Addressing Student Stress with Faith

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Addressing Student Stress with Faith

Kalle Bailey, Reporter

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Stress is how the brain and body responds to everyday demands. Work, school, sports, personal relationships and major life changes are pressures that affect your physical and mental health, making stress management a vital component of living well.

The second semester of the school year is always highly stressful; the homework piles in, teachers need to cover lots of material before June, and everyone is constantly worried about getting good grades. Do not worry! There are many steps you can take to de-stress every day.

“Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands give me delight” (Psalm 119:143).

For some, faith helps them relieve stress. Taking just 5 minutes out of each day to reflect in prayer helps many individuals step back and face troubles with a renewed mental attitude.  Faith helps us remember that we are not alone and inspires us to push through the difficult times.  It also reminds us that God will guide us because he has a plan.

No matter your religion, reflecting upon your day can really help brighten your attitude. Train your brain to be positive by facing situations with a “glass is half full” mindset. Take the proactive step to look for the good in things and the light at the end of the tunnel. This will jump start your energy levels and lead you toward becoming an overall happier person. Seek out the positive, no matter how well it is hidden.

A healthy brain is a happy brain; fueling yourself with nutritious food will give your mind the energy to get through a long day of classes. “The best solution? Low-fat, high-fiber, carbohydrate-rich meals with plenty of fruits and vegetables. They soothe us without sapping our energy and give us the nutrients we need,”(www.pcrm.org/health/) to concentrate  and stay mentally focused and active. Just as important is making time for a healthy physical workout. “Exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators” (health.harvard.edu). Getting just 30 minutes of exercise a day directly improves cognitive functions. Finally, do not forget the importance of sleep. This is when the body and mind shut down, recharge and reset. “Adults who sleep fewer than eight hours a night are more likely to report symptoms of stress…such as feeling irritable or angry” (apa.org). Thus, a healthy diet and at least 6-8 hours of sleep a night, will dramatically reduce stress levels because your brain is “well fed” and well rested, ready to help you take on and deal with whatever pressures will inevitably come your way.

Through faith in God and faith in yourself, you can have a stress-free rest of the year and beyond! Implementing these mental and physical guidelines will allow you to move forward with a new state of mind and optimistic outlook on life.

“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (~Isaiah 40:30-31)

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