More Than Making a Stress Ball

Welcome back! Hopefully your Thanksgiving was one to remember. Now that we’re back from our short-lived break and recovering from our turkey (or tofurkey for anyone who is vegetarian) induced hibernation it’s time to get back to blogging!

I can’t believe it’s already Oct. 15. This day is a halfway point for a lot of things. It is pretty much the official mid-point of my first semester of college! However, it also means that I only have half a month to find a Halloween costume! This may not seem like such a big deal to most but in high school Halloween was considered the greatest of ‘holidays’. Everyone came out in full force dressed as some of the craziest and most creative stuff. Last year I was Symbolic Interactionism (take it as you will) so I’ll have to find something to top that one…

Anyway, I’ve found since getting back that my teachers feel no pity for us in our sluggish, food-filled condition and the work continues to pile up. So, realizing what we’re all going through our RAs set up a night about stress and how to deal with it. This mostly included making stress balls but there were some insightful ideas and thoughts that I’m going to pass onto you guys!

  • Music: You’ve probably been told that listening to Beethoven or Mozart will make you smarter. This more or less shows us the effects of music on the brain (which controls our entire body). So, listening to more subdued music will help reduce stress. This doesn’t mean you have to listen tosmooth jazz or classical music, but you can if you want to.
  • Exercise: Stress is caused by hormones created by our natural ‘fight or flight’ response to stressful events. So, why not fight hormones with hormones? Physical activity releases endorphins which make you feel good (for lack of a better word).  Some sports and activities can also help you release any aggression or frustrations that may be causing you stress.
  • Refer to my last blog: By adopting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle more stress can be avoided. Stress = Loss of appetite = Loss of sleep so be sure to keep up that healthy diet that you started after reading my blog last week! If you don’t know what I’m talking about follow this link to go back to that post:
  • Just Breath: Taking good, deep breaths helps control blood pressure. This means fewer headaches and less anxiety!
  • Endorphins, endorphins, and more endorphins: Find ways to laugh. Laughter has always been considered the best medicine and the easiest way to achieve it is to watch a comedy on TV, hang out with friends or, my personal favourite, read a Marmaduke cartoon. Don’t worry if you have no clue what that is, it just gets me every time!
  • Adapt and Accept: There are things in life that cannot be avoided *cough* mid-terms *cough*. To prevent stress from happening try and view stressful events in a different light. For example, my number one stressor has been practice. Normally I see it as a necessary evil but lately I have been seeing it as a positive improvement to my saxophone playing, and now I see it as worth my time and effort. Accept that sometimes you will have to face stressful things and do not try to control things that are clearly out of your spectrum of control. If you need to, adjust your standards. Perfectionism will only drive you further up the wall.

If none of this works for you, well, you could just make a stress ball. The recipe for that: a balloon and some sand. Not too difficult.

Facebook, which was once considered a stressor since it always seems to distract you on the night before your big assignment, has given me some great insight today. My virtual fortune cookie has  told me what the secret to getting ahead and avoiding stress, and I will share this powerful secret with you, dear reader:

The secret of getting ahead is getting started!

Simple as that. Anyway, that’s all for me this week. Good luck with any remaining mid-terms and you’ll hear from me next Friday when I am finally mid-term free!

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