By Freeha Anjum
We’ve all been there: constantly worrying about what the future holds for us, feeling like there’s no escape from our anxiety. No matter the reason, everyone can feel trapped by stress.
You’ve probably heard that stress can be good for you, but a lot of stress over a prolonged period can be very, very bad. So how can we just stop feeling worried?
There are many ways to relax and get your mind off of stress, and it’s especially helpful to do this when you can’t control the outcome of the event that’s causing you the stress, like when you’re waiting for an admission letter. Let’s talk about how you can relax, even in the most stressful of situations.
Remind yourself of your limitations
As has been said before, you can’t always control your future. There are moments when you just need to wait things out, and there’s nothing you can do about that. For example, if you walk out of a test feeling like you’ve failed, you might begin to feel really stressed out about your grade in the class. You might even start looking into how that grade will affect your overall average, and how that average will affect your applications for undergraduate or graduate schools.
In cases like these, it’s important to take a step back and remind yourself that there’s nothing to do but wait. It might feel worse at first, but knowing that you can’t change anything is the first step towards being able to relax.
Do something you enjoy doing
It might seem obvious, but oftentimes under stress, we can forget what we used to do for fun. Take some time to think about what you enjoy: Is it painting? Playing video games? Watching TV? Talking with a friend? Whatever it might be, it’s good to use those things as a distraction from the stress you might be feeling. At first, it might be hard to get into it, but after some time it might prove to be an effective strategy.
Meditation and exercise
You may have heard this one over and over, but meditation and exercise are effective relaxation techniques for most people, and if you haven’t tried them yet, you might be missing out!
On a nice day, going out for a run with your favourite songs playing through your ears can be great for your stress! And if you find that you’re meditating but it’s not doing anything, or you feel you’re doing it wrong, check out online tutorials — there are even meditation guides on Netflix!
Although we only covered a few here, there are many more activities you can try out to help relieve stress. Journaling is a great way to vent out your emotions, for example, and sometimes just getting everything out there can help you feel better. You can also follow up journaling by taking a walk or meditating, now that you have an emptied mind. Reminding yourself that stress is normal, and everyone feels it, can also help to reassure you!