A Healthy Mind: Stress Free

Being happy and healthy is something we always hear, but how do we obtain it? College students are all too familiar with stress. Bad stress is the anxiety and anticipation and too many hours of studying. Or, a traumatic family event that may even pile on top of school work stress. It can be a breakup or the end of a friendship. These are all common bad stressors for college students. 

 

Stressors like those can cause physical reactions to your body. For example, you get tense and carry your weight in your shoulders. Therefore, your upper body becomes tight, then runs up your neck and triggers headaches or migraines. It can also irritate your back muscles and cause them to be sore and tense. 

 

However, a lot of people forget about the effects that stress has on the brain. Stress is regulated by cortisol in the brain. When overly stressed, your cortisol levels can shoot up, and the brain has to adapt to functioning on these high levels of cortisol. This means, your brain adapts to running on survival instincts and that’s what becomes normal. You become tired and you learning then becomes impaired. Cells regularly die, causing brain degeneration and memory impairment. You can become depressed and have sleep problems. You can become easily agitated and lash out, which can in turn affect your relationships. In the end, it becomes a vicious cycle that is hard to stop and whose effects last a lifetime. Obtaining happiness and healthiness are crucial ways to regulate stress. 

 

Here are 10 ways to regulate stress:

  1. Organize your life- buy a planner and put everything and anything in it … manage your time wisely and efficiently 

  2. Know your limits- don’t take on more than you can handle...in school or life

  3. Cut off stressful people or situations- negative energy only produces more negative energy

  4. Stick to a schedule- know when to wake up, get work done, and when you’re going to sleep

  5. Meditate- reflect on the happiness and joy in your life

  6. yoga/exercise- stretch and sweat! It releases good toxins

  7. Keep a tight circle- make sure you have a solid group of supportive friends

  8. Don’t procrastinate- things will pile up and get out of hand, so stay on top of them

  9. Do something fun- get a hobby and enjoy the little things 

  10. LAUGH. Laughing is the best way to get through any situation and stay positive