The philosophy of stress

You have two 5,000 word essays to write, six assignments to hand in, 10 chapters to read and it’s all due tomorrow.

Here comes the stress.

The easiest way to avoid this stress would be to properly plan out your time and organize yourself. You know, study after class, start assignments right away and read whenever you can. But you are not that kind of person. You save your work until the last minute. You waste time. And so you are stressed.

But why did you wait until the last minute? Why are you now up at five in the morning, drinking your seventh energy drink? Some people work better under stress. Or so they say. In reality it’s hard to face such a heavy workload without being stressed, so we procrastinate.
Of course there are things we can do to help this, whether it’s going out with friends, working out at the gym or having a smoke. While I believe we should all have relief valves for our stress, it’s most important that we develop the right lifestyle.

University requires a new mindset, a new way of living. Most of it is through routine and discipline, there’s no quick fix or secret. Like the natural world, it is those that are most adaptable to change that survive.

Know yourself. Know why you are here, what you plan to achieve and how you are going to do it. With your goals set up you have an easier way of staying on target and focused. When you’re focused, you eliminate distractions and you can work. If you can work, you can actually sleep at night and you can avoid getting stressed.

Knowing how your body works is a good first step. Stress is highly influenced by your body chemistry.

Now that you’re in university, you need to take better care of your body. No more junk food, the saying “a healthy body means a healthy mind” goes a long way. Proper eating can be difficult, but it can be easier than you think. Pick up a cookbook and find a few quick healthy recipes.

Skip the processed foods and opt for natural ingredients. Exercise is a highly recommended way of dealing with stress. Having a gym on campus with a really cheap student rate, it’s hard to find reasons not to go.

Knowing how your brain works is a little bit harder. Figure out what your stress triggers are and what the best way to deal with them is.

And last of all, take time for yourself.