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manage stress for students

6 Mind-Blowing Hacks to Crush Student Stress in Minutes!

Stress is a familiar burden for many students today, affecting their academic performance and overall well-being. Around 24% of U.S. students are stressed about their future job prospects after graduation. In the UK, studies indicate that one in five previously stress-free university students may develop clinical anxiety by mid-course. 

These findings underscore the increasing mental health challenges students are experiencing and the importance of providing adequate support. This article provides practical strategies to help manage and mitigate the impact of stress on your life.

Let’s dive in – empowering yourself starts here!

Key Takeaways

  • Stress is a common problem for students, with many college students regularly experiencing stress.

  • Students' stress symptoms include difficulty focusing, feeling angry or tired, changes in appetite, and getting sick easily.

  • Causes of stress for students can include academic pressures, financial challenges, homesickness, and balancing work with school.

  • Stress can have negative effects on students' health, including depression, anxiety disorders, and sleep problems.

  • Effective strategies to manage stress in students include getting enough sleep, proper exercising and maintaining a balanced diet.

main causes of student stress

The Silent Struggle: Recognizing Stress Symptoms in Students

Stress in students is characterized by symptoms such as fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. The reasons for this stress are complex, including tough financial issues and constant academic pressure.

Symptoms of Stress

Stress can show up in many ways. Here are some symptoms:

  1. You can’t focus.
  2. You feel mad a lot.
  3. You feel tired, but you can’t sleep.
  4. You eat less or more than before.
  5. Your body gets sick easily.
  6. It is hard for you to calm down.
stress removal tips
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Causes of Stress

Many things can cause stress for students. Students might feel homesick or have trouble living with new roommates. Hard classes, tests, and homework also make students stressed out.

Sometimes, family problems happen at home while the student is away at school. This can make the student feel sad or worried. Some students even have to work while going to school, which can be hard to manage.

They also want to make friends and date, which takes time and energy. All these things can pile up fast and cause a lot of stress for students.

ways to reduce stress in students

Impact of Stress on Students’ Health

Stress can significantly impact students’ health, leading to conditions such as depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, and even substance misuse.

1. Depression

Stress can make depression worse. It happens when stress hormones hit our brain and body too much. These bad feelings don’t go away and can stop you from enjoying life. You might always feel sad, lose interest in things you love, or struggle to concentrate or make choices.

Some people with depression may also have problems sleeping or eating properly. High-stress levels, like those felt by students during exams, can often lead to this state of mind. Over-analyzing what others think of you can also pull you down.

2. Anxiety

Stress can cause anxiety in college students. This worry or fear makes it hard to do daily tasks. The COVID-19 pandemic has made this worse for many. Schoolwork can also make students feel more anxious if they think it is too hard.

Anxiety is a normal stress response, but it can disrupt students’ lives when it becomes an anxiety disorder. About 35% of students have been diagnosed with anxiety, and 34% said it affected their school performance in the previous year. Additionally, 4% mentioned that anxiety caused delays in their degree progress. These findings emphasize the significance of addressing mental health challenges among students.

Yet, knowing that friends and family are there to help can make a big change. It’s good to talk about what scares you with someone who cares.

why are students stressed

3. Sleep Disorders

Stress can lead to sleep disorders in students. These sleep disorders include difficulty falling asleep, trouble staying asleep, and waking up tired. Lack of sleep can make stress worse for students and make it harder for them to deal with stress.

Chronic stress can even cause chronic insomnia, which means having persistent trouble sleeping. Sleep disorders that come from stress can harm a student’s overall health and well-being.

Students with these issues need professional help, like therapy or counseling, to improve their sleep quality.

4. Substance Misuse

Substance misuse is a big concern regarding the impact of stress on students’ health. Sometimes, students may turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to deal with all the pressure they’re facing.

But this can actually make things worse. Substance misuse can make their mental and physical health even more affected by stress. That’s why students need to find healthier ways to manage their stress.

Just a little over 1% of college students have received a professional diagnosis of addiction or a substance use disorder. Of these students, 46% sought help from a healthcare or mental health professional within the last year.

Finding other coping strategies can reduce the risk of substance misuse and its negative consequences on their overall well-being. Counseling services are available on most campuses to support and guide students dealing with stress and substance misuse issues.

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Effective Strategies to Manage Stress

To effectively manage stress, students must prioritize getting adequate sleep, maintaining a balanced diet, exercising regularly, setting realistic goals, avoiding procrastination, and identifying stress outlets.

These strategies can greatly reduce the negative impact of stress on your physical and mental health. Find out more ways to reduce stress for students.

1. Getting Adequate Sleep

Getting enough sleep is crucial for managing stress as a student. Lack of sleep can make you feel more anxious, irritable, and unable to concentrate. Over 70% of college students sleep less than eight hours daily, and 60% feel tired or sleepy at least three days a week. Additionally, over 80% believe that lack of sleep harms academic performance. It can also weaken your immune system and affect your overall health.

On the other hand, getting adequate sleep helps with memory recall, tissue repair, muscle growth, and energy levels. It also improves your learning ability and mental well-being. To ensure you get enough restful sleep, stick to a regular sleep schedule, create a calming bedtime routine, limit stimulants like caffeine before bed, and create a comfortable sleeping environment.

Taking steps to prioritize quality sleep can greatly reduce stress levels in students’ lives.

2. Maintaining a Balanced Diet

Eating a balanced diet is really important for managing stress as a student. A healthy eating plan can help reduce stress levels and improve overall well-being.

healthy food reduces stress

Plus, poor eating habits can worsen your stress and lead to weight gain and problems with thinking clearly. Luckily, many colleges offer prepaid meal plans with various meal quantities to make dining convenient for students and ensure they can access nutritious diets on campus.

By choosing foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein sources, you can give your body the nutrients it needs to cope with stress better. What you eat greatly affects how you feel mentally and physically. Never skip breakfast, and learn how to create a healthy one. However, try to avoid inflammation-causing food.

3. Regular Exercise

Regular exercise is an effective way for students to reduce stress and improve their overall well-being. Engaging in physical activity, even 10 minutes daily, can release tension and promote relaxation.

Exercise increases the production of endorphins, which are natural mood elevators, leading to improved mental health and mood. It also helps improve sleep quality and duration, which is essential for managing stress.

Activities like yoga, meditation, and mindfulness can be particularly beneficial in reducing stress levels for college students. So, prioritize regular exercise as part of your stress management routine!

In a survey, regular yoga practitioners reported several emotional well-being improvements: 86% noted less stress, 69% experienced better mood, 59% had improved sleep, 86% felt mentally clearer, and 28% saw reduced depression symptoms.

yoga improves stress in students

4. Setting Realistic Goals

Setting realistic goals is an important strategy for managing stress as a student. Having clear and achievable goals helps minimize overwhelm and create a sense of control over your tasks and responsibilities.

Students who establish concrete tasks for their objectives and provide weekly progress reports to their supportive peers tend to accomplish 40% more than those who do not engage in these practices.

Additionally, by setting realistic goals, you can avoid putting unnecessary pressure on yourself and reduce the likelihood of experiencing burnout or frustration. Each person’s journey is unique, so setting goals that align with your abilities and circumstances is essential.

Doing so, you can maintain a healthy balance between academic demands, extracurricular activities, and personal well-being.

How to break a large task into smaller manageable chunks?

Step Description
Task Analysis
Examine the large task to understand its components and requirements.
Identify Key Components
Determine the main elements or sub-tasks that make up the large task.
Prioritize Sub-Tasks
Organize sub-tasks by importance or sequence. Identify what must be done first.
Set Milestones or Deadlines
Establish deadlines or milestones for completing each sub-task.
Create a Task List
Make a comprehensive list of sub-tasks, preferably in a to-do list format.
Estimate Time for Each Sub-Task
Predict how much time each sub-task will take to complete. Be realistic.
Allocate Resources
Determine if you need any specific resources or information for each sub-task.
Start with the First Sub-Task
Begin working on the first sub-task according to your plan.
Monitor Progress
Keep track of your progress as you complete each sub-task.
Adjust and Revise as Necessary
Modify your plan or deadlines if you encounter unexpected challenges.
Celebrate Achievements
Reward yourself for completing sub-tasks to stay motivated.
Review the Overall Progress
Periodically review how the sub-tasks contribute to completing the entire task.

5. Avoiding Procrastination

To avoid procrastination, it’s important to manage your time effectively. Procrastination often occurs when you feel overwhelmed or unsure about where to start. Creating a schedule and setting realistic goals can break down tasks into smaller, more manageable steps.

This can reduce stress and give you a sense of accomplishment as you complete each step. Additionally, engaging in activities that distract and bring enjoyment, such as hobbies or exercise breaks, can help prevent procrastination by giving your mind a chance to recharge.

Around 80% to 95% of college students procrastinate to some extent, with 50% viewing it as a problem. In a study, 88% admitted to procrastinating for at least one hour daily. Procrastination affects more people than alcoholism, substance abuse, and depression.

Effective time management techniques and finding enjoyable distractions are key strategies for avoiding procrastination and staying focused on your tasks.

6. Identifying Stress Outlets

To manage stress, finding ways to let it out is important. Here are some stress outlets you can try:

  • Engage in physical activities like exercising or playing sports.
  • Find a creative outlet such as painting, writing, or playing an instrument. Explore ways to nurture creativity.
  • Practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation.
  • Spend time with friends and family who make you feel supported and happy. Set healthy boundaries
  • Take breaks from studying or work to do something you enjoy, like watching a movie or walking.
  • Explore nature by going for hikes or spending time outside.
  • Try out stress-reducing activities such as yoga or tai chi.
  • Listen to calming music or create a playlist of your favorite songs.

Also read: how to deal with workplace stress.

6 ways to calm a stressed student
Infographic: 6 ways to manage stress for students

Where to Seek Help for Stress Management

Seeking help for stress management is crucial for students dealing with overwhelming academic and personal pressures. Various resources are available to support students’ journey towards better mental health, whether on-campus or off-campus.

On-Campus Mental Health Services

College campuses provide resources to help students manage and reduce stress levels. These on-campus mental health services aim to promote mental well-being among college students. They offer counseling services, support groups, and wellness programs

College students can benefit from these services by seeking professional help and guidance when experiencing stress. These services often include counseling and therapy sessions to help students develop coping strategies and improve their mental health. It’s important for college students to know that support is available to them on campus when they need it.

College counseling helps reduce student stress

Off-Campus Centers and Hotlines

Off-campus centers and hotlines are available to help college students manage stress. They offer counseling services, therapy sessions, and workshops. These resources provide a safe and confidential space for students to discuss their stressors and learn strategies to reduce stress. 

Off-campus support is accessible to students who may not have access to on-campus resources or prefer off-campus help. These centers and hotlines can teach students techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises, and mindfulness practices. They can also connect students with support groups or peer mentoring programs.

Embracing yoga can be your secret weapon in conquering stress as a student. It’s not merely a form of exercise; it’s a transformative journey towards inner peace and resilience. The 2012 National Health Interview Survey found that 85% of yoga users say it reduces their stress, and more than 40% feel motivated to make healthier food choices.


Managing stress is crucial for students to maintain their physical and mental health. By incorporating strategies such as getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, setting realistic goals, avoiding procrastination, and finding healthy outlets for stress, students can reduce their stress levels and improve their overall well-being.

Additionally, seeking help from on-campus mental health services or off-campus centers and hotlines can provide valuable support during challenging times. Remember that taking care of yourself should be a top priority to thrive academically and personally in college.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some signs of student stress?

Student stress may show as physical, emotional, cognitive, or behavioral symptoms. It can cause chronic muscle pain and change eating and sleeping habits.

Why do students feel stressed in college?

College stress can come from new responsibilities like heavy coursework, meeting new people, independence, and living away from home. Other causes might be family turmoil, work schedules, or romantic relationships.

How can one control student finances to reduce stress?

To manage money better, set realistic expectations for your budget. Use tools like Google Calendar or Apple’s iCalendar to track expenses and plan for social obligations.

What steps can I take if I feel stressed in college?

There are many ways to handle stress in college! Start by getting adequate sleep and eating healthy foods instead of fast food or high-sugar foods. Exercise at fitness Center or join intramural teams.

What other methods help with stress management besides healthy lifestyle changes?

Taking a course like Inner Engineering helps one learn new coping skills. Inner Engineering is a course that helps students tap into their innate intelligence, acquire self-awareness, and master themselves. It involves guided meditations and the Shambhavi Maha Mudra practice, which enhances awareness of thoughts, emotions, and actions.

Do colleges offer support for students under extreme levels of stress?

Yes! Many colleges guide wellness centers with resources aligned with the American College Health Association’s standards dealing with crisis intervention & tutoring services, too.

What does positive stress mean for students?

Simply put, positive stress occurs when children encounter a challenge they believe they can overcome. In contrast, negative stress arises when they confront a problem they feel incapable of resolving or succeeding in.

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