5 Simple Stress Management Techniques if You Are a College Student
Change of environment, juggling subjects with another workload, coping with deadlines, family expectations, over-commitment, expenses, etc. are common issues that often put pressure on every college student! It goes without saying that attending college is, in itself, inherently stressful. However, many may agree that stressing in college is bad in general, but instead, students can leverage stress as a means to motivate and challenge them to focus in their courses.
Stress can definitely motivate and stimulate, increasing or decreasing performance in different students. However, too much stress begins to interfere with their functioning. Stress levels tend to build over time that when not managed effectively can result in various physical illnesses such as anxiety and depression.
Only by identifying the common stressors in your life and conquering them can maximize their student opportunities and deepen your college experience. But first, the truth is that there are two different forms of stressing out. While you certainly want to avoid and minimize one of these two types of stress, it’s a good idea to maximize the other.
The two types of stress are:
This is the kind of stress you want to avoid. This is the stress that comes from damaging mental and environmental states and which drains your time and energy and causes you to feel bad about yourself, your work and your life in general. This is the form of stress most college students are accustomed to, and it can be caused by everything from negative friends and relationships, overloads of unnecessary work, malicious professors, unsupportive family members or constant work performed which is neither important nor meaningful (to name a few). This form of stress needs to be avoided, minimized and hopefully eliminated from your life at all costs.
This is a form of stress that is talked about so rarely that few college students are even aware it exists. Eustress is the kind of stress which propels you to work hard on projects and assignments you consider to be important and worthwhile. Eustress doesn’t drain energy, it energizes you and makes you feel better about yourself and your life. Projects which cause eustress may be tiring because they require a lot of work, but they never feel draining in the same manner as stressful projects. Positive people (friends, family, faculty) and large, ambitious projects which are meaningful to you are common sources of Eustress.
Common Causes of College Stress
In order to identify an effective stress management technique, the stressors specific to college students should be determined. It’s also important to distinguish between sources of stress that are within your control and those that are not.
Common College Stressors:
1) Academic stress – increase in workload over insufficient time, new responsibilities, difficult exams, challenging classes, low grades, deadlines to meet, scheduling issues to coordinate and a more independent nature of the college learning structure
2) Social stress – forming a new social network, detachment from home and finding less parental support, living with a roommate, balancing school work with friends or part-time jobs and dealing with the demands of young adult relationships
3) Other stresses – daily hassles (commuting and waiting in line), financial crisis, studying long, hard hours and waking up early for classes, logistics of living independently (i.e., laundry) new students deal with abrupt change from high school and more seasoned students wonder if they’re in the right major
Here are the 5 Stress Management Techniques for College Students
There are many different techniques that’ll help minimize the stress you feel. As an example of issues that need to be tackled when considering stress management and college students, consider the fact that despite the academic pressure that you are enduring, for almost all of the students, this is usually their first time away from home. It is just a brand new experience for them. Which, in and of itself, causes psychological stresses.
1) Time management: Develop a schedule to manage your time indicating your goals and priorities. Learn to plan ahead and avoid procrastination. When you’re stretched too thin and running behind, it’s hard to stay calm and focused.
Create a ‘To Do list’ or a planner and keep track of deadlines and schedules and learn to say ‘No.’
2) Get Organized:
Have a means of preparation for note-taking, keeping record of assignments, and other important papers. Create a good study environment where you can concentrate, focus and get things done. Being prepared can bring you the peace of mind that comes from understanding where everything is, remembering test dates and deadlines, and clearing your mind of some of the mental disorder that confusion brings.
Keep a schedule, a filing program and a calendar for your school stuff.
3) Exercise, Nutrition, and Sleep:
Eat a healthy diet and get enough sleep. If you want to perform at your best, you need to be well-rested. Physical activity is also a great stress reliever. Physical exercise is a great way of reducing stress. Remember that your ability to cope and deal with stress is influenced by your personal health and wellness.
Work your schedule, so you get sufficient sleep or exercise.
Talking to a person who you trust like a friend, family member, or professor about issues of concern is helpful. Although most college student related stress is self-manageable, some situations may be serious enough to require counseling. If the stress in your life is upsetting and you feel helpless, ask for help or share your concerns with a counselor or your teacher.
5) Develop Optimism:
It’s been established that those who more regularly shrug off defeats and multiple successes are healthier, less stressed, and more successful. The practice of optimism and positive thinking can bring better health, better relationships, and, yes, better grades.
Maintain your sense of humor and positive thinking: Laughter is among the best stress-busters there is.
Don’t sweat the small stuff: Always be conscious if the issue at hand is worth getting confused about. If it isn’t affecting your aim success, it may not be worth bothering.
These are just some of the stress management techniques for college students. If you are having a lot of difficulties dealing with your schooling and life, then make sure that you seek help. Otherwise, just remember that you are the master and commander of your existence, whether at the college or not, so it is up to you to change your perspective and make your experiences positive.