You're not alone! Just about every student in your school is stressed-out in one way or another. But no one has to stay that way. Adopt these "Habits of Stress-Free Living" and become happier and healthier right now!
Habit # 0 "Law of 21"
If you keep up with a new mindset and take action on it for 21 days in a row it will begin to become a habit. That's right-if you exercise, read, get up a little early, take vitamins, drink water, etc. for 21 straight days, your body and mind will become so accustomed to that behavior it will begin to accept it as a natural habit. That is when relaxing can become as easy as breathing.
Habit # 1 "Re-learn to Breath"
Somewhere along the path in the stress jungle of higher education, some students forget how to breathe properly. Most students don't even realize that they generally take short, quick, shallow breaths until they are so low on air they gasp in an overflow of oxygen. Taking shallow breaths prevents your brain from getting all of the oxygen it requires, thus forcing it to work on minimal fuel until the inevitable gush of gasped air comes rushing through. To get your body and mind out of the stress jungle and back into balance, you must practice these four steps of quiet and focused deep breathing.
1) In a calm place close your eyes, push all the air in your lugs and out through your mouth. Then focus on fully inhaling through your nose, expanding your belly first and then filling your lungs completely, with your shoulders pushed back, and your chest pressed out.
2) As you come to the end of your inhale with your eyes still closed, pause for about three seconds and feel the fullness of the oxygen in your body.
3) Don't "huff-out" the exhale! Gently exhale the air in your lungs through your mouth, which should be in a relaxed jaw "hoooooo" position in a controlled manor, and keep exhaling until you feel your stomach press all the way in and then gently open your eyes.
4) Repeat this process 3-4 times. If you feel light headed, stop. This deep-breathing technique will help you to regain your mind/body balance in most any stressful time or situation.
Habit # 2 "Life isn't fair...so stop being surprised when it's not"
It doesn't matter how privileged, lucky or fortunate someone else may seem. Everyone pays their "worldly" dues in their own way. It may be hard at times to be able to see past the glairing physical, intellectual or economical advantages that some students possess. However, to keep your stress level down keep in mind that every seemingly "charmed" person whom you encounter will eventually have to pay up a lump some of "life dues." Nobody gets away clean! Life isn't fair. Get over it.
Habit # 3 "Get off the radar"
Every so often, intentionally get off your "Life Radar" by leaving your cell phone, laptop computer, planner/PDA, book bag, watch, etc. in your room while you go to a park, see a movie alone, walk through a museum, visit a bookstore, or catch a sporting event by yourself. Also don't tell anyone where you're going or how long you'll be gone. Just go and be by yourself with no distractions, no to-do lists and no time-limits. Leaving the radar for a while will rejuvenate you and allow you to re-connect with the big picture even if you don't realize that you have lost your connection.
Habit # 4 "Choose your battles wisely"
Don't fight the world. You'll never win. You'll never please or beat everyone. Take frustrating events as they come and then decide which ones are worth your precious time and energy. Realize that your time and energy are the most valuable assets that you own. Do you really want to give them away to just any jerk you encounter or any annoying occurrence that pops up? Don't interpret letting a "battle" go without a fight as weakness. It is not weakness but rather strength. How truly strong and smart is the one who spends his time yelling and pushing against every force of life, just to eventually turn around and notice how incredibly far behind he's fallen? Fallen to the person who simply walked past the battle to begin with. Let it go.
Habit # 5 "Stop calling 911 on your life"
Your life isn't an emergency. No matter how many responsibilities you have, or how many tasks you have left to do, if you were to die in your sleep tonight, life would go on without you for everyone else. You and your endeavors are not critical to anyone but you. So ease up on yourself. Remember the age-old advice that in 100 years there will be an entirely new set of people on this plant. So why care yourself to death about what you're doing now? In a mere 100 years even the greatest achievements of today will just be second-hand information to a whole new crop of people.
Habit # 6 "Choose kindness over self-righteousness"
You can spend your entire life insisting your opinion is the right one, but nobody will like you. The more you push your need to be right, is equal to the level of compassion other people won't have for you. Your opinion on a given issue is simply one of many differing opinions. Your opinion on a given issue is not right, and it is not wrong