5 Science-Backed Ways to Help Students Cope with Stress

In honor of National Stress Awareness Day, let’s discuss stress in students and the impact it has on their educational process. With the added pressures of balancing academics, social life, athletics, and work, students accumulate large amounts of stress throughout the school year. It’s important we address these stressors and figure out the best ways to reduce them in students so they can best prepare for the future. Here are 5 difference science-backed ways that students can help mitigate their stress:

Managing Stress at School

1. Breathing Exercises
One of the fastest and easiest ways to destress is through relaxation breathing. Compared to deep breathing, relaxation breathing has to do with how many breaths you take each minute. One method to do this is called “paced breathing” where you slow your breathing pace to 6 breaths a minute for a few minutes every time you feel stressed. Regulating your breathing will help you refocus yourself and your energy back on your priorities. Taking control of your breath can help to refine your automatic nervous system and bleed out any unwanted stress.
2. Meditation
Meditation is one of the most studied stress reduction techniques all over the globe. Meditation is easy to start and can be done each morning or night, depending on your schedule. Start by simply sitting for two minutes a day with a goal of increasing the time you spend meditating by one minute a week until you reach about 20-30 minutes each day. This won’t be time consuming at first, so you can easily adjust to it at your own pace. It is recommended that you mediate in the morning to destress prior to the start of the day. Here’s how to do it: Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Focus your attention on a single thought, for example, your breathing, a feeling in your body, an emotion, etc. Next, you’ll want to bring your attention back to this one thing whenever you notice it wandering away. A couple recommended apps for meditation include Headspace and Calm.
3. Soothing Sounds
Environmental sounds and constant background noise are both important pieces of the stress puzzle. Some sounds create stress and others mitigate it, so finding soothing sounds is very important. For example, stress-creating sounds typically include traffic, airplane noise, mechanical sounds, and other man-made noises. Constant exposure to these sounds can actually raise blood pressure and can cause a low-grade stress response. Instead, put on some soothing classical music, smooth jazz, or nature sounds for students during the homework or studying process.
4. Spend Time with Animals
Pets help humans deal with stress. Research finds that simply being in the same room as a pet can help you to reduce stress. If you don’t have access to animals, it may be beneficial to watch videos online of animals, which has been found to lower stress and increase feelings of happiness. Taking a break from homework or studying to cuddle up with a furry friend could be more important than you think to your student’s educational process.
5. Stop to Smell the Roses

This saying might sound a little cliché, but it’s a great reminder to take your problems day by day. More realistically, however, fragrances have a lot to do with mood and stress. It is proven that flowers like Jasmine, Citrus Blossoms, and Lavender especially, have been shown to improve mood, soothe anxiety, and reduce stress. Looking into aromatherapy diffusers for your student could be beneficial for their stress reduction and could even aid with sleep troubles.

Is your student experiencing higher than normal stress levels in their school environment? Make sure to discuss these issues with teachers and faculty to see how they can help find a solution to best suit your student’s educational journey. At Saint Gregory’s School, we place an importance on our connected family-teacher relationships that help parents, students, and teachers absolve any issues and assure that our students are prepared for a low stress high school experience. Tour our Loudonville campus today to see if private school could be right for your student!

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