Thursday, May 15, 2014

De-stressing for Finals, by Danielle Cook

With exams and end-of-semester projects piling up, learn how to relax when the studying gets stressful. Here are a couple proven ways to calm down when a break from all the hard work is much-needed.

First, exercise is a perfect method to put your mind and body at ease. Doing yoga can help relax and even breathing, which balances heart rate and promotes improved blood flow. It also allows for muscle stretching and release of tension. Running or playing sports can flood the body with endorphins, giving the athlete a positive influx of hormones, which combats stress signals. Psychologists suggest that just ten minutes of walking can be as effective at relieving anxiety as a 45-minute heavy exercise session.

Getting enough sleep each night is crucial to maintaining focus while studying during the day. Students should try to sleep at least six to eight hours a night. Pulling all-nighters to work on a paper may seem like a good idea at the time, but lack of rest will eventually exhaust the body to an extreme. Turn off lights and put electronics away, since bright lights trigger staying awake longer.

Listening to music can be a great way to de-stress! Positive, calm music can help lower blood pressure and promote heart health. When trying to memorize something, associating facts with music can assist in information retention. Research has proven time and again that music can improve intelligence. One in four people, according to a study by the mental health charity Mind, reported that listening to music on the way to work helps them de-stress.

Violinist Yehudi Menuhin once said, “Music is a therapy. It is a communication far more powerful than words, far more immediate, far more efficient.”