Relax, taking a moment to breath

Guide and importance of relieving stress and different ways to do so


Ethan Nguyen

Man full of stress, anxiety and man full of other things bringing him down

Katie Gallaway, News Editor

School and work can create massive amounts of stress for people; however, there are plenty of ways to relieve this stress, so one just needs to figure out what works best for them.

Firstly, exercise is an effective and healthy way to help get rid of stress. According to Mayo Clinic, being active produces hormones and other chemicals that increase a person’s feeling of well-being. It also focuses the mind and brightens one’s overall mood. There are various forms of exercise one can do. This might include going to the gym for a workout, playing a sport or going for a run.

Furthermore, Mayo Clinic also states that exercise helps a person stay in good physical condition, combats diseases and health issues and even makes it easier to fall asleep.

Yoga is a more gentle exercise that is commonly associated with relieving stress. According to Mayo Clinic, it utilizes breathing exercises and stretches that relax the body and mind, and it establishes an overall calm and positive mindset. Therefore, if one has time in the morning, yoga is an especially excellent way to start the day and get rid of stress.

Depending on a person’s interests, taking up a hobby can aid in relieving stress as well, according to MedlinePlus. Some people enjoy journaling, where they write down their thoughts and the events they experienced that day.

Others find relaxation through various art forms, such as drawing, photography, dancing or even by playing an instrument. Even simply reading a book or listening to music can help a person relax if that is they like to do. One’s personal activity that helps them relax when stressed can be almost anything, as long as it is something that person enjoys and wants to do.

“When a student comes to me about stress, we talk about what they like to do and things that they can and will do, such as a hobby,” Counselor Jennifer Medina said.

When working for long periods of time, it is important to occasionally take short breaks. According to, working a lot can mentally exhaust a person and cause anxiety. Taking a break from what one is doing will give their mind a chance to relax so that they are more focused and calm when they next start.

Taking specific time out of one’s schedule to either spend time alone or be social can also help with stress. According to an article from Psychology Today, whether a person needs seclusion or interaction may be dependent on their personality. For example, introverts are more likely to want time to themselves to regain energy and relax. On the other hand, extroverts might prefer social time because they take comfort in hanging out with other people and are able to feed off of their energy.

No matter one’s personality type, it is good to find a balance of both. As people living in a social world, it is necessary for everyone to find some time to just be alone. Doing this gives people a break from the chaos of having to hold conversations and just allows them to recharge.

However, a person must be careful not to isolate themselves too much. Although it is good to have plenty of time re-energize, having some time to socialize is important too. According to, being around other people, especially close friends or family, can provide comfort and put one in a happier mood.

Stress is not always bad. It can motivate people to work hard or even help in life threatening situations. However, if stress is long-term or too overwhelming, it can have a huge negative effect on a person’s mental and emotional health.

“Some people feel stress physically; the headaches, stomach aches and feeling like you have 10-20 pound weights on your back and shoulders,” Medina said. “Sometimes it comes out in the form of anxiety and fidgety feeling. It comes out in the form of ‘I can’t do anything’.”

Bwell, a health promotion done by Brown University, recommends that a person use at least 10 to 20 minutes per day to relax and go through a stress relief routine. If they have the time, spending 30 minutes to one hour on stress relief is likely to have even better results.

Not everyone has time in their hectic schedules to put aside for coping with stress, but one easy way to help is through breathing because one can do it anywhere and at anytime.

“Simply breathe in and hold it, then release it,” Medina said. “It helps center your emotions and your body, and then you can do that as many times as you need.”

Although one can’t prepare for everything, time management can aid in preventing a person from getting stressed.

“Time management is key,” Medina said. “We can’t always plan for everything, but if we can try to, in a 24 hour day, make time for the things that we have to do and also for the things that we need to do, I think that helps.”

Everyone reacts differently to stress, so how they cope with it is up to them. Therefore, people can try some of these different methods and find which ones are most effective for them. However, when a person faces unexpected stress that they aren’t prepared to deal with, they only need to remember to simply take a moment and breathe.