How to Avoid Stress in College?
The importance of mental well being has become supremely important in a world where materialist aspirations and career competition have become norms of the day. The Australian Psychological Society realizes this more than anyone else and organizes the National Psychology Week every year to promote mental health among Australians. This year, the week is being celebrated between November 9 and 15. The society plans to promote psychological health through seminars, web presentations, workshops, exhibitions, public displays and tea parties.
The week couldn't come at a better time. Stress-related illnesses reign supreme, especially within the adult male population. In extreme cases, stress can lead to depression and even a desire to commit suicide. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, suicide has become a prominent health concern. Over the past five years, the average number of suicide per year has increased to 2415. It is estimated that average rate of suicide among students (between 20-24 years of age) was almost 20 per 100,000. For a developed country with a high standard of living, the rate is alarmingly high. So what can students do to avoid stress?
10 ways college students can reduce stress
- Reach out, make friends: When Dale Carnegie told us “how to win friends and influence people”, he was not exaggerating. Graduating from high school and going to college is an important breakthrough for your life and career. You are bound to feel the pressure. Everything from choosing electives to asking a girl out on a date may seem stressful. A good way for stress management is to find other freshmen and talk to them casually about the problems you are facing. If you are too shy, try the marvels of social media. You might find a useful online community.
- Life style management: Eating well, sleeping right and exercising are the lifestyle habits that you need to acquire while you are in college. Studies on student psychology show that students who lead an active and healthy lifestyle have a lower chance of developing stress-related diseases.
- Do not do drugs: Get high on friendship, love and studies; but not on drugs. Steroids, mood elevators, marijuana etc. might give you temporary boost, but only at the cost of dreadful side effects like fluctuating weight, blood pressure and a host of other illnesses.
- Take up a hobby: Do not give up on your passions. Cultivate a hobby. Get hold of the old guitar from the back of your cupboard and play a couple of tunes on it or why not practice the cover drive on the cricket field you always wanted to master. Hobbies keep you engaged and are great stress busters too.
- Importance of being organized: This point cannot be overemphasized. Much of the stress comes from approaching deadlines, lost class lectures, missing files and notebook. These problems are often self-created and can easily be solved by being a little more organized.
- Stay connected with family: Perhaps this is the time that you realize the importance of family. Visit your family, once in awhile. Call up your parents and surprise them or share your college stories with our little brother. It is important have a support system, which can provide you with emotional support during times of crisis.
- Say yes to shrink: Asking for professional psychological help does not mean that you are crazy. Sometimes it is always good to have a third party intervention for an objective view of things. Several colleges across Australia provides student counseling. Some also provide with peer counseling in case you want to take to talk to someone your own age.
- Change your attitude: People who are hot tempered, judgmental and impatient are most likely to suffer from depression, stress and nervous breakdown. Have an open mind and keep your expectations to a minimum. Life does not turn out the way you want it to. But it is always good to be open to a sense of possibility and reconfigure yourself.
- Express yourself: Pent up emotions leads to psychological stress. It is always good to express yourself to friends and families. If you can’t verbally express yourself then try to keep a journal or else use social media to voice your opinion.
- Have a healthy relationship with your teachers: Most of your teachers are likely to be senior teachers with years of experience with students. They are well aware of the problems students go through. If you are having trouble understanding the new course or finishing the term paper, talk to your teacher. They might help you out.
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