College is one of the number one causes of stress. states that “According to a 2008 mental health study by the Associated Press and MTVU, 8 in 10 college students say they have sometimes or frequently experienced stress in their daily lives over the past three months. This is an increase of 20% from a survey five years ago.” Statistics like this have continued to rise significantly over the past few years. College can be one of the most stressful times of your life, but that does not have to be the case.

A simple 10-minute meditation routine before bed can help calm anxieties and decrease your stress level dramatically. There are hundreds of free applications for smartphones that you can use before you go to bed to unwind or when you wake up in order to set the mood for the day. One of these apps is called Breethe; it gives you the option of a five, ten, fifteen, etc. minute guided meditation routine to listen to whenever you need to press pause on life and unwind.

If mediation does not work well for you, there are other ways you can destress. ENC students are fortunate because we attend a Christian institution with a church on campus. Church is one of the greatest places to deal with stress and let go of any unwanted negativity in your life. Even though you may have a 20-page paper due and you do not know how on earth you are going to get that done, you can take a few minutes out of your busy day to choose to talk to God in a safe place.

You can pray at any point in the day to help deal with stress. You can pray alone at any time in the day, or in a community with other students at Late Night on Wednesdays. Pastor Stretch and other staff members of the Spiritual Development Office are also excellent assets for you to process anything you have going on.

If meditation or church is not sufficient for you, another option is exercise. Exercising is highly recommended for a person’s overall health as well. According to a recent ADAA online poll, “some 14 percent of people make use of regular exercise to cope with stress. Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins—chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers—and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress.” It is impossible to eliminate stress fully, but you can learn to manage stress effectively.

Talking about your stressors is highly recommended as well. Keeping stress bottled up is not a beneficial way to get through it, and ENC offers ways to help with free counseling for students at the Brickley Center.

There are many ways to reduce stress, but they all begin with effort. If one option does not work for you, try something new.