Without a doubt, college is a perfect time full of adventures, new acquaintances, new thrilling experiences, and horizons expansions. At the same time, studying in college has always been associated with stress, emotional and academic pressure, and sleepless nights. Of course, some possible solutions might minimize tension. Let’s look deeper into ways how to decrease the level of stress at college.
Definition of stress
Stress is a totally natural response to overwhelming challenges or burnouts. It is possible to distinguish two types of stress: episodic and chronic. Episodic stress manifests itself as an increased heart rate or blood circulation, and sweat. The perfect example of episodic acute stress is “flight-or-fight” reaction, where the human body needs to get prepared to run from a threat.
Chronic stress is a more serious form of this health problem for several reasons. First, chronic stress deteriorates the overall wellbeing of all systems in the human body. Second, the organism may get accustomed to the feeling of stress and perceive it as an everyday norm. The main symptoms of chronic stress are headaches, insomnia, chest pains, apathy, low energy, and muscle tension. This type of stress can lead to such severe consequences, such as cancer, stroke and heart attacks, inadequate behavior, and suicidal attempts. Without any doubt, the level of stress and its effects can and even should be diminished.
How can we minimalize the effects of stress in college?
- Get enough sleep.
While having a lot of work at hand, it can be tempting to stay up late and study 24/7 before taking exams. In reality, it is always better to get enough sleep in any kind of circumstances. It was proved that sleep deprivation and disturbed sleep affect stress systems. More precisely, sleep patterns affect the effectivity of the neuroendocrine stress systems in responding to diverse stressors and challenges of everyday life. According to the American Psychological Association report (Stress in America, 2013), people who spend fewer than eight hours sleeping tend to have higher stress levels than those who get enough sleep.
- Eat healthy and regularly.
Eating healthy is another aspect of healthy lifestyle that is often underestimated and ignored by many college students. Without any doubt, no parent control and the desire to chill out with pizza or popcorn often takes over the will to eat veggies and fruit. Nevertheless, it is crucial to make a healthy balanced diet your priority. Make sure that you include the following product in your nutrition plan: whole grain or fiber-rich products, avocado, fish or omega-3 supplements, nuts, dark chocolate (in moderation), dairy products and probiotics, different sorts of vegetables and fruit. In addition, you may drink warm herbal tea with ingredients known for their relaxation and stress reduction effect: peppermint, lavender, chamomile, valerian, kava, lemon balm, etc.
- Don’t forget about physical exercises.
Of course, studying a lot while taking a sitting pose and a constant lack of time may become a perfect excuse to avoid being active. However, incorporate some physical exercises in your busy schedule since all forms of physical activity is proved to be a stress reliever. Doing regular physical exercises is a great way to learn how to manage one’s body and make it resistible to flight-or-fight response and other negative effects of stress. Furthermore, aerobic activity can boost the level of endorphins, the neurotransmitters responsible for experiencing pleasure and wellbeing. It is also necessary to mention that sport and physical exercises can decrease the symptoms of depression and the feeling of anxiety.
- Delegate your tasks.
It is almost impossible to maintain a healthy lifestyle, be socially active, meet all academic requirements, and get excellent marks. Therefore, it can be wise to consider delegating some tasks at hand to other people. For example, make sure that you equally share household responsibilities with your roommates. If you need to write a CV for a new part-time job, it is possible to save some precious time by hiring a curriculum vitae writer. In short, try your best to minimize time spent on tasks that can be shared or delegated.
- Get organized.
Another thing that can boost confidence and decrease stress is being organized. Disorganization and chaos can bring only more stress in our life. It is more likely to feel more relaxed and calmer when you know for sure where you have placed your keys and where the next important meeting takes place. For this matter, it would be a wise decision to always put each object in its place and have a to-do or bullet journal for tasks and meeting management.
As you can see, leading a stress-free life in college is not surreal. With these five easy-to-follow tips you can reduce the amount of stress in your busy college life. Exercise, eat healthy, and make the best of your exciting life in college!