Recently, I visited the University of Alabama- Huntsville campus and presented Relaxation 101: A Meditation Primer for Stress Management During College and this was one of the questions I asked students to answer – “What is stressing you out right now?” The responses that I received were numerous – including but not limited to:
- Taking tests
- Starting first year of college
- Death of a family member
- Sexual abuse
- Relationship/dating problems
- Working while attending college
- Change in sleeping habits
- Taking advance classes
- Grades worse than expected
- And more!
I also asked them to identify the symptoms they are currently experiencing due to their stress levels and they responded with these symptoms:
- Sleep disturbances
- Constantly thinking about something
- Weight gain
- Muscle tension
- Stiff neck and shoulders
This is life in college as many students across America perceive and experience it in 2011. The good news is that student’s mental and emotional health is beginning to receive the attention it needs. Some of the most recent statistics reported in The American Freshman: National Norms Fall 2010 report (conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute) involved more than 200,000 incoming first-time, full-time students at 279 four year colleges across America.
Researchers found that first-year college students’ self ratings of their emotional health dropped to record low levels in 2010, however, their drive to achieve and their academic abilities are trending upward.
To me, this means that mental thinking and emotional feelings are not in alignment. This is the foundational work of my 4 step Growth in Motion™!! Process. I teach students to begin identifying and uncovering the stress and emotional blocks in their lives so that they can take care of themselves in an empowering way while attending college and beyond.
If you are experiencing some or any of the above symptoms, here is one thing you can do to experience relief – especially since finals are right around the corner!
Take 3 deep, full, slow breaths and read this poem out loud each day
Don’t worry, you’ll be okay
Slowing down is good
You are enough just as you are
Let life unfold
You have what it takes to handle anything
Good things come from patience, not pushing
Stop the judgment and internal lectures
Return to yourself in this moment where life is peaceful and safe – RELAX!
♥Take Care of Yourself,
“Living a Growth in Motion™ lifestyle!”