Ways To Alleviate Stress

Maybe your roommate borrowed your favorite skirt and spilled juice on it. Maybe you just got a disappointing grade. Whatever happened, you're stressed out and don't know what to do about it. The next time you're climbing the walls over a stressful situation, try one of the following tips.

1. Talk About It.

Call your mother, call a friend, go down the hall and knock on your R.A.'s door -- that's what he's there for. If you have a knot in your stomach over something, you will feel it loosen if you let out what's bothering you. Reach out to someone who understands you and let them know that you are feeling stress and need to talk about it. When someone who cares about you lends an understanding ear, you'll immediately feel better than being stressed out and alone with your bad feelings. In addition, talking to someone outside of your situation can help because the other person can offer perspectives on whatever's stressing you out that you're too stressed to see. Maybe it's not as bad as you think it is, and/or maybe your friend can help you think of ways to deal with what's bothering you that have not yet occurred to you.

2. Go To The Gym.

If you're not big on talking, get physical. Stress is a mental condition, but it affects you physically as well. An intense workout like going for a run or taking a kickboxing class will help in several ways. Because you're focusing on the activity, it will take your mind off what's bothering you. And, better still, while you're focusing on the activity, it is making you feel better. By exercising, you get rid of the stress hormones in your body; the muscles you might not even realize you've been clenching will relax, and best of all, your body will release endorphins that will make you feel better.

3. Ask for Academic Help When You Need It

If your stress stems from an academic problem, go get help. If you just got a bad grade, maybe the last person you want to see is your professor, but that's who you should talk to. Cool off, and drop by office hours to see what you can do to make sure you don't get a bad grade next time around.

If it's not a bad grade that's bothering you, but your problem is academic in nature, that's almost a good thing. Go take care of it before you get a bad grade. Talk to a friend who's expert in the subject that's troubling you, or email your professor with questions, or a request to meet to clarify the coursework.

4. Do Something Fun

If you're having a bad day, grab a friend and go to a movie, go for a walk, or grab a coffee. Do something that you like to do.

5. Make A Counseling Appointment

If you have tried everything that you can think of to make yourself feel less stressed out, and the stress hasn't abated, consider making an appointment at the counseling center. Some stress for college students is natural, but if you are miserable for days at a time, you should know you don't have to feel that way. Talking to someone in the counseling center doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you; it just means you're smart enough to acknowledge that something's not right and you're taking steps to fix it.

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