Stress manifests itself in many forms and causes many distinct symptoms on the mental and physiological levels. Psychological symptoms range from irritability, anxiety, anger, and hostility to feelings of fear, panic, restlessness, and insomnia. The muscle tension inherent in stress can develop physical symptoms (a headache or pain in the neck and back).
People often complain about dry mouth and feeling of a lump in the throat, which makes swallowing difficult. Intestinal symptoms range from butterflies in the stomach to heartburn, cramping, or diarrhea. Rapid breathing and pulse are typical.
In severe cases, excessive hyperventilation of the lungs can lead to tingling of the face and fingertips, muscle spasms, dizziness, or loss of consciousness. Specialists from the Harvard Medical School point out that the physiological response to stress can be so strong that it will cause additional mental anxiety, closing the “cause-effect” circle.
Stress is a condition familiar to every student. The tension of studying at the university is nerve-wracking. The pressure of getting new assignments that you do not know how to deal with is immense. For example, you need to write a reflection paper but have no idea how to do that properly. Add to that high competition and loads of homework. Every student feels anxiety before tests and exams.
If you combine college with work, then you are familiar with the “study – work – sleepless night” pattern. If this pace has become the norm for you, then do not be surprised by insomnia, nervousness, and dark circles under your eyes. All these physical manifestations of extreme anxiety. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome it.
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Do Breathing Exercises
Breathe in and out deeply for at least one minute ten times a day, ideally on the balcony or in the park. Take breaks to do it during work.
Write Down The Problem
If a certain situation or unfinished work does not give you peace of mind and you are constantly nervous, write it down. Imagine that it is an essay that nobody is going to assess if you do not know which of the essay topics to choose – pour out your soul on paper. Write down everything that worries you, even the smallest things. You will see – it will become easier immediately.
Distract Yourself From Problems
Think about something pleasant. Right now, you’re overwhelmed by the deadline, but imagine the relief you’ll feel when you finally complete the task. Fantasize about the reward you will amuse yourself with.
Visualize your wishes: make a special mood board. This is a board where you can:
- write the names of books you want to read
- pin the maps of countries you dream of visiting
- visualize things you plan to buy.
Look at the board every time you feel worried, and your anxiety will immediately go away. Thoughts about dreams and plans make us at least a little calmer and happier.
Wash The Dishes
Many have heard of Agatha Christie, who invented her detective stories while washing the dishes. But here, the principle is completely opposite. When you think about things not related to washing the dishes, you distance yourself from your current task – we suggest that you perform it consciously.
Feel the aroma of the detergent and the temperature of the water. Allow the activity to absorb you, do not be distracted by thoughts about something else. This will help you concentrate and calm down.
Take a Bath
It is best to do this in the evening so that the body relaxes and rests. Do not rush anywhere: be aware of the process, and enjoy it. You can use this time to analyze your day.
Play Board Games
Get interested in the game, let it sink in, and let your brain activity be focused only on thinking out moves and building a winning strategy. You will spend energy in a positive way and get rid of negative emotions.
This is one of the types of physical discharge. Sweat well in the gym, and you will forget about stress because of the endorphins released during physical activity. They are often called “hormones of happiness” (good for general well-being, memory, and sleep).
Choose a sport: it can be a run (not only in the morning but also in the evening), gym classes, or a home workout. The main thing is to think about the process with joy and satisfaction and wait for it with impatience. Only under this condition will physical activity help to get rid of anxiety.
Eat The Right Foods
What do we mean by “right”? These are products that help maintain calmness and inner harmony, even when chaos reigns around. Did you know that food affects the response to stressful situations? If you want to be less nervous, eat bananas, drink green tea and kefir. Try to consume less (or avoid altogether) alcohol and coffee.
Listen To Classical Music
It calms you down and helps to cope with tasks faster. So you won’t have typical stressful situations like: “It’s already midnight, and I still haven’t done anything!” A number of studies have confirmed that music therapy is useful for stress prevention.
Use Stress To Your Advantage
“If you can’t fight it, lead it.” Try to perceive stress as a positive phenomenon. After all, if there wasn’t a deadline, you’d be working on your essay for another month. And if you have to hand it in tomorrow, you mobilize as much as possible and write it in a few hours. Look for advantages in everything.
Remember, stress is a frequent companion in our lives. Stress, in fact, is cool and normal. It’s like touching a hot plate. It is not normal to keep your hand on the stove and say that you will fight with a hot stove, no – you have to pull your hand away.
Stress is the mobilization of all these forces of the body for something. It is important to learn to manage them and to resist the negative consequences of stress because they affect health and cause diseases.