College can be one of the toughest phases in life. Even before college, there is already pressure to do well in Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SATs) or qualifying exams in the schools you want to enrol in. Although, they say college is just the beginning of real life. Many have survived college, and with flying colours, so don’t worry about going through these demanding years in your life.
Here are some of the ways how you can have a positive outlook when you’re too stressed in college:
- List your goals
Writing your goals and dreams will remind you why you are where you are right now. Start from the small ones and don’t afraid to go big. For example, you can have a goal to pass your midterms and to be a successful professional in 5 years in a company you want to work for. Be specific with your goals as much as you can to rekindle your passion. At the same time, put your list somewhere visible – your desk, on the fridge, etc. You can also make a duplicate list that you can take with you anywhere. This way, you can simply pull it out for a quick motivation when you feel anxious.
- Start that “one thing” you’ve been shrugging off and finish it
When you feel that college is too much, take a break from it by pursuing something else. Do something that you’ve been interested in doing but you always say that you never have the time for. Take those beauty courses online, start learning that instrument, perfect that dessert recipe, or master that yoga pose. Do something you’ve been thinking about for so long and finish it. You’ll feel a lot better, and you’ll be ready to deal with college stress sooner.
- Be thankful even when it’s not Thanksgiving
It could be challenging to be grateful during a pressing situation, but do it anyway. Keep a journal and list what you are thankful for daily as you wake in the morning. No matter how little it is, be grateful for it. Simple things like “I’m glad I can have a cup of coffee before heading out,” “I’m happy I can call my mom anytime,” “I’m grateful that I can afford to study, even when it can be hard.” The more we are thankful you are for what you have, the more positive you will be even when you’re under stress and pressure.
- Take care of your body
You might not think that it’s a great deal, but exercise and the right food can greatly help in having a positive outlook.
- Run some laps or walk some distance before heading on to class. This is best done early in the morning before you start your day, and while nothing is occupying your mind. Physical activity releases endorphins, which lessens your pain perception and increases a positive feeling in your body.
- Eat healthy food. Avoid refined sugars, reduce alcohol intake, and don’t go overboard with caffeine. Instead, eat whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and healthy protein and fat. Eating the right food will balance your hormones and reduce your stress levels.
- Practice a positive mindset
This can also be quite challenging in times where you think the whole world is against you. However, it’s very important not to lose a positive outlook and get rid of negative self-talk when you are feeling stressed. Stop feeding your brain the idea that you can’t do it, or that you’re not good enough, because it won’t help you in any way. Instead, practice on phrasing your thoughts positively. Instead of saying “I haven’t done this before,” say “I’ll learn something new from this.” Or say, “This isn’t gonna get any better,” you can say, “I’ll give it another try.” Focus on cultivating the right habits as a college student.
- Surround yourself with the right company
While negativity is contagious, fortunately, positivity is too. If you notice that your friends are provoking your anxiety, or you feel worse about your situation when you’re around them, then it might be a good idea to change your company. Sure, you can still be friends with them, but also seek out a group of people who can share positive vibes with you. You can join support groups or clubs that you’re interested in at school so that you can have a more extensive network and you’ll get to know people who are all for being positive.
- Make a stress jar
Every time you feel stressed, write it down in a small piece of paper and put it in a jar. Be specific on what is causing your stress or anxiety. This is similar to venting, but only on paper. You’ll feel better after letting it out. Keep the jar somewhere where you can’t constantly see it. A good idea is to check back on the jar by the end of the week and throw the pieces of paper out in the bin so signify what you’ve conquered in the past days.
College can be a difficult four or five years, but it’s not impossible. There have been many people who felt the same way you do, so it’s also recommended that you talk to someone about your pressures and stresses in school. Learn how to use the tips we gave and you’ll find yourself finishing those years easier than you thought. You can do this!