10 Ways to Relieve Stress
For most people, Fall can be one of the more pleasant times of the year. The kids are back in school, the temperature outside is bearable, and trees turn brilliant shades of red and orange. But for students, this can be one of the most stressful times of the year. Students are still adjusting to the hours of homework, practices, club meetings, and waking up before noon.
Although it may seem harmless, stress can have a major impact on the mental and physical health of an individual. In a study done by the University of Maryland, people who are stressed are more likely to develop heart disease, depression, obesity, stomach issues, and even Alzheimer’s. To prevent these potentially life threatening results, here are 10 ways to combat stress.
- Watch a funny video or movie
Depending on how much time you have, watch that newest Buzzfeed video or a classic comedy. When you laugh your brain releases endorphins that can decrease levels of some stress-causing hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline. (Healthline)
- Listen to music
Try not to listen to rock or heavy metal, and keep the music calm. Concentrate on each individual note, like it is a picture. Speaking of pictures, imagine the story the signer is telling. Is it a love story, or a sad one? According to a study done by the National Institute of Health, people who listened to calming music lowered both their blood pressure, and cortisol levels.
- Eat a well balanced meal
If your body is not performing its best, how can you expect your mind to do the same? A good choice would be a food like fish, or anything with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Foods like these have been proven to reduce the symptoms of stress.
- Drink tea
Green tea has especially been linked with a soothing effect on the body. Avoid teas with high levels of caffeine, as they heighten the chemical response of the body to stress, and may send you into overdrive.
It is easier than it sounds. The goal when exercising to manage stress is to release endorphins into the body that relieve stress, rather than to burn calories. Anything that gets your heart pumping, can help with stress. Try a few arm circles or a brisk walk around the room, to get the blood flowing.
This is one of the most challenging things for teens. Plan ahead so that you are not spending the time from when you get home from school, to the time you go to bed doing homework. Do that project that is not due for another week this weekend, rather than staying up until 3:00 am doing it. Sleeping will improve mental health, and cognitive readiness.
- Do not procrastinate
Although it may seem like a good idea at the time, binge watching the newest season of a favorite show probably is not the best idea when you have three quizzes and a test in the morning. Try not to wait until the last minute to do that paper over that book in history. You will be less stressed and get a better grade if you work on it gradually.
It may sound crazy, but it works. Scents like lavender have been used for centuries for alternative medicine. Even a cheap car air freshener, or a candle, can make a big difference.
- Pet an animal
In a study done by scientists for the National Institute of Health, dog owners were the least likely group of people to be stressed. Cuddling with your furry friend or a quick game of fetch can immensely reduce stress levels.
- Take deep breaths
Lay in bed and count your breaths. In, out, in, and out again. Concentrate on your breathing and staying calm.