The kids at the local high school by my house are taking the SAT Test and the ACT Test this week. Here’s the crazy thing: a few of these kids go to my church and I could actually sense a visible and material signs of stress in their faces, voices, and in their mannerisms. In sum, these are some stressed out kids.
Now, if you take my experience and multiply that by the tens of thousands of high school kids worrying about the ACT Test and the SAT Test, but also the college students stress from their classes – the cumulative effect of all of that stress cannot possibly be good for anybody. Certainly not good.
Now, I’m an expert on meditation or anything, but I have some experience with stress and have meditated through my practice of martial arts. And, keep in mind, I graduated from Brigham Young University in 3 years while I worked 20 hours per week to support my wife and 2 kids. Later, I graduated from a top 5 graduate school while trying to juggle being a husband and dad to 3 kids. I have stared stress in the eyeballs and have won that staring contest!
So, here are some suggestions from someone who has dealt with stress and isn’t actually very stressed much anymore:
- Close your eyes and Breathe: Simple, I know. Seriously, turn away from what ever you were doing, close your eyes, and breathe. Breathe for several minutes by inhaling through your nose and exhaling out your mouth. Here’s an important tip – when you inhale, do not stick your chest out, instead stick your stomach out. That’s how babies breathe. Try it for several minutes. It will help you relax.
- Exercise and Sweat: For real – get up and do something. When you are exercising, you are breathing. And, oxygen in your body is good. And, when you sweat, you are also releasing toxins (don’t quote me on that one). Believe me – exercise is good. It will help your mind relax.
- Drink Healthy Herbal Tea: I like chamomile and apple spice, but you can drink any healthy herbal tea. Warm tea will help you relax and the herbs will revive your mind.
- Go some place high: Go on your roof or on top of a tree or on top of a hill. If you can see the landscape and broad land beyond you, you will gain perspective. And, when you stressed, gaining the proper perspective will neutralize most stressful situations.
- Pray: If you are religious, then pray to your God. If not, then pray to something higher than yourself. It will bring you a sense of humility and help you realize that there’s more to this world than your problems.
Give these student stress tips a try. I hope they help you out.