5 Ways to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Everyone experiences some form and level of anxiety. However, the degrees and symptoms may vary from person to person. Life is stressful, and it can be difficult to handle. It can cause us to feel anxious. People have different ways of helping themselves ease their feelings of anxiety. Not everything works for everyone. It can take a little bit of experimentation to help you discover what is right for you. Here’s a list of 5 ways that have helped me ease my stress and anxiety, it is worth giving it a shot to see if it works for you as well!

  1. Stay off of social media   

           Social media can sometimes cause people to feel anxious. It is a constant comparison to others. It also does not truly give someone the break from people they may need. In college, we are constantly surrounded by people. I suggest to log out for a little while, and give yourself some time to recharge. This is dependent on how you feel.

  1. Do something you love

            Doing something you love is not only calming, but distracting. Being college students, we all have a great amount of work to do. However, taking even a 20-minute break and doing something you enjoy can help to relieve some stress and anxiety. I love to draw. I try to bring a sketchpad and some pencils with me when I pack for the school day. When I am feeling stressed or nervous I can bring them out and color or sketch. I also love acting, so I audition for every show my college has. Whatever your passion is, do it.

  1. Breathe

        I know this one sounds simple and obvious, but sometimes it can be hard to remember to breathe. When we are feeling anxious, our bodies tense up. This can make us feel suffocated. This is an unpleasant experience. Breathing can help stabilize our anxiety and stress levels, leading to a calmer body and a calmer mind. I know when I am feeling anxious and stressed, I breathe in through my nose for an 8-count, and out through my mouth for another 8-count. It helps me feel more calm right away. I also suggest taking a meditation class, which is where I learned this breathing exercise. You could also try meditation on your own. Even five minutes of meditation a day has proven to have positive benefits.

  1. Listen to music

Music has an impact on people’s moods and feelings. It helps lower my levels of anxiety. It can help people distance themselves from the world to an extent, and allow them to focus on what they are listening to instead. Calming music has been most recommended, but I find any music works.

  1. Pace yourself

            Being a college student means being responsible for a great amount of schoolwork.  Additionally, we have jobs, internships, clubs, sports, and social lives to balance and maintain. It can be easy to get overwhelmed by it all. This overload of work can cause our brains to freeze up, and to even possibly shut down. The mind has a hard time taking in everything we have to accomplish. It is difficult to do, but try to remember to pace yourself. Try to break things down. I have created ways to help and remind my brain to do this. I make lists, write stuff on a calendar, write assignments down that are only due that week, try to time myself while doing homework (I do every 40 minutes) and focus only on accomplishing that one task, etc. Try to erase that ‘all-or-nothing’ concept. Doing a little of something is better than doing nothing, and doing nothing because you are overwhelmed by the amount of work you have is only going to make you feel worse, and make you fall behind.

Over time you will see what works for you. Try your best, and keep breathing. You’ve got this.