University means a lot of pressure!
It is a simple fact that cannot be avoided, and much of the success you achieve will be down to how well you can manage the workload and deadlines.
A quarter of all students turn to medication to reduce their stress levels, but this is not ideal as side-effects are common. Luckily, nature also has an answer by combining breathing techniques with mindfulness.
We have devised a 4 step stress-busting solution that will take no more than 10 minutes to perform! Done on a daily basis, it will help to lower any pressure that is building up.
Step 1 – Preparing To Relax
To gain the most benefit, it is necessary to set the scene for an effective relaxation session.
Choose a quiet place like a park or your bedroom, then get comfortable by loosening clothing or taking off your shoes. Sit or lie down, and make sure to switch off any distractions like music or electronic devices.
Step 2 – Deep Breathing
Breathing techniques will reduce your heart rate and relax the muscles in your body, while also causing your blood pressure to drop. Just a few minutes focused breathing each day effectively lowers stress levels!
Our breathing exercise could not be simpler. Once you are free of distractions, perform the following technique:
- Inhale for a count of 2.
- Exhale for a count of 4.
After just 2 minutes, you will find that the stress is melting away, and you are ready to embrace mindfulness.
Step 3 – Body Scan
A ‘body scan’ is a popular mindfulness exercise that aids your body in removing areas of tension, and is best performed when your eyes are closed.
Continuing the deep breathing, start to notice the pressure where your body is making contact with the seat or bed, and then gradually move this awareness to the soles of your feet:
- Can you feel any areas of tension? Be sure to stretch your feet to truly relax them.
Once this is done, work your way through the rest of the body – ankles, legs, arms, back, and shoulders – stretching and relaxing each body part in turn.
In total, expect this to take just a few minutes, and by completion, it will have you feeling significantly more relaxed.
Step 4 – Mental Awareness
Clear the mind of distractions by following the final step in the process.
Choose an object from your surroundings (in a park this may be a leaf or stone), and imagine you are viewing it like never before:
- What shape is it?
- How many colours does it have?
- What is the texture?
Explore every aspect of the object – it will give you a healthy appreciation of the amazing world we live in, while also freeing your mind of worry!
For our 10-minute stress buster to be successful, make sure you schedule regular practice time (lunch breaks are ideal). This will help you to become a more relaxed and friendly person, ready to face the pressures of a busy day.