Best Stress Relief Activities For Students
Most students experience significant amounts of stress, which can take a considerable toll on health, happiness, and grades.
For example, the American Psychological Association (APA) study found that teens report stress levels similar to that of adults.
That means teens are experiencing significant levels of chronic stress and feel their stress levels generally exceed their ability to cope effectively.
Roughly 30% report feeling overwhelmed, depressed, or sad because of it. Stress can considerably affect health-related behaviours like sleep patterns, diet, and exercise.
This is understandable given that nearly half of APA survey respondents reported completing three hours of homework per night in addition to their full day of schoolwork and extracurriculars.
Importance Of Stress Relief Activities For Students
Stress is a legitimate and common phenomenon in students' lives, and experiencing stress is to be expected. What's important is how to deal with it and cope effectively.
Students of all ages tend to face different life challenges, and all students must find ways to deal with stress.
Most people can relate to the stress of a midterm exam, completing a project, taking an exam, or a difficult interview.
Most students, however, are also experiencing other types of stress that go deeper than simply dealing with high-pressure situations.
The adverse effects of stress are often more significant for students. The negative impact of stress can be profound, so taking steps to relieve it is essential.
When students feel stressed, this leads to negative self-perceptions, which can hurt mental health and performance on tests, in class, and in other areas.
Even worse, stress can cause an increased risk of depression and poor academic performance.
That’s why teachers must recognize students’ mental health needs and provide stress relief activities in the classroom.
Whether or not you realize it, high stress levels can affect your physical health. When students face high stress levels, they may feel sick or become more physically active, which is an excellent way to prevent and manage weight problems.
If stress is a significant cause of illness and sickness, you may want to consider instituting stress relief activities in your classroom. However, some stress relief activities may benefit adults more than adolescents.
Adolescents need stress relief activities that take more time and effort since they develop their independence.
There are many stress relievers for students, and these can help relieve stress and promote health and happiness.
When you feel like your stress levels are increasing and your ability to cope with it is diminishing, it may be time to ask yourself how important it is for you to keep working hard on your grades and how much stress your schoolwork and other duties are are are causing you.
We know that students who become stressed do not perform at their best.
Our tests show that anxiety and depression also increase when we are under significant stress levels, and with it comes depression and thoughts of suicide. Look at these stress relief activities for students and decide how to reduce your stress level.
Stress Relief Activities For Students
1. Get Enough Sleep
Make sleep a priority by setting a regular time for yourself to go to bed and waking up each day at a similar time.
Then, when you do reach the end of a hectic day, get as much rest as possible so you have the energy you need to begin the next day again.
This was one of the top stress relief activities for college students, and the effects lasted beyond the start of the semester:
Researchers at the University of Illinois found that college students reported significant improvements in mental health, including better sleep and less depression, after a week of getting sufficient sleep.
Sleep is a key component of your overall health, and it has a direct effect on your mental and emotional health. According to the Harvard Health Blog, not getting enough sleep can:
- Decrease your attention span
- Decrease your memory
- Increase your anxiety level
- Decrease your ability to focus makes you less productive
- Decrease your productivity and potential earnings
- Increase your chances of getting cancer
- Cause you to develop heart disease
- Cause or worsen depression and anxiety
Most people take sleep for granted until they are not getting enough of it. The Harvard Health Blog notes that while most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, an estimated 30% don’t get that much sleep.
Most students struggle to get a good night’s rest, especially during the school year, when they must wake up early for classes, have after-school activities, and do studies.
Most will likely suffer from tiredness, low energy, and a lack of motivation to do exercises or complete tasks.
Additionally, caffeine and sugar-containing drinks interfere with sleep, lack focus and even disrupt sleep patterns. In addition to studying, get a good sleep schedule regulated around the school schedule.
Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Try to get 10 hours of sleep. This way, your body will get used to and keep up with a regular sleep schedule, significantly impacting your sleep quality.
Parents are usually responsible for getting students to bed early enough to allow for good sleep. This means that sleep is essential, as is getting enough sleep.
College students need at least 8 hours of sleep, but the National Sleep Foundation recommends that teens get between 8 and 9 hours a night.
2. Exercise Regularly
Mental health problems may be caused by poor physical health, so regular exercise can boost mood, decrease stress, and help you make healthier life choices.
Specifically, researchers have found that aerobic activity, like walking, can lower symptoms of depression and anxiety. And research suggests that aerobic exercise can also improve physical health in adults.
Exercise can relieve stress and boost your energy levels. Research by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people who exercise regularly have lower levels of stress and a better ability to deal with life's stresses.
Physical activity has been associated with lowering blood pressure and improving cardiovascular health.
A recent study also found that physically active teens are less likely to suffer from depression, and physical activity helps prevent various diseases and disabilities, including type 2 diabetes, cancer, and obesity.
As an additional benefit, physical activity can also help alleviate stress and other negative emotions by strengthening the muscles around the heart.
This can reduce stress and anxiety in teens who are stressed about academics or other things and can be helpful for students with a history of chronic stress.
Exercise is a surefire stress reducer. The APA reports that a study that followed 325 young adults ages 17-29 for five years found that participants who exercised one hour a week or more experienced significantly fewer symptoms of stress and depression than those who did not.
Additionally, a study published in the International Journal of Sport Psychology found that young adults who are active and engaged in daily activities are less likely to experience chronic stress than those who are inactive. This tip is significant for students who are stressed out.
Research shows that regular exercise can help relieve stress, for example, by lowering blood pressure and lowering stress hormones.
Fortunately, exercise is an extraordinarily accessible behaviour. For example, one study found that at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), 24,000 students exercise on campus regularly.
In the study, kids under 18 were equally likely to exercise on campus or in a gym with adult supervision.
At a minimum, students should try to get at least 15 minutes of exercise every day. The great news is that you can relieve stress by simply moving.
Studies have shown that aerobic exercise is the most effective stress-relieving activity. Exercise can help you physically recover from stress, but it’s also been proven to boost your mood, reduce your cortisol levels, and release endorphins—all of these help reduce stress and improve your health.
3. Take Calming Breaths
Calming activities can effectively manage chronic stress, especially for students who may have experienced significant stress throughout their school years.
CBT/NSFT is a process that helps people deal with stressful situations and behaviours by focusing on meditation techniques and mindful breathing.
Your body uses breathing as a way to help manage stress and tension. When we are tense or anxious, our heart rate and blood pressure rise, leading to the “fight or flight” response. When we breathe, our bodies react much differently than when we tense up.
When we breathe, it allows us to slow down and breathe more deeply. Doing this can help us naturally release stress.
When a stressful situation gets to be too much, many people will distract themselves with something else.
Yet, most of us have difficulty switching our minds from our immediate focus to something else. For this reason, stress can sometimes be avoided by adopting mindfulness practices.
Research shows that deep breathing techniques can help reduce stress and decrease levels of stress-inducers, adrenaline, and cortisol.
Meditation is another popular technique, though many stress reduction practitioners agree that yoga can have a similar calming effect.
While some sources of stress, such as relationships, school work, and school, are expected, stress can take a severe toll on one’s health, mental and physical health, and personal relationships.
Researchers in Australia suggest that taking specific breathing exercises can be a great way to relax and deal with stress.
Since a stressful life can affect physical and mental health, some simple stress-busting breathing exercises may help students calm down and feel better.
Like the Positive Feeling Stress Scale, some techniques are also easy to practice in the classroom or after school.
Practicing yoga is an excellent way to practice deep breathing techniques that can help alleviate anxiety.
Here are some examples of simple yoga breathing techniques for stress relief:
- Pantalana: Take three deep breaths through your nose, exhale through your mouth, and repeat three times.
- Ujjayi Breath: Take four slow breaths through your nose, exhale through your mouth, and repeat four times.
- Alternate Nostril Breathing: Take four slow breaths in through your nostrils and four slow breaths out through your mouth.
This is another calming breathing technique that can help relieve stress.
4. Get Organized
Mental clarity and sharpness go hand-in-hand with good organization. Students with good organizational skills learn to manage their time, prioritize tasks, and reduce procrastination.
Getting organized makes things easier, even when you're overwhelmed. Try using the process of priority stacking to help yourself manage your work and your stress better.
The regular, chronic stress we experience (like when we have significant assignments to get done or are worried about a test) can cause us to lose control.
It causes us to get less sleep, skip meals, and exercise because we’re too tired. It causes us to ignore our own needs.
And because our bodies aren’t designed to handle this stress very well, we become mentally and physically fatigued.
That’s not a very good mix for a student. The APA recommends creating a detailed daily schedule and sticking to it – ideally by getting a solid night’s sleep, eating healthy foods, and engaging in regular physical activity.
Before the semester starts, try to get organized. Things like school supplies can be overwhelming, and it can be challenging to prioritize school, work, and other activities.
However, by getting organized early, students can avoid stress by taking care of tasks ahead of time.
This will make room in their schedule for social activities, relaxation, and enjoyment of downtime. Create a List of Major Projections.
This will help you determine how to organize your time throughout the semester. Instead of thinking you have a month of free time, think of what you could accomplish.
But don't forget to keep yourself focused by making a list of your significant projects. These will need to be completed in the order you planned them to be completed.
5. Listen To Music
Music is one of the most popular stress relievers and mood boosters, and many studies have confirmed its psychological benefits.
Many stress-relief activities involve listening to music, but there are plenty of other ways music can help.
For example, a study by the University of Glasgow found that listening to music from a playlist designed to improve mood helped students stay on task and reduce their frustration, anger, and anxiety.
If you're struggling to find the right music, try downloading an album corresponding to your stress-relief need.
For example, if you have high stress levels during midterm exams, try listening to calming music or soothing meditation tracks.
The American Psychological Association recommends that students engage in various stress-relieving activities to help them manage and improve stress levels.
Listening to music can help to reduce stress by reducing tension and anxiety and helping the brain move from an “excited” state to a “calm” state. Listening to music can also help students to relax and improve their mood.
While listening to music, focus on each note, pay attention to the tempo, and breathe while the music is playing.
After completing this process, listen to the music again and continue to live. Music has always been a great way for people to express emotions, and studies have shown that music can reduce stress and even help people manage their emotions better.
One study from the University of Texas suggests that significantly, rock or heavy metal listening to music can decrease the stress response and increase relaxation.
You can also choose a theme to suit the stress you’re experiencing. For example, if you’re feeling stressed out because you’re struggling to do your homework, try listening to calming music or explore calming music genres like slow music, piano music, and lullabies.
6. Use Positive Thinking And Affirmations
Many people experience tremendous success when they believe that their words have power. This is true for any aspect of life, whether with friends, sports, or school.
There are many ways to utilize positive thinking and affirmations to help students cope with stress and stress-related illnesses.
While there’s no magic cure for stress, there are ways you can manage it and even reduce its harmful effects.
The first thing you can do is begin to adopt a healthy mindset. Here are some tips for doing just that: Take a few minutes daily to think of something you’re grateful for.
Be specific about the specific people or events that you’re grateful for. This is one of the most straightforward and most potent stress-busting tools around.
The APA also cites a study that encouraged students to think positively, which can significantly reduce their stress levels.
Many students were also found to be significantly more productive when in the company of positive people.
It may sound counterintuitive, but here's why it makes sense. Studies show that negative people tend to
- Run on their emotions and worry more about problems
- Feel they are in control of the situation and cannot make the change
- Rage when they can't make changes
- Fail to take action when they are angry
Negative thoughts can spiral into anxiety, depression, or other problems.
Positive thinking and affirmations to increase productivity and a positive mental attitude can help alleviate stress and lead to more success and happiness.
By learning about and using the power of positive thinking and affirmations, you can learn to deal with your stress and prevent it from becoming overwhelming.
Research shows that doing so can help you boost your stress-reduction and recovery efforts, which are also important. Research on Positive Psychology shows that you can:
- Improved self-esteem and self-efficacy,
- Improved physical well-being and reduced symptoms of depression,
- Increased feelings of connection with others, and
- Improved academic performance.
7. Progressive Relaxation
Like many others, stress can quickly spiral out of control and become overwhelming. Progressive relaxation is a technique that can help students reduce stress and develop the coping skills they need to reach their potential.
Zen meditators define progressive relaxation as slowing breathing and lowering the pulse rate. This helps students relax the body and mind and reach a “familiar, healthy, and pure” mind-body balance.
While a more advanced relaxation practice may involve relaxation techniques, simple steps of progressive relaxation exercise can get students started immediately—first, Alternate inhaling and exhaling three times in a row.
For example, inhale for 3 seconds and exhale for 3 seconds. Next, Take 10 to 30 slow, deep breaths.
The progressive relaxation technique is a conscious state that allows the mind and body to calm down and relax, which is extremely useful when dealing with high stress levels.
The conscious relaxation technique requires students to:
- Envision themselves relaxing, guided by visualizations or audio programs.
- Actively and purposefully slow and relax each muscle group, starting with the toes and working their way up to their necks, shoulders, and neck.
- Hold each position for 30 to 60 seconds.
- Repeat 3 to 5 times, gradually working towards one minute.
Students who suffer from stress often eat unhealthy foods, especially junk food. Junk foods make them feel better temporarily, but they are terrible for long-term health. Junk food is a poor substitute for healthy foods, and junk foods often do not have enough nutrients to maintain one’s energy levels and, in turn, make one feel drained. The only way to eliminate stress and feel better is to eat healthier foods, especially fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes.
Vegetables are best because they provide vital nutrients that sleep aid. Nuts and seeds are excellent because they contain healthy fats that combat cortisol, the hormone that causes cortisol and the other stress-related chemicals in the body to release. One of the most significant aspects of chronic stress for teens is diet-related issues, especially for adolescents.
“Children need healthy foods for proper growth and development,” says Dr. Dan Kleitman of the Harvard Medical School and the Monitoring the Future Study director. “So limiting the consumption of sugary, fatty, salty, and fatty foods helps to reduce stress and ensure their healthy growth and development.”
For adolescents, sugary foods (including desserts) have been shown to exacerbate stress, as has saturated fat, fried food, and fast food. And as to which specific foods increase pressure, that varies from person to person.
While the stress of high school life can undoubtedly have a massive impact on students, there are ways to handle it. The key is to balance the negative aspects of high school with the more positive ones.
Having a positive outlook and staying motivated to make it through the tough times will go a long way toward making the experience more enjoyable.
I trust you enjoyed this article about the Best Stress Relief Activities For Students. Please stay tuned for more blog posts to come shortly.
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