Have you ever considered where you habits on how to deal with stress came from? For many, these coping mechanisms were learned early on; most were set in stone by the time we hit college age and the concept of using relaxation techniques was as foreign a possibility as giving up the cinder block television stand.
That said, college is stressful – even more so is coming into your twenties without a firm grasp on how to calm yourself down and relax when faced with life. And while college is at times a social free for all, the hope is that by the end of four years, a person knows better on how to deal with their stress. From using conscious breathing to muscle tightening and release, finding relaxation techniques that work for the individual is key.
Relaxation techniques: The most simple, yet effective of these is deep breathing. Get comfortable. Close your eyes. Inhale through your nose, filling your diaphragm then your lungs (your belly button should rise up before your chest does). Reverse the process as you slowly exhale through your mouth. Counting your breaths will give your mind something to focus on besides whatever stress you’re feeling. Another simple relaxation technique is visualization or imagery. By visualizing a favorite place (such as a beach), and imagining the sounds, sights, textures and tastes of that place, will encourage your body to let go of some stress. Other relaxation techniques are: PMR (Progressive Muscle Relaxation,) meditation, yoga. TIP: Deep breathing can be done anywhere. Try it right before an exam. While your fellow students scan their notes, sit back, close your eyes, and take some quiet deep breaths.
Read more on different relaxation techniques and ideas for stress management here.