brain are what mediate your stress level. Therefore, eat! But eat well, eat healthy, feed your brain as well as your tummy, think whole-grains, nuts, blackcurrants and blueberries, bananas, fish, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, tomatoes and avocados, as opposed to pizzas, burgers, chips, crisps and chocolate!
Erm, sorry, actually I think chocolate’s ok. Yep, definitely ok!
Yeah ok, you’d be dead if you weren’t breathing already, but it’s surprising how much more relaxed you can make yourself in such a short amount of time simply by taking in some deeper breaths. Breath control is used heavily in practices such as yoga, tai chi and some forms of meditation.
I’m not talking about going out drinking, partying and late nights! That’s hardly going to help when you wake up the next morning tired, hungover and poorer! Add that to your stress levels!
I was thinking more like popping round to a friend’s place or having a friend over for a chat, some banter, a cup of tea, whatever you fancy, just keep it mellow!
While I stated earlier that stress is one of those things that just happens and you have no control, while it’s kind of true when factors that are out of your control take over, but there are still some things you can do to try and prevent stress from occurring as strong and/or as often as you may have experienced before. Try these:
Simply viewing house plants has been known to lower blood pressure and help reduce muscle tension, on top of that, some plants will even purify the air for you. There are countless people who would no doubt testify to this, and many who swear by them as a proven stress-reliever!
Need some advice on what plants to buy?
We’ve all become so addicted to having a screen full of information affixed to our faces at all times but this uninterrupted use of smartphones, tablets and computers has been heavily associated with sleep loss, stress and depression. While we rely so much on technology for almost everything we do throughout the day, especially at work, it’s important to give it a rest, especially when it’s not totally necessary. I have friends who can’t leave their phones alone and I think they’re idiots for it, and further to that point bloody rude! And those entranced zombies wandering aimlessly down the street, Grrrrrr!
Classical music is known to have a very calming and soothing effect, unfortunately it’s not to everyone’s taste. However, any music is going to help you feel better if it’s what you like, if your listening while studying consider instrumental mixes. Not sure where to find instrumental music, you’ve heard of spotify right? Check out the genres and moods section.
Hang on, he’s just told me to listen to music, now I should be silent!
What I’m talking about here is device silence. Yeah put the phone on silent for the evening and get stuff done! In fact, silence your whole modern, social media, virtual presence, I’m talking facebook notifications, what’s app chats, messenger messages, snapchat images, texts, emails, pop-ups, reminders and anything else devised with the thin vale of usefulness, which actually ends up distracting and diverting you from what you’re supposed to be doing!
Honestly, it’s a wonder we get anything done!
And remember, while we all get stressed at times, often justifiably so, because grades matter, tests matter, making the right impression matters and securing that job matters. Afterwards, life goes on. You will be ok, and you’ll survive to live and fight another day! 🙂