How to Enjoy Stress-Free Student Living
By Hannah Duffy on May 7th, 2015
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Of course our students years are going to be some of the most memorable of our lives, but this new chapter can also be one that is very stressful. Despite a recent survey by NUS finding that 92% of respondents were ‘feeling down, stressed or demotivated (74% experiencing this once a month or more), students aren’t fully aware how to manage these feelings.
We have dedicated a post to helping students manage stress and become happier individuals during this time. What’s more, studies show that there is a certain link between happiness, well-being and productivity. Following some simple steps it is completely possible to become a stress-free student.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the small things that irritate us but they actually have a huge impact on our overall mood and thought processes. By thinking positively you can retrain your brain to think in this way all the time. This process is known as exercising our neuroplasticity, which essentially means conditioning the neuron pathways in our brains to work in a certain way. For those of us who aren’t looking for a lecture in neurology, we basically need to watch what we think. Be more aware of your thought cycles and don’t let the negatives multiply. If it doesn’t benefit you and your health then don’t give it your time.
Where we live and work affects our happiness and overall well-being too. Feng Shi hasn’t been around for thousands of years for nothing. When working or resting we need an environment that facilitates it and helps us remain focused. Sometimes, just being clean and organised will give us that sense of control that we really need. This is why it’s so important to choose the right accommodation for you, that will help you feel comfortable and focused. Downing Students offer fresh, purpose-built contemporary student accommodation built with students at all times to create that perfect balance for living and studying.
We live in an environment that is constantly reminding us of the things we need to be happier in life. In order to be more content we need to be happy with what we have in the here and the now. It’s just not healthy to think about what we don’t have all the time. Be optimistic about the future but be happy in the here and now.
Tip! Remind yourself of at least one positive thing you’ve done every day to feel happier and content every day.
It’s nothing new but smiling lifts our mood. A psychologist named Robert Zajonc (1989) found that by simply getting his participants to say letters that made a smiling facial expression made them feel much happier afterwards. Other than sounding letters of the alphabet all day like any insane person would, holding a pen in your mouth will have the same effect.
Tip! Try it before your lectures whilst gathering your things, daily to set you up in the right mood.
The way we feel physically impacts the way we feel mentally. It’s something we’re already aware of but don’t always act upon. A quick sugary fix just isn’t going to cut it and we’ll soon feel the lows of an energy lapse once it wears off. By creating a stable base, eating all the right foods we can create a steady release of energy all day. In the student world, this isn’t always realistic with late boozy nights and takeaways on the cards but in this case, moderation is key. Click for top tips to eating healthy on a budget.
Even when you’re down in the dumps, the best thing you can do is socialise and immerse yourself with people who are going to lift your mood. According to Dr. Mehl (2010), people are happier when they have more substantive conversations. This is because we feel the need to be connected to other people and add meaning to our lives. Sometimes we just need a change of perspective is all we need to see the bigger picture.
Tip! Go along to your university serendipity during welcome week and join clubs that take you away from your desk doing something you enjoy. It’s a great way to make friends, change up your exercise regime and improve your CV.
You can certainly put actions into place in order to manage stress but you also be organised enough to prevent stress all together. Prevention is better than cure as they say! Be prepared as you can by knowing what’s going on around you..important dates,lectures, seminars. As you get a date to remember put it in your phone/diary calender or so you have all your dates to hand
Tip! Get all your assignment dates in your first lectures and then map out a working plan so you can prioritise your time – all your other dates should fit in around these.