Don't Let Stress Take Over Your Life

When I began university, one of the main things I noticed about my friends was how stressed they get around different times of the year, such as exams - myself included. Last year I worked four jobs while going to school full-time, which probably wasn’t the wisest thing to do, but by the end of the year I learned how to cope with my busy schedule and how to live a stress-free life. I researched concrete evidence for this, and eventually found the best ways to significantly reduce my stress, and in turn increase my happiness:


1.     Meditate like a Guru: The best thing to do in times of stress is meditate. Fall into a trance of immense relaxation as you ride that wave of endless Zen, where nothing and no one can break your focus and determination. There are many meditation apps on both Android and Apple that are either free or cost a few dollars that may be useful for students. You can also find free meditation videos on YouTube.


2.     Get a Planner: Planners are relatively inexpensive and can be your best friend if used correctly. Writing down assignments weeks in advance and giving yourself a few notices before the assignment is due is incredibly helpful. The Carleton University Student’s Association (CUSA) gives out free planners throughout the year in their office on the fourth floor of University Centre.


3.     Exercise and Socialize: Please don’t think making yourself less stressed revolves around making sure your school work is up to date, because it’s much more than that. A survey done by the Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS) in 2012 and 2013, found that by exercising regularly, it “. . . can reduce the risk of certain conditions by as much as 50%.” Psychologist Susan Pinker also said to American journal Medical News Today, that when socializing more with other humans, our body releases oxytocin, “. . . which increases your level of trust and lowers your cortisol levels, lowering your stress.”


4.     Write, Write, Write: I’ve noticed that whenever I let out my frustrations of the day on paper, I instantly feel like everything’s going to get better. Once it’s written out, I can’t take it back and it feels so good. Even when you’re having an amazing day, you can write that down and come back to it years later and smile.


5.     Sleep a Deep Sleep. Every single university student has been guilty of this: going to sleep too late when they know they have an early class in the morning. Regardless of whether you’re supposed to wake up early or not, spare at least three nights a week where you take time to let your body shut down after a long day. Stress and sleep go hand-in-hand though; if you’re too stressed you won’t be able to sleep, and if you’re sleep-deprived you’ll be mentally drained. So, sleep very tight, and don’t let the bed bugs bite.


Stress and anxiousness can be a very intrusive thing in life, if not dealt with properly. If you can take the time and deal with stress carefully and to your advantage, eventually everyone will be jealous of your relaxed persona, and will want to be just like you. Understanding that there is nothing worth stressing over in life, and that everything happens for a reason, will be the ultimate tip I can give you to live a stress-free life. However, using the tips above can add to this. Live your life because in the end, you only have one to make the best of.