Stress got you down? Students share research-based twists for regaining their bliss

By Kate Mauss

Stress. Everyone suffers from some form of this at one point or another. According to the American Psychological Association, 49 percent of Americans are affected by stress on a daily basis. Everyone knows the standard calm down speech, but here are seven ways that have been tried and proven by students and teachers alike. 

Tip Number One: Marianne Mauss, the Director of Academic Resource and Disability Services at Clarke University, has students that come into her office every day with problems regarding stress and anxiety. One thing that she tells her students almost every time they have a test: write about your stress.

Just write about your feelings for 10 minutes on a piece of paper, and it clears your stress from your working memory. “Plus,” she says, “your brain just gets tired of listening to itself.”

Tip Number Two: Devin O’Loughlin, a ninth grader, said, “Once, I read that if you blow cold air on your thumbs, it takes away the anxiety.” This was corroborated on

Tip Number Three: Another ninth grader, Megan Smith, recommends stopping your work and reading a book. “It really helps deal with the stress.”

Tip Number Four: Zach Rogers, an eighth grader, said that he likes to go outside to play football and baseball with friends. This method is backed up with scientific studies that state that exercising more increases endorphins, which can make people less stressed and more happy.

Tip Number Five: Carter Schofield, a ninth grader, said that he likes to play video games when he is stressed. A Texas A&M study in 2010 showed that long-term video game players are able to “adapt mental skills to handle stress better than the average person.”

Tip Number Six: Ninth grader Aleena Ghumman’s stress relief comes from writing and painting. This allows her to focus her stress into something both beautiful and productive.

Tip Number Seven: Ninth grader Dalton Blackford says that when he is stressed, it takes a nap to get his mind off things and he feels “… more rejuvenated when I wake up.” This is another stress strategy that allows the brain to take a break and think of something besides the stress.

Just remember that when you pick out your stress relief strategies, use something that is tailored to your needs, not everyone else’s. Maybe one of these seven tricks will be just what it takes to ease your nerves next time you are feeling that pull in your stomach. 

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