Tips to deal with stress

Unfortunately, stress has become a standard component of the American lifestyle to the extent that it is nonchalantly regarded as the norm. Thus, its constant presence no longer raises any alarm or need for concern. This attitude needs to change quickly. Stress levels of college students are particularly worrisome. We’re concerned about potential unemployment, probable debt, our GPA — the list goes on. All of these are valid reasons to be stressed, but stress doesn’t do any good.

Stress can lead to depression, mental strain and physical ailment, according to HelpGuide.org. All these factors combined could ultimately result in an earlier death. So what you do about this? There are, in fact, a variety of solutions. The message here is: As inclined as you are to think otherwise, stress is avoidable.

Sufficient sleep is key. Not getting the recommended eight to 10 hours can seriously increase your stress levels. It is advisable to fall asleep before midnight and  to maintain a regular schedule.

Exercise regularly. Physical activity has been scientifically proven to reduce stress levels, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you’re a nature enthusiast, run the loop. If you prefer the quiet indoors, make your way to the Physical Enhancement Center. Either way, exercise is important and should be incorporated into your daily schedule.

Eat healthy. Junk food is commonly sought for comfort. This is extremely counterproductive as such foods reduce your body’s energy level, rendering your body more susceptible to stress. Fruits and veggies are definitely the way to go.

Alcohol should not be your ‘go to.’ Another habit among some college students is distressing via alcohol consumption. However, accompanying your sobriety the next morning will be that very same stress, and chances are it will have elevated during your temporary intoxication. The morning after is never fun.

Remember to breathe. Performing breathing exercises will, in fact, help reduce your stress. Slowly inhale through your nose and hold that breath for a few seconds before exhaling through your mouth. Stress often results in short and shallow breaths.

Stress has a plethora of very unhealthy and potentially life-threatening consequences. Remember: Relax, or you might pay unfortunate consequences.