Midterms are around the corner, the snow keeps piling up and the pressures of life are pulling us in all directions. How do we battle all of this stress with so little time? Here at the University of Rhode Island there are multiple sources to help you get de-stressed, or at least take the edge off, both on and off campus.
Whether you exercise regularly or not, some physical activity is a cure-all. It has been proven that exercise makes you feel better both mentally and physically. In addition to flooding your brain with “feel good” chemicals, exercise both regulates your day-to-day health and helps fight off sickness. According to the Mayo Clinic, the largest and top non-profit medical research group based in Rochester, Minnesota, regular exercise can help manage your weight, support your energy level, regulate your sleep cycle and even drastically improve mood. However, a run is not the only way to get your blood pumping – even a 20 to 30 minute walk will get your heart rate up enough to benefit your health. So simply getting your blood moving can go a long way.
Meditation can do more than just clear your head. According to a few studies in an article in The Huffington Post, it can cultivate willpower, boost cognitive function, build focus and concentration and simply physically change the way your brain thinks. The URI club Seekers Meditation Group, which introduces students to the daily benefits of both meditation and yoga, is a perfect introduction for the beginner or a great way to meditate for the experts. URI will also soon have a meditation room in Carothers Library (grand opening TBA).
Yoga can be extremely beneficial for alleviating stress. Hatha yoga, which is one of six branches of yoga, is a particularly “good choice for stress management”, according to the Mayo Clinic. Learning to control your own breathing is not only important in yoga but also is vital for meditation, and the combination of yoga, mindful breathing and meditation will be a triple threat against stress. URI specifically encourages Hatha yoga and provides students with opportunities through recreation services where you can find daily yoga classes.
Music is known for relaxing not just your mind but also your body. However, meditative and relaxing music is clinically proven to help reduce stress. When listening to relaxing music in headphones, your brainwaves actually change causing your mind to physically relax. Â Brainwave meditation music can be found on iTunes, Spotify and even on Groove Shark. Just pick which is your favorite relaxing brainwave playlist and you’ll be on your way to a less stressful day.