Coping with Stress

As the semester ramps up, the familiar signs of stress begin to creep up on us. What’s even worse? Realizing that you’re a senior, about to graduate, and you have no idea what you want to do with your life. For the past four years your biggest worries were where you would tailgate on game days, which bar everyone was going to on the weekend, and how much you could slack off in a class and still pass. Well friends, it’s safe to say that the real world may not be as fun as college, and when you find yourself overwhelmed with the stress of figuring out your life, remember these 5 tips.

1. Yoga

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“More than 90 percent of people come to yoga for flexibility, stress relief, health, and physical fitness. But, for most people, their primary reason for doing yoga will change. Two-thirds of yoga students and 85 percent of yoga teachers have a change of heart regarding why they do yoga — most often changing to spirituality or self-actualization, a sense of fulfilling their potential. Yoga offers self-reflection, the practice of kindness and self-compassion, and continued growth and self-awareness.”Huffington Post

2. Exercise

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According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, 5 minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects. Stress affects the brain, which in turn impacts the rest of the body. “Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins — chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers — and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress (ADAA).” It’s been reported that regular exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem!

3. Coffee

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Sometimes you just need a little caffeine to get you through the day. I’m not talking about those Pumpkin Spice Lattes (which are way overpriced to begin with) but just plain black coffee, okay fine maybe a little creamer. Not only will coffee keep you awake and help check off items on your to-do list, it helps the heart.

4. Sleep

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Stress and sleep have a two-way relationship. High stress levels can make sleeping more difficult. They can even lead to sleep disorders. At the same time, getting a good night’s sleep can help reduce the effects of stress. “Many things that we take for granted are affected by sleep,” says Dr Raymonde Jean, Associate Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine at Mount Sinai. “If you sleep better, you can certainly live better.” So be careful pulling all of those all nighters, you’re probably doing more harm than good.

5. “It is what it is”

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Sometimes the best thing we can do is just go with the flow. There are things outside of our control. We just have to accept them. If you stay organized and don’t push off things until the last minute, you’ll position yourself to tackle stress head on, but sometime we just have to smile and move, and don’t sweat the small stuff!

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Jacob Ross is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Martin with a bachelors degree in Marketing and a Masters of Business Administration. He currently works as the Director of New Media at AroundCampus, spending most of his time surfing the internet and playing on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Jacob is a professional foodie, bow tie connoisseur, and amateur photographer. He can out quote you when it comes to any Will Ferrel movie like it's an Olympic sport. He spends the majority of his weekends watching Netflix with his dog, Jolene.

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