Exams, deadlines and financial problems are often part of student life. Expectations are high and even the pressure you put yourself under can be extreme. This is stressful, and it can also negatively effect your health. But there are some simple things that can help to counter everyday stresses and strains and help you to reach your full potential.
Five essays need to be handed in by the end of the semester, then there are those six exams to take and your part-time job can’t be neglected either. This is what student life is often like. A recent study by the AOK shows that 53% of students suffer from stress. Pressure is growing and this is having an adverse effect on health: typical symptoms of a high stress level include: sleeping problems, regular headaches and difficulty concentrating. This is caused by high levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Here are some tips to help you reduce everyday stress and achieve your full potential.
Tips for Dealing with Stress
Healthy Eating: Make sure you have a healthy diet. I bet you’re asking how that is supposed to help you to reduce your stress levels. Well, food provides the energy your body needs to keep you going all day and it can only do this efficiently if you provide it with healthy food and plenty of vitamins. Try to avoid lots of sugar and fast-food, because this can damage your health. Foods high in magnesium are also important as these can help you sleep better.
Sport: Yoga is just one of many sports that can help reduce your stress levels. Regular sport doesn’t just help to take your mind of the things that are worrying you, it also actively reduces stress. But be careful, if you try to do much too soon, by putting yourself under pressure to improve too quickly, or by training for a 10-km run, you can put your body under even more stress. It is best to do sport regularly but in smaller doses. Even a half-hour walk can help decrease your stress levels.
Breathing: I know you are thinking, what? I’m breathing all the time… How will that help? But well-practiced breathing techniques can help you to relax and make you feel better. If you want to get a better grip on everyday tasks, it is a good idea to take a few minutes in the morning simply to reflect and just ‘breath’ for three minutes. People who start the day feeling relaxed are better able to deal with daily trials and tribulations. It will probably feel strange at first, but if you do this regularly you will start to feel more relaxed and less tense.
Multitasking: Do you spend a lot of time thinking about all the things you still need to do? A lot of people start trying to do everything at once. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but it is proven to be more effective if you concentrate on doing one thing at a time. This means that you are able to concentrate 100% on the task at hand, instead of doing a number of things half-heartedly.
Social Contacts: Spending some time with friends and taking a break from work can be difficult, especially in times of stress, but it is very important. Taking time out to meet up with friends is particularly important during the exam period when you spend a lot of time at home alone or in the library: it is a well-known fact that loneliness can lead to immense stress.
Pressure Limits: Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Don’t compare yourself with other students who might get better grades than you or appear to lead perfect lives. Concentrate on you. You have your own goals, and constantly comparing yourself with other only leads to one thing: stress.
Offline: Just going offline occasionally can help to establish a better equilibrium. Even though Smartphone and Co. can be extremely useful, the constant beeping and ringing can be really stressful. Declare specific times to mobile-free periods: during meals for example. Or maybe go completely offline for a whole day and discover the real world again.
Too much stress is bad for your health!
Relaxing with Music: Everyone needs to relax at times, regardless of whether they are stressed or not. Music can help you to relax. Instead of immediately putting on your favorite tunes, try listening to something else. Classical music can have a calming effect and, accompanied by a cup of tea, this can help you to recharge your batteries. Beethoven and Mozart are waiting for you.
Don’t Turn to Doping: Some students can’t cope with the stress and turn to performance enhancing drugs to try to help them reach their true potential. This is not only bad for your health, you can also become addicted – which just causes more stress. Instead of turning to performance-enhancing chemicals, it is a better idea to pay more attention to your diet and make sure you are getting enough sleep. 8 hours sleep is very important, particularly when you are stressed. The body simply can’t function properly if it is not getting enough sleep.
It is almost impossible to get through university life completely stress-free. But if you take some of the pressure off and learn how to work in a way that suits you, you can reduce your stress levels and still work in a structured and concentrated way.