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Mental Health 101: Easy Ways to Cope with Stress and Anxiety

Dealing with stress and anxiety is hard. When you come to college, you’re thrown into a completely new situation and you’re usually without your parents for the first time. Classes are harder, you have the opportunity to go out all the time and you don’t have someone there telling you when to go to bed and when to eat dinner. Here are six methods that can be used to manage stress and anxiety both long term and immediately. If you’re in a place where you need to seek help, check out this article on resources.


Writing down your experiences can release their weight, as well as helping you learn from them. It helps you to create connections and deal with the current stressors in your life. It can be as simple as writing down what is currently bothering you, your to-do list for the next day so you don’t stress about forgetting something or a list of what you’re thankful for.

Leg Elevation

A therapist recommended this. It helps blood flow back to your brain as well as encourages you to take some time away from constantly stressing and running around. Just sit against a wall with your legs up at a 90-degree angle. I usually do this for about 20 minutes.


Meditation can be great for reducing anxiety. While not for everyone, it can help calm racing thoughts and long-term reduce physical symptoms of stress. You can focus on your breath, try to just empty your mind or follow along with recordings! This can also be practiced at the same time as leg elevation.


As with everything, what you’re eating is going to play a role. If you eat junk, you’ll feel like junk. Eating healthy helps keep your body running smoothly. You’ll have more energy and feel better. Food particularly high in magnesium, zinc, and fatty acids have shown to help.


Yoga goes hand-in-hand with meditation and overall well-being. All exercise can reduce stress, but yoga is great because you can practice it for 10 minutes or an hour. It’s low impact and increases flexibility and strength. Using your muscles can reduce that tight-ridden anxiety feeling and deep breathing helps calm the mind.


Anxiety affects sleep and sleep affects anxiety. Studies show that lack of sleep affects regions of the brain that can increase worrying. While getting sleep while you’re stressed can be hard, it is so beneficial in the long run. Anyways, everything always seems a little better the next morning.


Photo of Avery Kout

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Courtney is a junior at Southern Methodist University, majoring in Marketing with a concentration in entrepreneurship and a Spanish and advertising minor. Lover of puppies, writing, How I Met Your Mother, and anything crafty. When she's not attending one of a hundred meetings, you can find her wrapped up in bed pretending to work while really editing Spotify playlists or watching Hart of Dixie.
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