According to recent research by Natwest Student Life Index, almost 70% of university students rated the level of stress when studying for their degree as 7 or more out of 10. According to other studies, up to 85% of college or university students reported problems associated with stress and anxiety. What is more, the number of those who are forced to drop out of college/ university due to mental health problems is just booming.
There are many reasons why so many university students have to deal with high levels of stress. Tough deadlines, lots of academic assignments to be done in one go, inflated expectations – all these make students feel nervous and anxious all the time. But there are a few simple stress-relieving techniques that can help combat the stress problem. So, if you’re a student or enrolling in university for the first time, here’s what you should know about how to deal with stress.
#1 – Change Your Lifestyle
If you feel that chronic stress is threatening to develop into a serious health problem, you need to act immediately. If exams are coming up, it is the right time to revisit your priorities and change your lifestyle for a couple of weeks. Focus on what you need to do and do not waste your time/ energy on things that do not make any sense at the moment. If you have free time, do something that recharges your energy.
#2 – Play Gambling Games
According to scientists, any type of gambling activity, be it the Rainbow Riches demo game, poker, or sports betting, have a positive effect on the psycho-emotional state of a person. Such games relieve stress and negative emotions. Therefore, gambling is not only a way to relax and improve your mood but also to relieve the stress accumulated during the day. Based on research conducted by scientists in Montreal, playing online slot machines lowers blood cortisol levels by about 20%.
The human brain develops only under constant mental stress. And gambling is an effective way to develop many areas of the brain. For example, card games, in particular poker, will have a beneficial effect on improving a person’s memory, reaction, and motor skills, which is especially important for students during exams, and not only.
#3 – Practice Breath-Focused Meditation
The main advantage of this method is that it practically does not require any knowledge or training. You can download any meditation app and start meditating in 10 minutes or so. Breathing exercises are essentially meditative techniques. By concentrating on breathing and taking 5-10 mindful deep breaths, you can calm down, relax, and forget about problems at least for a while. So find a video or music for meditation and give yourself a couple of minutes to relax and recharge your energies.
#4 – Forget About Exams
Coventry University in the UK advises its students to forget about exams. But this does not mean that you should skip the exam. You just need to change your attitude towards it and convince yourself that this is a common task that you cope with every day. As a result, the brain will not perceive the end-of-semester exams as a danger, which will help you achieve better results and avoid stress.
#5 – Do Sport
Exams are not a reason to skip sports training. Instead, you should do sport more often. Scientists have found that athletic people cope with stress better. For example, Swedish scientists surveyed 200 employed adults and found that those who exercised regularly suffered from stress less often. The fact is that during sports exercises, the amount of a certain protein increases in the body, which serves as a “filter” for various substances that can potentially harm the brain. As a result, there are fewer elements in the brain that mentally unhealthy people have in excess.
What to Do?
Of course, there are many more methods of dealing with stress at university. And frankly speaking, they are not different from the ways of combatting stress at work and in everyday life. To avoid emotional burnout and stress problems, you should always be attentive to how you feel.