The Advance-Titan

Positive attitude can lower stress

Spring break is an excellent time for students to relax and unwind following a stressful first half of the semester. It is also a time to mentally prepare for the rest of the semester, which usually is more demanding than the previous half.

Maintaining focus and motivation can be very challenging after having the taste of freedom offered by spring break. It is easy, and understandable, for students to become emotionally overwhelmed and adopt a negative attitude toward their studies due to the pressure of all the work that needs to be done.

It is during these especially stressful times that maintaining a positive attitude is so important.

Having a positive attitude has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, reduce risk of illness and increase overall health, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Barbara Fredrickson, a psychology researcher at the University of North Carolina, has conducted studies that show a positive attitude makes people open to more possibilities and more accepting of new opportunities.

Fredrickson’s research, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 2008, also suggests that a positive attitude can help develop important social and creative skills which can be helpful in professional life and increase an individual’s probability of overall success.

Despite the many benefits of having a positive attitude, it is quite often easier said than done. Students may have a particularly challenging time trying to stay positive when the stress of classes can make it seem like the world is collapsing around them.

Here are a few tips for staying positive that have helped me even on my worst day:

Listening to motivational music between classes or right before starting a major assignment can offer that little burst of energy needed to get through the task with a smile on your face.

Sometimes, after a bad day, it can even be good to listen to a sad song, according to research published in 2014 by researchers of the universities of Kent and Limerick in the Psychology of Music journal.

Listening to sad music allows you to validate your emotions from the day, but the key is to then move on to happier music to help provide motivation.

When preparing for the day and knowing it will be a stressful one, put on a favorite outfit. The saying “dress for success” is not just a cheesy line. Wearing something you feel comfortable in offers a huge confidence boost that can mean the difference between a good day and a bad one.

Starting every day with a positive attitude, assuming it will go well and everything will be okay, makes a major difference. The self-confidence it provides is visible to everyone and will make you more approachable and appear more competent when it comes to professional situations.

The last half of the semester is stressful for everyone. Hopefully these tips can help you reduce stress and be more successful, but they may not work for everyone.
Students who are truly struggling should reach out to various campus resources, such as the counseling center and the tutoring services, both located in the Student Success Center across from Reeve Memorial Union.

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Positive attitude can lower stress