by Kate Billingsley
Lifestyle editor

Meditate
Meditation can be a great way to relax if you’re stressed. Meditation can lower heart rate, blood pressure, and improve your performance. Research has shown that meditation is a great way to destress!

Although meditation isn’t something that most high schoolers spend their time doing, it has proven health benefits that you can’t deny! Next time you’re overwhelmed or aren’t sure what to do, take a moment to meditate and rid your mind of stress and anxiety.

Listen to Music
Listening to music can be relaxing. Slow music or classical pieces can calm you down. It can also slow down breathing and heart rate, lower blood pressure, and relax muscles. Music therapy has been shown to decreasing anxiety in addition to stress.

Although studies say that classical or slow music can help you unwind, nothing says you can’t listen to a genre of choice. If you are bored of the classical music scene, switch it up and listen to something else. As long as the music helps you focus, and think less about whatever is stressing you out, it is beneficial.

 

Exercise Daily
Exercise helps to boost endorphins and reduce stress. Research has shown that exercising for only 20 minutes a day has a ton of benefits. E

It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you partake in. It could be a rigorous physical activity or a light jog. Even taking a walk is helpful and can help clear your mind and flush away the stress. Take a walk somewhere that has scenic views and keeps your mind alert.  Team sports are another way that you can combine multiple of these tips. You are spending time with friends and exercising. Studies have shown that these activities will improve your stress levels and overall mood.

Put Away the Computer
Computer use can be linked to stress, lost sleep, and depression, according to a study from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Additionally,  late night computer can lead to stress. Take frequent breaks during your computer use to clear your mind.   

Yes, a large amount of homework and projects are done on the computer, but that does not mean that you have to live your life sitting next to a laptop. Take a moment to step away from your computer and think about something else. Large amounts of work can get overwhelming, so stepping back and take a moment for yourself. Splash your face with water or just look around your room at something else.

Spend Time With Friends
Aside from having a great time, spending time with friends can reduce production of enzymes that cause stress. You may think you’re just hanging out with friends, but its good for your health too!

When you are faced with piles of homework, taking a break to see your friends is a great stress relief. It doesn’t matter what you do with your friends, whether you go out for dinner, to a movie, or just spend time with them, your stress levels will drop!

Craft
Repetitive motions can soothe anxiety. Movements used to draw, paint or even knit can reduce stress and anxiety levels.  The key is the repetition. Whether its repeating strokes of a paintbrush or the motion of your knitting needles, the repetition is proven to be soothing beyond belief. The next time you are feeling stressed, take a break and get crafty.

Laugh
Laughing is a proven technique for relaxation and stress relief. The Mayo Clinic states, “laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs, and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.” Additionally,  laughter enhances your stress response but shortly after deactivates it. This creates an unstable feeling that eventually leads feeling care-free and relaxed.

Read a Fun Book
Too often do students find themselves spending all their free time doing homework or projects for school. A great way to take some of the pressure off of your workload is to pick up a book that isn’t related to school. The next time you’re feeling overworked, stressed out, or are just looking for something different to do, pick up a book and start reading.

Play with a Pet
Hospitals and college campuses nationwide had dogs and cats available for people in need to play with. When faced with an adorable puppy or a playful kitten, many people find it impossible not to smile. Animal Smart agrees, saying, “dogs help humans reduce stress. Studies show that interactions with therapy animals can decrease stress in humans. Playing with or petting an animal can increase levels of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease the production of the stress hormone cortisol.” If you’re ever feeling stressed or overwhelmed, remember that finding a dog or a cat can instantly make you feel better.