Ruchira Parikh

“OMG, this is stressing me out SO much!” “Uggh dude, I’m sooo stressed!” These are commonly-used expressions in the life of a typical high school student, and stress to a certain extent is good for you because it focuses your attention and concentration. But did you know that over-the-top levels of stress can actually have a major effect on your emotional as well as physical health? Over-anxiety and chronic stress have been linked to a variety of negative symptoms, both mental (such as impaired cognitive abilities, clouded judgment, and inability to concentrate) and physical (high blood pressure, increased heart rate/pulse, and hyperventilation). In the long run, these physical side effects can seriously impact your health and even increase your risk of developing conditions such as heart disease.

Are you a self-proclaimed “over-worrier”? Do you want to learn how to reduce anxiety and nervousness in your life? Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Learn to relax. Explore different methods of relaxation and find what works best for you. Some examples include talking a long walk in the park or listening to soothing music.

2. Loosen up. Stop focusing on all the little details that really don’t matter in life, and start looking at the bigger picture instead.

3. Let it go. If it’s beyond your control, there’s no use wasting time or energy in constantly thinking about it. Try to accept what is and move on.

4. Laugh it off. Laughter is not only a natural mood-booster, but it also functions to relieve stress and anxiety.

5. Work off nervous energy. Find time to exercise as often as possible, whatever the activity may be. When you work out, your body releases hormones which naturally lift your spirits and fuel you with higher levels of confidence.

6. Eat right. This may be the go-to prescription for almost any health concern, but it truly is the best one. Vitamins and minerals are vital for brain power, so choose colorful fruits and eat your green veggies!