Students cannot help feeling anxious and stressed with all the pressure and insufficient sleep that they suffer from when they study, research, write and work. Stress weakens the immune system and causes anxiety, depression, heart attacks, stroke, ulcers, hypertension, kidney disease, heart disease, arthritis, weight gain, musculoskeletal pain, and many other chronic diseases. It also spoils the personality and affects relationships. However, if students follow the following tips, they can alleviate some of their stress and anxiety and cope with the student life.
Stay connected – It is possible to bar people from one’s life due to stress yet it is not advisable. It is better to stay connected with friends, family and the special partner who can offer love, emotional support and advice.
Adapt to the stressors – Stress is normal for most students so one of the ways to cope is to adapt to the situation an accept it.
Stay active – Doctors now prescribe exercise for patients with anxiety. That is because it triggers the production of endorphins in the brain which create feelings of euphoria and happiness. No matter how busy you are, you should give yourself a few minutes to stretch, walk, run and lift weights. Exercise relaxes the muscles, relieves tension in the body, burns calories and can bring back self-confidence.
Breathing exercises – Learn breathing techniques such as deep breathing, and practice them daily to increase the intake of oxygen and to soothe your mind.
Improve sleep quality – Sleep deprivation affects energy levels and brain function and increases stress levels. Whenever you can, you should go to bed early and get a good 8 to 9 hours of sleep. The quality of sleep matters as much or more than quantity. Thus, you should avoid all noise and bright lights in the bedroom so you can sleep deeply, even for a few hours. You will get up feeling refreshed with energy for exercise, class and work.
Learn personal financial management – To prevent or reduce money problems, students are advised to work hard in summer, cut down on unnecessary spending, and even put money aside for emergencies. This way they can work less hours during the semester and have more study time.
Get into the sun daily – In all seasons, daily sun exposure is necessary. Sunshine stimulates the production of serotonin which relieves stress, calms the mind and lifts the mood. Sunshine also stimulates the synthesis of vitamin D which prevents anxiety and depression.
Stay in the moment – Learn yoga and meditation. Practice mindfulness for up to 20 minutes every day to relax your body and mind.
Eat immune-boosting foods – Falling sick increases stress levels therefore you should strengthen your immune system by eating high nutrient foods such as:
• Dark green vegetables (kale, spinach, Swiss chard) for fibre, vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and other nutrients.
• Chicken soup for anti-inflammatory properties that reduce inflammation in the upper respiratory tract.
• Herbal teas (ginger, turmeric, ginseng and green tea) to boost the immune system and to relieve symptoms of colds and flu.
• Blueberries and other berries for antioxidants that fight or prevent coughs and colds.
• Tomatoes for carotenoids, vitamins A, C and E (which are powerful antioxidants), and other nutrients.
• Cod liver oil, mackerel, sardines and salmon for vitamin D. Salmon also contains zinc which lessens the severity and duration of colds and flu.
• Bell peppers, broccoli, and citrus fruits for vitamin C, an antioxidant and an immune system booster.
• Extra virgin olive oil for antioxidants, oleic acid which reduces inflammation, and immune boosting properties.
• Nuts and seeds for many health benefits.
Dietary supplements – Vitamins B6 and B12 promote mental clarity and support the nervous system and magnesium supplements are known to relax the nervous system.
Herbal remedies – Some herbs such as Indian ginseng and St. John’s wort are known to relieve anxiety and depression.
Psychotherapy – Sometimes anxiety is linked to past trauma and it will only go away with professional psychotherapy which also increases positive thinking as a habit.
If students make an effort to implement these tips consistently, they will find that their stress and anxiety levels go down significantly.