Stress Management Tips for the High School Graduate

Ethel Sing, Staff Writer

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According to studies such as the latest Stress in America survey, the current generation that seems to be affected by stress the most would be young adults. Considering societal similarities, it’s safe to assume that this is relevant to Canadians as well, or at least understood by every graduating student of this year. With exam weeks to trudge through and the end of the school year already upon us, saying that stress levels seem high would likely be an understatement. Students are scrambling to hand in final projects and assignments, not to mention finalizing plans for the Grad Dinner and Dance, so why not learn a few ways to manage that stress? Stress management tips are helpful in a multitude of scenarios, and their benefits can be felt by anyone.

For starters, one needs to understand stress and its repercussions, or why else would we want to avoid it? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, stress is defined as “a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation”. Stress has been known to reduce immune systems and lead to heart complications after a prolonged period of time, so learning how to manage it at a younger age would definitely help in the long-run. Here are a few ways to do that:

1. Cut back on the caffeine. Many people will immediately go to coffee for the necessary boost to meet deadlines. Others will drink it just to wake up in the morning. Regardless of the reason for its need, caffeine has been proven to have a positive correlation to increased stress levels. In non-scientific terms, this means that the more caffeine you drink before a stressful situation, the more stressed you will end up being.

2. Get active. Cardiovascular exercise is particularly helpful for reducing stress levels. Its ability to both exhilarate and relax you is due to the way it gets oxygen flowing in your system, and going for routine jogs can help both your heart and your head. Being able to get up and take a break after cramming for a test can definitely be refreshing too, and in terms of neurochemicals, exercise is capable of reducing stress hormone levels like adrenaline and cortisol, stimulating endorphins instead to elevate your mood.

3. Listen to some good music. It’s been well-established that music and its effect on our emotions is a good way to relieve stress. Slow, classical music in particular, can slow your heart rate and lower blood pressure, decreasing stress hormone levels. Music can act as a distraction for stressors and even though it seems like a waste of time when there are more urgent things to be dealing with, we know that productivity increases when stress is decreased, so music can help even then.

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Stress Management Tips for the High School Graduate