Clinic offers tips for dealing with stress


Photo:Kelsey Kremer/Iowa State Daily

Photo Illustration: Kelsey Kremer/Iowa State Daily

Teresa Riesberg

As students cram for final exams, they should consider the impact stress has on their health.

While stress is a normal part of life, too much stress can have a negative impact on the body. Chronic stress can contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. It’s important for students to practice coping techniques during stressful times.

The Mayo Clinic suggests these simple stress relievers:

  • Stay active. Physical activity releases endorphins and refocuses your mind, which improves your overall mood. A quick walk, jog, or bike ride are all simple ways to increase physical activity.
  • Take time to laugh. Laughter produces both long and short-term benefits. It releases endorphins as well as stimulates the heart, lungs, and muscles. Laughter increases circulation and helps relax muscles. As for long-term benefits, laughing can enhance the immune system and produce natural painkillers.
  • Meditate. Whether you’re walking, riding the bus, or studying, take a moment to clear your mind. It only takes a few minutes and creates a sense of calm, peace and balance.
  • Sleep. The quality and amount of sleep impacts your mood, energy level, concentration, and overall functioning. Sleeping allows your brain and body to recharge.
  • Listen to music. It acts as a mental distraction while reducing muscle tension and stress hormones.

Iowa State also provides free resources to help reduce stress.

The Biofeedback Center, located in 3062 Student Services Building, uses technology to help students with relaxation techniques, concentration skills and, healthy coping responses. The center also has message recliners, an audio library, guided meditation and mindful activities.

The building is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.