Get ahead, beat stress at the start

Katherine Baird

katherineStress, a word used nearly every day by college students globally, is almost always on our mind weighing us down.

Stress can show itself in many ways.

Through poor behavior, actions and emotions, we can see in ourselves and others the ugly face of stress and how negatively it impacts us.

Whether it be the piles of readings and papers not yet completed, the extracurriculars that seem to eat up our time or maybe even finding time for all that while managing a job and having social life, stressors are constantly around us.

Though school isn’t the only thing that has college students stressing, it is a major contributor for most.

As a dog loves a bone, stress loves procrastination, maybe even more than a final exam.

Both words are uttered numerous times every day on campuses.

It seems inevitable with all of life’s other aspects that you will end up behind on at least one assignment in a class.

The reasons to avoid procrastination, before you’re testing the limits of over caffeinating the human body at 3 a.m. on a Thursday, seem pretty obvious.

One of the most vital reasons for most college students to avoid procrastination would be sleep. In the history of the Earth, I doubt a single person who has been enrolled in a university has ever complained of getting too much sleep.

Even on weekend mornings people will go right back to sleep given the opportunity, even if they’ve just slept for 12 hours, because in college, so much sleep debt has been created that there essentially will never be enough.

Procrastination seems inevitable, but according to research done at Harvard there are ways to combat this.

Elle Kaplan, who wrote “Harvard research highlights six ways to trick your brain out of procrastination” published on the news site, Quartz, enlightens us on how to stop this seemingly never-ending cycle of avoiding assignments and putting off work that is due in the future.

Many thinkers and innovators have thought up ways to combat stress; these methods may get an eye roll or a thought to yourself “I’ve heard that a thousand times” but the question is, have you tried them?

The only way to determine if one of these methods will work for you is to try it yourself.

Physical activity is one of the best solutions to release bad energy on stressful days.

The endorphins released through physical activity have been proven time and time again to reduce stress hormones.

Other solutions are yoga and meditation. Not only could their practice improve your posture and flexibility but it also can reduce your stress levels.

Yoga has been used as a tool for thousands of years to allow people to have a peaceful outlet.

UWO junior Alexander Filkouski said doing yoga every morning has benefited his life.

“First off it adds energy to my day because it’s relaxing, but at the same time I’m waking up my body by stretching and breathing,” Filkouski said. “Secondly I feel refreshed and in a better mood after doing yoga as well.”

Meditation, used to find peace of mind in solitude, is another method that can be used.

According to the book “The Trouble with Paradise” by Robin Lincoln Wood, studies have shown, “production of the stress hormone Cortisol is greatly decreased, thus making it possible for those people to deal with stress better when it occurs.”

Another stress-reducing option is aromatherapy. This technology has gained recognition for essentially giving a user the option of choosing what emotion they wish to feel, and making it happen.

The vapor used is called MONQ and was released to the public in April of 2016. By inhaling the vapor of choice you instantly feel the desired emotion.

According to its creator, “each MONQ blend is 80 percent soy-based vegetable glycerin, 20 percent essential oils.”

The easiest and quickest way to reduce stress though is training yourself to work on assignments when they are first assigned.

Don’t wait until the day they are due to start them because this just builds stress and often leads to poor execution.

Stress and procrastination seem as much a part of college as bad campus food and expensive books, but that doesn’t mean we have to let it be.

Taking steps to reduce stress and prevent it before it starts, can lead to a more enjoyable college experience and more free time to hang out with friends, take part in clubs, get involved in the community or binge-watch that Netflix show you haven’t had time for.

Do yourself a favor and cut the stress before it starts.