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Steps Toward A Stress Free Semester

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – The start of a new semester inevitably brings with it a great deal of stress.  From classes to Greek life to the towering piles of homework that build up seemingly over night, the beginning of a semester is a trying time for students.
According to NBC News, four in 10 college students say they often feel stressed while one in five say that they feel stressed consistently. Not only does stress effect a student’s academic performance, but stress can also have serious, adverse effects on the body, mind, and subsequently, behavior.
According to WebMD, the physical symptoms of stress can include insomnia, headaches, chest pain and frequent colds or infections. The mental and emotional toll of stress is just as prevalent.  Low self esteem,  constant worry and becoming isolation are also symptoms of stress.  For students to do their best, it is important to keep stress levels under control.  Stay on top of stress this semester by incorporating these natural stress-relieving techniques into your daily routine in order to manage your mania.
Meditation is an excellent way to relieve stress. It is the act of mindfulness, or being fully present within your body and consciousness.  Simply take 15 minutes a day and find a quiet place to sit alone.  Find a comfortable place to sit, close your eyes and concentrate on your breath.  Allow your thoughts to pass by, as if there were clouds floating by; do not assign meaning to your thoughts, simply allow them to exist.  Meditation can help you deal with and eliminate your stress.

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Whether you prefer yoga, running or lifting, exercise is an excellent stress reliever.  Not only does exercise keep you physically healthy, but there are also mental benefits.  During a workout, endorphins are released into your brain, which help improve your mood and bring stress levels down.  Yoga is particularly helpful at managing stress because it incorporates concentration and meditation in addition to a great physical exercise.  It is a two for one stress reliever!
Certain herbs have been proven to help lower stress levels and facilitate relaxation.  Lavender, skullcap and chamomile are known to reduce anxiety and relieve stress when used regularly.  Brew them in your tea using a decanter, add them to a relaxing bath or dab essential oils on your skin to carry the scents with you throughout your day.
It has been proven that a poor diet can lead to depression.  Incorporating energy boosting foods such as whole grains and proteins better equips the body. They also mind tackle any adversity that may come up throughout the day, while foods such as blueberries, salmon, and almonds are proven to reduce stress.  In addition, eliminating caffeine from your diet helps to reduce stress and aids in relaxation, allowing you to better cope with stress.
Sleep is likely one of the most difficult and essential stress relievers for college students to come by.  However, it is important that students get the correct amount of sleep.  Too much sleep is shown to lead to depression, while too little sleep can leave individuals cranky and anxious; it is paramount to find a balanced amount of sleep.  Establishing a nighttime routine, while difficult, is an essential step towards healthful sleep.  Furthermore, certain foods such as carbohydrates, bananas, and peanuts are proven to aid in sleep.
As essential as caffeine is to a college student’s diet, a stress free mind is even more important. Stress is an inevitable part of life.  While stress can never be fully avoided, it is essential that we learn to manage and overcome our stressors.  As the spring semester progresses, take some time to manage your stress and give your mind and body the gift of peace.
So, rather than hitting the books or the bars all night, try hitting your pillow and sleep your stress away. Then, when you wake up, try and incorporate some of our healthy tips. But most importantly, keep your mind at ease; think peacefully.
Is any of this advice helping you out? Let us know on the comments below. 
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