College is the place where most of us realize that there are not enough hours in a day to do everything on our To-do list. Life can get a little overwhelming sometimes and that’s OK! When that happens, we need to know how to keep our stress levels at bay. I’ve tried a lot of tactics to de-stress and though not everything works, I’ve kept a list of the methods that do work so I can hold up my shield when stress attacks! So here are a few of my favorite things I like to do when I get stressed out:
When I’m stressed out, I love to throw on fun, upbeat music and dance around until the stress just melts away. I mostly listen to funky 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s music because that’s the music that can really get people moving! However, I also listen to calm, acoustic guitar based music. I only listen to the lyrics, the rhythm of the song, and the melody. It soothes me because I engage myself in the music and don’t think about anything else. If you like to write, try writing your own music! It’s good to invest your energy in things that you love to do!
Other than breathing to live (Duh!), it’s helpful to take a few minutes out of your day to take long, deep breaths and focus on just that. Taking deep breaths—or even using breathing exercises—can relax your muscles and relieve any tension in your body. One technique that works for me is to breathe through the nose and out through the mouth. Think of it as breathing in positivity and peace and breathing out negativity and stress!
Do what Eminem says and “Lose Yourself”! In a great story, that is. Reading can stimulate the mind and drive your thoughts away from stress. It also helps you to focus on daily tasks as your attention and memory are fully immersed in the story, remembering characters, plot points, ambitions, history, and much more. When reading a story, your brain is putting a picture to everything you read, therefore pushing the stressful thoughts out of your mind! Reading does to your mind what exercise does for your body!
If reading isn’t your thing, immerse yourself in a great story by watching it! By watching the story, you’re still immersing yourself in it by remembering and focusing on the characters, their backgrounds, their ambitions, and the imagery that the film or TV show is providing you. The saying, “Out of sight, out of mind” when reading and watching TV because your stress is literally out of your sight, therefore it is out of your mind!
Stress does not only affect the mind, it also affects the body. It can make you more tired and sluggish, and can even affect your immune system, making you a target for colds and other illnesses. Try working out for about 30 minutes a day to reduce stress tension in your body. It can also help you sleep better, lift your mood and even improve self-esteem as your body is getting healthier!
There are many ways to reduce stress during overwhelming periods in your life, but I hope these 5 things will help you get the relaxation you need!
Thanks for reading!