Causes of Stress in College Academic Stress Workload of college, long hours studying Social Stress New social network and independence in college Balancing friends with school work http://voices.mysanantonio.com/stepfaniebishop/ Living with roommates stress-picture-stress-relief-kit.jpg Miscellaneous Stress -new living situation, chores, housework, etc.
Unhealthy Habits in College Pulling “all-nighters” Relying on caffeine/energy drinks Drinking alcohol, doing drugs, and smoking “Study” parties that actually waste time and get little work done Lack of sleep leading to lack of energy and tired tiredness during the day Bad time management photo credit: http://scienceblogs.com/retrospectacle/upload/20 07/08/coffee%20poster.bmp
Tips in Avoiding Unhealthy Choices• Get enough sleep• Eating breakfast• Eating regularly and balanced diet meals• Set a schedule and limit certain activities• Stay organized and plan for events in the future• Listen to calming music to blow off steam• Think positively/optimistically• Exercise and stretch regularly• Breathing/meditation techniques
Stress Relief Exercise to blow off steam Do stretches often Do not sit around for too long Close your eyes and do certain stretches to increase the effectiveness of the stress relief methods Do breathing techniques (long and deep breaths) or meditation
• Right Ear to Right Shoulder Neck Stretch: Tilt your head, bringing your right ear to your right shoulder until you feel a stretch. Using your left hand, apply slight pressure. You will feel the stretch along the left side of your neck. *All of these stretches can be performed seated at your desk, but you must maintain a proper, ergonomic (or aligned) form. This means your neck and spine should be in a neutral position, shoulders and torso relaxed, knees bent at 90 degrees with both feet flat on the floor. We recommend doing these stretches at least 3-4 times per week, repeating the cycle twice each session. Hold all stretches for 15 to 30 seconds.
• Left Ear to Left Shoulder Neck Stretch: Tilt your head, bringing your left ear to your left shoulder until you feel a stretch. Using your right hand, apply slight pressure. You will feel the stretch along the right side of your neck.
• Rotation Right Stretch: With your spine in a neutral, relaxed position, rotate your head to the right, gazing over your right shoulder.
• Rotation Left Stretch: With your spine in a neutral, relaxed position, rotate your head to the left, gazing over your left shoulder.
• Right Shoulder Stretch: Keep your shoulders relaxed and cross your right arm over your chest. Cradle it with your left hand and apply slight pressure.
• Left Shoulder Stretch: Keep your shoulders relaxed and cross your left arm over your chest. Cradle it with your right hand and apply slight pressure
• Upper Back Stretch: Cross your arms in front of you and grab chair arms (if you can’t reach, hold onto the bottom of the seat). While grasping, lean back, keeping your spine in alignment, until you feel a slight stretch.
• Lower Back Stretch: While keeping your spine in alignment, bend from your hips and reach toward the floor. Aim to touch your toes, but if you can’t reach, rest your hands on ankles or shins.
• Finger Stretches: Hold your right hand out and, using the index and middle fingers of your left hand, stretch between each finger as shown. Repeat with your left hand.
Other Stretches/Exercises Rolling head and neck stretch Forearm pull stretch Reach-for-the-stars stretch Elbow-arm stretch Standing/sitting back twist Back arch Fingers-clasped side stretch Photo Credit; http://www.exerciseology.me/.a/6a010535c1f40a9 70c01157132c3bf970b-320wi
Other Useful Hints Taking a bath or shower to reduce stress Aromatherapy candles Yoga Kickboxing or martial arts classes Cardio workouts to blow off steam photo credit: http://www.ebeijing.gov.cn/BeijingInfo/NewsUpdat e/OlympicNews/W020090512495217140235.jpg
Breathing Techniques “Free your mind.” - Morpheus to Neo in The Matrix (1999) Visualize and concentrate on breathing Deep, long breaths Good posture Expel air from lungs Enjoy the life breaththat goes into your body! photo credit: http://hillsidelending.files.wordpress.com/2007/03/ pic_morpheus.jpg
Breathing Exercise 1: Sitting 2. Exhale forcefully through your MOUTH to empty your lungs. At the same time contract (tighten) your abdominal muscles and bend forward. This helps to expel the air. When your lungs are totally empty, immediately relax your abdominals and gently inhale through your NOSE as you sit back up. Inhale till your lungs are no more than 1/2 full, then immediately start exhaling again through your mouth. An exhalation followed by an inhalation totals one round. Try andHow do 10 rounds to begin. Build up to 3 sets of 10 rounds, 2-3 times a1. Best done sitting, but day. In between each round and at the end of the final round take a couple of slow, deep breaths to balance your breathing.can also be done standingor lying down. BenefitsSit on the front edge of a Expels stale air & impurities from your lungs & bloodfirm but comfortable Clears your nasal passages & sinuseschair. Floods your system with fresh oxygenKeep your back straight Energizes & balances youand your hands on your Tones your nervous systemthighs or knees. Tips Do it whenever you feel tired, stressed or anxiousLook straight ahead. All smokers & city dwellers should do this exerciseRelax your shoulders. If you feel dizzy, stop & take a few slow, deep breaths Do it to help you wake up & before other exercises or sports
Breathing Exercise 2: Standing How 1. All breathing is done slowly and 3. When your arms are about parallel with the smoothly through your NOSE. ground, stop inhaling, drop your wrists and Stand with your back straight and your feet begin lowering your arms. As you lower your about shoulder width apart. arms, begin exhaling. Sink your weight into your legs. Note: Raise and lower your arms smoothly Place your hands in front of your abdomen and fluidly, just as if they are wings on a bird. and cup your right hand in your left hand. Look at the ground at a spot about 2 meters (6 feet) in front of you.2. Inhale as youslowly raise yourarms up and awayfrom your body.
4. Continue 5. Begin inhaling again asexhaling until you raise your handsyour hands are vertically in front of andback in front of close to your body.yourabdomen. Noneed to cupyour handsthough.Just let themmeet at thefingertips, in 6. As your hands nearpreparation for your chest, turn themthe next stage. to face you. Continue toPause your slowly and smoothlybreathing for a inhale.couple ofseconds.
7. Straighten yourarms up above your 8. Exhale as you 9. and back to the starting position slowly bring your with hands cupped, as in step one.head as you This completes one round.complete your arms down in an Pause briefly then commence inhalinginhalation. Hold arc away from your as you begin another round.your breath for a body Do 10-12 rounds to begin. Build up to 25-30 rounds, twice a day,couple of seconds or simply do the exercise for 10-15as you stretch your minutes each time.arms up as high as The longer you do it the better.you comfortablycan without liftingyour feet.
Breathing Exercises for StressReliefs• Benefits – Calms & relaxes you – Increases oxygen intake – Balances your breathing – Tones your nervous system• Tips – Do Breathing Exercise 1, above, first – Do this exercise after you get up & before bed – Focus on your breathing, not on external distractions photo credit: http://i.ehow.com/images/GlobalPhoto/Articles/48 38813/wakingup-main_Full.jpg