5 Ways to Relieve Anxiety During College

Right now there is nothing to be anxious about, as it is Winter Break and we are all relaxing, hopefully. But, before you know it break will be over, and it’s back to the grind of academic work.

At some point in the quarter/semester, we get super stressed from all the work we have to do.

This especially happens to me a lot, as I have an anxiety condition known as Pure O OCD. So naturally, I have had to learn ways to deal with my anxiety so it doesn’t consume me to the point where I can’t concentrate on my schoolwork.

I have discovered that the best ways to deal with my anxiety comes by doing these five things, and I figure that if they work for me then they can work for anyone.

1. Music

A lot of people tend to study/do homework while listening to music anyway. Personally, I find music to be too distracting when I’m doing my homework. However, if for whatever reason the stress/anxiety is too much for me to bear, I find that listening to music is very helpful.

Naturally, the type of music that relaxes you depends on your taste in music. I’m a classic rock kind of guy, so the first place I go for relaxation is listening to a radio station from back home, 98.5 KFOX.

But if I’m not listening to KFOX, then here are a few of the tunes I go to for relaxation. Feel free to listen to them to see if they help you relax as well:

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdCt80dYFjk
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQL-Lul3xls
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6fFtWi318s
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McsWKczU6wc

2. Deep Breathing

Another method of relaxation I like to use is deep breathing. I start by inhaling through my nose for ten seconds, and then slowly exhaling out of my mouth for ten seconds, and then repeating. Try it, you will feel instantly relaxed!

I like to do it for about a minute or so and then go back to work inhaling through my nose and exhaling through my mouth although not for ten seconds each.

3. Running

Sometimes despite the first two methods it’s not enough, as there’s too much nervous energy that I’ve built up inside of me. In my experience, the best way to let out the nervous energy is by running.

Typically I go to the gym during the weekend anyway, as I find that exercising on at least a somewhat regular basis tends to lower anxiety. However, I have been in situations where I get so nervous in studying for a midterm or a final that as a study break I need to go out for a run.

So what I do is just go out for a brief, 15 minute run in the open air. I find running in the fresh air to be relaxing.

4. Yoga

Yes, yoga is strenuous but it is rewarding. I’ve done yoga from time-to-time at Cal Poly and I really should make it a regular habit, because you really do feel a lot more relaxed and alert after doing yoga.

Some of the stretches are hard and it is painful at first but after awhile you just get used to it.

Also- yoga is a good way to meet women. Just saying.

5. Face Your Fears

It’s a cliche, but it works. Certainly if you’re scared about that midterm, use it as motivation to study hard so you can kick its butt the next day!

But, as I’ve learned, facing your fears can involve more than that. Literally, it’s the thought that counts.

Say that you’re afraid that you’re going to fail your midterm tomorrow. Naturally you’re going to try and console yourself and say “It’s ok I know I’m going to do fine on it tomorrow.” Well, that may not be the right course of the action.

In my case, because of my condition, consoling myself and seeking reassurance makes my anxiety worse. So instead what I have to do is allow myself to think of my worse fear and say to myself “Yes I’m going to fail the final tomorrow! It’s going to suck and I’ll probably have to retake the class!”

As counterintuitive as it may sound, it works- the more I repeat the thought the less power it has over me. And then my fear of failing a midterm no longer provokes anxiety.

I know that this is a technique that is unique to my condition, but if all else fails I recommend that you try it too, just to see if it works.

Now that you know how I relieve my anxiety, now you have options available to you should you ever feel stressed and/or anxious about over homework, papers, midterms, etc.

Good luck!

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Aaron Bandler

Aaron Bandler

Aaron Bandler is a sophomore at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo pursuing a Journalism major and an Economics minor. Aaron's main passion is politics. As a staunch conservative Republican, he advocates for conservatism every day of his life. Aaron is also an avid sports fan who passionately follows the San Francisco Giants and 49ers. Outside of sports and politics, Aaron enjoys playing guitar and listening to classic rock music like The Who and Led Zeppelin as well as hanging out with family and friends.
Aaron Bandler

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