Wake up. Rush to spanish class. Forget your textbook. Grab a quick lunch. Spill your coffee on your new boots. Go to your internship. Spend an hour at the gym. Go straight to your calculus exam. Stop at the grocery store on your way home. Lock your keys in your car. Eat dinner. Finish that homework assignment. Finally fall asleep at 12 o’clock.
If you’ve experienced a day similar to this then you know exactly what stress feels like. Every human being experiences it, some worse than others. Stress eventually wears off but if it hangs around too often, it can lead to long-term effects such as anxiety and other more serious conditions.
It’s important to find time to take care of your body both mentally and physically. A little time out of each day to give your body a little TLC can be helpful with decreasing the symptoms of stress such as tension, headaches, and sleepless nights. Start with these five tips to begin your journey to a stress-free lifestyle.
When you’re feeling the stress build up, simply take a few deep breaths. In through your nose and out through your mouth. Pretend there’s a string pulling your stomach outward as far as it possibly can go as you inhale. The proper breathing techniques can do wonders.
Work It Out
Exercising is known to decrease stress and put you in a better mood. I’m not requesting that you go all Jillian Michaels at the gym every day but a light jog or elliptical session will release feel-good endorphins that can give your stressed out mood a makeover.
Yoga is a great de-stresser. It makes you more relaxed by connecting the mind with the body to steady your heart rate and completely empty your mind of any stress inducing thoughts. A specific type of yoga called vinyasa yoga is a combination of slow body movements and breathing techniques, which helps the body to release tension. During my own vinyasa experience, I found tension in both my jaw and eyebrows, two places I didn’t even know were often very tense.
Who doesn’t love to overachieve? As much as we like to think we’re all superheroes, picking up that extra shift at work or volunteering to be the head of the charity event may not be the best idea if you already have too much on your plate. It’s okay to say no! Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many things to do.
It’s important to realize that everyone has a different way of reducing stress. So find your very own security blanket. Whether it be a nice steamy bath with lavender scented candles, a long chat with your mom about the latest episode of Dancing with the Stars, or even your favorite childhood snack of cut-up strawberries and bananas with sugar sprinkled on top; make sure it’s something that makes you feel calm and comfortable.
This blog post was written by Brittaney Lynch, our Campus Ambassador from the University of Massachusetts- Amherst.