Students are no strangers when it comes to the concept of stress. It is a key element present in their daily lives, whether it be in their early school years or their days at college. Stress is a feeling that goes hand in hand with the student experience.
As if it wasn’t hard enough to adjust to new teachers, difficult subjects, and daunting deadlines, the unwelcomed arrival of the pandemic introduced another stress inducing factor to lives of students – online classes.
Online classes not only have negative impacts on students that were already stressed with face to face classes, but even exemplary students that excelled in school feel the ill effects of online learning. Although there are many factors that induce stress in students, here are the most effective ways to reduce or eliminate stress:
Getting organized is one of the most important implementations one can make in their life in order to de-stress themselves. Cluttering has been proven to negatively affect the mind but having you make unhealthy food choices (leading to excessive weight gain), damaging personal relationships, and causing depression.
Oftentimes, when people leave their priorities for the last minute, they’re oftentimes struggling with performance and end up scrambling under pressure just to get the task done.
Exercising is one of the most effective methods for reducing stress. Not only is it easy to do, it doesn’t require spending half an hour to an hour in the gym to achieve the required results. A simple 5 minutes of exercise can alleviate stress levels. Exercise reduces the stress hormones in your body like cortisol and adrenaline- and in turn, stimulates the production of a chemical in the brain that elevates your mood known as endorphins.
You can simply walk around your room or even jog in place to get your endorphins running; de-stressing yourself is literally only a few steps away.
TAKE DEEP BREATHS
Deep breathing is probably the easiest and most popular method of decreasing stress. Although it simply requires one to inhale- do it slowly, and really focus while doing so. While deep breathing, your heart rate and breathing slows, muscles relax, blood pressure and metabolism decrease, and your oxygen intake increases; thus resulting in a stress free mood.
Similar to deep breathing, laughing reduces stress through the utilization of a unique breathing technique. The frequent changes in breathing patterns when you laugh fluctuate your blood pressure and heart rate, which in turn relaxes your muscles and even burns calories. The sharp intake of oxygen also works to stimulate your organs and boosts immune and cardiac health.
LISTEN TO MUSIC
Studies prove that music has a direct effect on your mind and body, but not all types of music has the same effect. In order to alleviate stress, the best music is one with a slow tempo.
The tempo of the slow music works to affect the frequency of the brain waves, in order to set a frequency similar to the one that induces sleep. After listening to slow tempo music, your body will relax it’s tense muscles and enter a meditative state.
A very accessible and easy yet efficient way to tackle stress is by chewing gum. Chewing gum not only diverts some mental attention to your mouth by giving it something to do, it also activates your salivary glands and decreases cortisol levels in your body. It’s been so effective at reducing stress that the military even includes it in the rations for its troops.
There are supplements for nearly every deficiency in the human body- just as there are supplements to arouse the mind and keep you alert, there are supplements that effectively reduce your stress. Unlike many other supplements, many of the ones that can be taken to reduce stress don’t have those concerning chemical names.
Fish Oils rich in Omega-3s are a very popular supplement that have been proven time and time again to have outstandingly positive effects on the brain and their ability to fight stress.
ESSENTIAL OILS AND SCENTED CANDLES
Fragrances enter the nose and directly hit the surface of the brain, therefore it is of no surprise that aromatics such as essential oils and scented candles play a role in battling stress. It is one of the most soothing methods and requires little to no effort- all you have to light the candle or sniff the oil and let the relaxation commence.
As for which essential oils to pick, particular scents like lavender, bergamot, lemon, and lemongrass are far more effective in reducing stress than other fragrances.
REDUCE CAFFEINE INTAKE
Instead of doing or taking something, this method of stress reduction requires you to stop doing something: consuming caffeine. Caffeine is a chemical found in our everyday cup of coffee and our favorite sodas but is known to raise the heart rate and cortisol levels.
Not only does this leave you feeling drained and fatigued after the effects of caffeine wear off, but it stimulates biological factors in your body that increase stress.
EAT NATURAL STRESS FIGHTING FOODS
The best way to battle stress may come as a shock, but the easiest and tastiest way can be found in your fridge. Blueberries, pumpkin seeds, chocolate, and bananas are super-rich in vitamins and minerals that promote the production and stimulation of endorphins.
Additionally, studies have shown that when individuals receive an increased amount of zinc in their bodies, which is abundant in some seeds, their bodies feel relaxed and sense an overall feeling of comfort.