When was the last time you took a breathing break? Life can quickly become an overwhelming factor. There are proposed coping strategies that assist with everyday stress. For example, taking a two- to three-minute breathing break and listening to peaceful melodies.
“One of the first coping skills that we review and teach in therapy is deep breathing,” said psychologist Angelica Garita. “Deep breathing is very important and it also has a lot of amazing benefits. Some of the benefits include increased oxygen to your body which helps in healing, reduced carbon dioxide, which has been shown to be a contributor to anxiety, increased self-awareness, increased relaxation, reduced production of cortisol which is a hormone that’s released by the body when it is under stress, enhanced circulation and digestion, and deep breathing can even help with pain management.”
Everyone has a different way to cope with stress or anger. The important thing is to get to know yourself and find what works best for you.
“When I feel stressed, I listen to music or take my dogs for a walk. It seems to help me calm down,” said Margarita Godinez. “I also enjoy visiting people that are sick or otherwise afflicted because I tend to focus on their needs.”
The Zones of Regulation is a system that was created to help children and adults discover basic emotional categories and coping strategies. Some of these basic strategies include six-sided breathing, listening to an inner coach, and coloring. Sometimes, doing a simple coping strategy will go a long way toward diminishing stress or anger.
“After a long stressful day, I love to take a warm shower. It is how I cope with everyday stressful situations,” said Jing Han.
It is vital for people to have several strategies for different emotional setbacks like when someone feels angry or stressed to remain calm.
Mental health is an important matter that needs proper attention. With the recent “Joker” film, it clearly addressed the need to be aware of these problems. In the film, the main character Arthur, who becomes the known villain, the Joker, wrote on a piece of paper: “The worst part of having a mental illness is that people expect you to behave as if you don’t.”
Because mental health is so important, we need to have coping strategies to be able to productively release negative feelings and stress.
Below there are some coping strategies that could help with managing stress and strong emotions.
- Deep breathing technique: 4-7-8 (Inhale on a 4 count, hold for a 7 count, exhale for an 8 count); Six-sided breathing (start at the star and move your way around hexagon).
- Listening to soft melodies: Classical music/ Lo-Fi music
- Massaging stress points: between the thumb and fingers, the outer part of your elbow, temples, and shoulder by the collar bone
- Exercise: dancing, running, power walking, jogging. Exercise is a positive way to diminish stress.
- Warm shower or bath: warm water soothes skin and stress points
- Find a calm place: it could be a fixed place or a place in your mind, to breathe and center your thoughts.
- Reminisce a happy thought.
- Read a joke book/comic
- Watch a comedy: YouTube videos, film or TV show. Laughing is a great coping skill.
- Talk to someone
- Art: coloring, painting, pottery making,
- Sound baths
- Cryo Therapy
Being a college student is stressful. Between making ends meet and completing assignments, there needs to be a time for you to relax. Find the best coping strategies for you. I recommend having some that are in a fixed place and some that you can use at any time. Most importantly, find something that works for you.