In life, stress is unavoidable and during your university years, you are not likely to encounter many moments in your life. Exams, juggling a part-time job with learning and managing your own finances are all stress-inducing burdens that you're likely to face.
A large amount of stress can really be taken from your physical and mental health. London-based psychiatry and counseling practice, Psymplicity, who provide therapy for stress , detail their top tips for effective stress management.
Figure out what is causing you stress
In order to manage a stressful situation, we need to understand what is triggering the problem, as we can not take active steps to change, unless we know the root cause. By pinpointing the source of your stress, you are one step closer to organizing your thoughts and taking steps to recover from it.
Once you've figured out the cause, the next step is to take a break from the stressor. Some are simply unavoidable and can not be pushed to the side, such as a piece of coursework or an electricity bill. However, giving yourself time to relax and focus on something is hopefully a new perspective.
Research has shown that exercise is not just physically beneficial, but mentally too . Though it will not magically make you stressful, it can certainly help clearing your head and allowing you to deal with your problems in a calmer way.
Find activities you enjoy doing, whether it be running, swimming, Zumba, hula-hooping or taking your dog for a walk - just 20 minutes a day will quickly give you the mood-boost you need alleviate some stress. Luckily, most university unions have a wide range of physical activities / clubs you can join, which will also allow you to widen your social circle.
Though it might seem like a mammoth task to be around other people when you're feeling very low, it's important that you build a good support network. Socializing with friends, family and colleagues and talking about people is one of the best ways to relieve feelings of anxiety. You can find solutions to your problems from an outsider perspective.to be honest with you and help you find solutions to your problems from an outsider perspective.
Meditation and mindfulness are fantastic ways to clear the mind and help us relax. Everyone can practice meditation, it's simple, inexpensive and can be done anywhere. There are also a number of smartphone apps and YouTube videos that can be used to help you de-stress.
Just 5 minutes of meditation when you wake up in the morning will allow you to approach the day with a positive, clearer head and thankfully, there are loads of different techniques out there to help you achieve your inner peace, so find the right one for you.
Avoid unhealthy behaviours
Everyone has different ways of handling stressful or traumatic life experiences and many people will turn to alcohol, smoking or other damaging habits as a coping mechanism. This is referred to as “avoidance behaviour” and although they may seem like an effective quick fix, in the long-term these types of unhealthy habits will actually make you feel worse. Addressing the problem head-on, rather than masking it, will do you more harm than good. Instead, seek to tackle the cause of stress.
It is not selfish to focus on yourself and do the things you love - in fact it's essential in maintaining good mental health. Repeatedly putting the needs of other people before you can add unnecessary pressure, so it's important to regularly show yourself some love too.
Have some "me time" every day and take a moment to do something you really enjoy, whether that means watching a few episodes or Made in Chelsea back-to-back, cooking your favorite dish, or drawing a picture. You will be able to approach stressful situations with a clear, positive mind.
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