Most students will experience stress at one point or another throughout their education. In fact, the American Psychological Association reported that teens experience stress equally as much as adults. What’s also worth noting about the study is that even though teens are just as stressed as adults, they actually are less equipped to handle it.
Because stress can impact focus, mood and even grades, it’s important students are aware of the most effective stress management techniques. By setting teens up for success, we can teach them how to live a healthier, happier, less stressed life in later years.
Stress Management Tip #1: Breathwork
According to Andrew Weil, M.D., adopting a regular, mindful breathing technique can alleviate a ton of stress-related issues. Lucky for us, breathing is something we can easily control. There are a ton of different breathwork exercises out there, but here are a couple of our favorites:
To get started, sit, or lay somewhere comfortable. Place your tongue right behind your teeth on the roof of your mouth. Slowly breathe in through your note and count to four, hold your breath as you count to seven, then slowly exhale through your mouth and count to eight.
For this exercise, sit with your back supported in a comfortable chair with your feet on the floor. Close your eyes, breathe in through your nose as you count to four slowly. Let the air fill your lungs. Next, hold your breath inside while slowly counting to four. Try not to carry tension as you keep your mouth and nose gently shut. Now begin to exhale for four seconds. Repeat until you begin to feel calm.
Stress Management Tip #2: Diet & Exercise
These two stress fighters go hand in hand! Having a balanced diet full of vitamin-rich foods will help promote a stabilized mood, healthy immune system and low blood pressure. There are also a ton of foods that actually fight stress. For example, omega-3 fatty acids are shown to lower your body’s stress hormones, and complex carbohydrates fight high blood pressure.
List of foods that help fight stress:
Nuts & Seeds
In addition to a good diet, incorporating a consistent workout regime can sometimes be a quick and easy fix. Pretty much any form of exercise can help, whether that be yoga, running or even just taking a walk outside. Physical activity helps take your mind off your worries and boosts endorphins that will help you feel less stressed.
Stress Management Tip #3: Environment
If you are constantly feeling stressed, it may be helpful to do a quick audit of your environment. Are there things that may be triggering you such as a messy desk when you are trying to study or other interruptions/distractions? Have you tried to incorporate anti-stressors, such as good lighting or an oil diffuser? At a minimum, make sure you have a clean room or study space, and eliminate all distractors, including social media and text alerts. If you are ready for the next level, diffuse calming oils such as lavender as a regular practice or if you are feeling more stressed than usual, and try investing in a red light that you can switch on/off. Whatever you choose to do, make your space make you feel good and ready to work.
Although it’s normal to experience stress from time to time, it’s something that can absolutely be managed. We hope these stress management tips were helpful!