How to Stay sane

For many college students, stress is not just an occasional problem-it’s a lifestyle. Unfortunately, it happens to be an extremely unhealthy one. Stress taxes the body, especially our most important organ: the heart. According to, stress is a mental aggravation that can prevent us from effectively performing even the simplest tasks. Here are a few easy tips for getting relaxed this semester.Meditation: Meditation is often associated with stress relief, and with good reason. According to Health Guide, meditation can bring on the relaxation response, slowing heart rate, deepening breaths and relaxing the muscles. There are a variety of meditation techniques. It can be as straightforward as visualizing a relaxing place, or as complex as specific types of yoga. You can learn about the meditation best suited for you at An important note: don’t focus on whether or not you are doing it “right”-just do your best. A few minutes devoted to meditation will, at minimum, slow down your hectic pace. Exercise: Getting the body into a natural rhythm, by doing repetitive exercise such as walking, jogging or biking, can be a great physical stress reliever. Plus, to quote the male love-interest from “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”, “the endorphins don’t suck.” Try to do something that you won’t dread or avoid, which might lead you to skip it, and stress even more.Massage: Release some tension from your muscles by getting a massage. You could even treat yourself to a massage at one of Burlington’s numerous spas or massage parlors. “Massage therapy is one of the best antidotes for stress,” affirms”Massage boosts the body’s immune system, which can become compromised from extended periods of stress. Tension can build up in the muscles, causing a decrease in circulation and nutrient delivery to tissues,” the Web site says.If you have the money, you could invest in a massage chair for the dorm. But perhaps the best and most realistic option would be to coerce a friend into massaging you-and maybe supplying one in return!Laughter: Some studies, such as those performed by Dr. Lee Berk and fellow researcher Dr. Stanley Tan of Loma Linda University in California, have suggested that laughter reduces stress hormones in the brain…and if that’s not enough reason to go in search of laughter, it flat-out improves your mood!So pop in a comedy, find your funniest friend, or watch the famed “Don’t taze me bro!” YouTube video-and get rid of some stress.Sleep: This can’t be stressed (no pun intended) enough. Though you shouldn’t sleep excessively, getting at least 5-8 hours of sleep is key according to This will improve your physical and emotional wellbeing. After all, what could be more stressful than functioning without full mental clarity? Get enough sleep and those daily obligations will probably take less and be completed more effectively.Lists: Some might call this compulsive behavior, but nothing clears the mind more than getting a “To Do” list on paper. It not only helps to organize thoughts, but increases the chances of remembering each listed item, according to Hopefully your list will add a bit of perspective. Though even just a few things hanging over your head can stress you out, a list can reinforce the fact that you don’t actually have fifty gazillion things to do-you just feel like you do.