Stress is a common problem for college students. It can come from many sources, including academics, finances, relationships, and more.

Stress can lead to problems such as anxiety, depression, and even physical health problems.

There are many ways to reduce stress, and each person may need to find the techniques that work best for them.

If you are wondering how to reduce stress then, there are some common ways to reduce stress including exercise, relaxation techniques, positive thinking, and time management that we will discuss below briefly.

How Does Stress Affect Students?

a stressed young woman regarding her studies - how to reduce stress in college students

When it comes to stress, students are no strangers. In fact, according to a survey by the American Psychological Association, college students report feeling more stressed than adults do. And it’s no wonder why.

With the pressure to succeed in school, make friends, and find a job after graduation, stress is practically inevitable.

A number of studies have shown that stress is associated with lower levels of academic achievement in college students.

But while some stress is normal, too much of it can take a toll on your health. That’s why it’s important to find ways to reduce stress in your life.

Identify Stressors

According to the American College Health Association, 45% of college students experience stress that is higher than average levels, and 12.7% of college students experience overwhelming stress.

There are several things that can cause stress. Stress can be caused by schoolwork, finances, homesickness, your social life, relationships with family, friends, or partners, and even the amount of sleep you get.

You may find that certain situations trigger your stress more than others.


One of the most significant stressors is the performance of students in academics.

The pressure can stem from your parents and family, as well as your expectations of either getting good grades or maintaining your grades.

Some students don’t want to disappoint their parents or themselves.

Additionally, some students are driven to do well in school because they want to get into a good university.


financial and study management

The economic climate of the country is another source of stress for college students.

College tuition and living expenses have risen dramatically over the last decade.

A study found that over 70% of college students experienced financial stress. This also increases the chances of dropping out of school or college.

Social Life

Social life is another major cause of stress for college students.

Friendships, relationships, conflicting schedules, long-distance relationships, and even pressure from friends to do things you don’t want to do can all be sources of stress.

Future Plans

When in college, most students are usually uncertain about what they want to do for a career.

This can be stressful, especially if you’re trying to decide between two or more options that are equally appealing.

Tips to Reduce Stress

Stress in the long term gets detrimental not only for your mental health but also for your physical health.

So, try these few methods through which you can reduce stress in your life.

Create a Support Network

three friends smiling

If you’re feeling stressed, one of the best things you can do is reach out to your support network.

Whether that’s your family, friends, or even a therapist, talking to someone who cares about you can make a world of difference.

It can be tough to open up about how you’re feeling, but it’s important to remember that your support network is there for a reason.

They want to help you and they’re not going to judge you. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Once you’ve talked to your support network, you’ll probably feel more capable of tackling whatever is stressing you out.

You might even have some new perspective on the situation. Either way, talking to someone who cares about you is a great way to reduce stress.

Manage Time Wisely

a woman trying to manage time - how to reduce stress in college students

As students, we often face a lot of stress. One of the best ways to reduce stress is to manage our time wisely.

Here are a few tips on how to do just that:

First, make a list of all the tasks you need to complete in a day or week. This will help you prioritize and see what needs to be done first.

Once you have your list, start with the most important tasks and work your way down.

Another great way to manage your time is by setting deadlines for yourself. This will help you stay on track and not procrastinate.

Make sure these deadlines are realistic and give yourself some wiggle room in case something comes up.

Lastly, try to break up big projects into smaller chunks. This will make them seem less daunting and more manageable.

Stay Organized

organized and neat desk - how to reduce stress in college students

Students are often juggling many different tasks and responsibilities, which can lead to feeling stressed.

Staying organized can help reduce stress levels and make it easier to manage everything that needs to be done.

There are a few different ways to stay organized. One way is to use a planner or calendar to keep track of upcoming deadlines and events.

This can help ensure that nothing is forgotten and that everything is given the appropriate amount of time.

Another way to stay organized is by keeping a clean and tidy workspace.

A cluttered desk can lead to feelings of overwhelm, so taking some time each day to tidy up can make a big difference.

Finally, it can be helpful to establish routines and stick to them as much as possible.

Having set times for studying, working on projects, and taking breaks can help add structure to the day and make it easier to get everything done.

Practice Relaxation Techniques

a woman meditating - how to reduce stress in college students

When it comes to reducing stress, one size does not fit all. What works for one person may not work for another.

That’s why it’s important to experiment with different relaxation techniques and find the one that works best for you.

Here are a few relaxation techniques that you can try:

Progressive muscle relaxation: This technique involves tensing and relaxing different muscle groups in your body.

Start by tensing the muscles in your toes for five seconds, then relax them for 30 seconds.

Work your way up your body, tense each muscle group for five seconds before relaxing them for 30 seconds.

Deep breathing: Deep breathing is a simple yet effective relaxation technique.

Sit or lie down in a comfortable position and place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest.

Slowly inhale through your nose, allowing your stomach to rise.

Eat Healthily

eat healthily - balanced diet

A healthy diet is crucial for reducing stress in students. By eating a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, students can improve their mood and energy levels, and reduce anxiety and depression.

Additionally, getting adequate sleep and exercise are also important for managing stress.

Students who eat a healthy diet tend to have more energy and better focus throughout the day.

They’re also less likely to experience mood swings or feel overwhelmed by stress.

A healthy diet can help students stay calm and collected during exams or other high-pressure situations.

To reduce stress in students, it’s important to encourage them to eat a variety of nutritious foods every day.

Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals that can boost mood and energy levels.

Sleep Properly

a woman sleeping peacefully - how to reduce stress in college students

Most students don’t get enough sleep. This can lead to increased stress levels and a decrease in academic performance.

To reduce stress, it is important to get enough sleep. Here are some tips for getting a good night’s sleep:

1. Establish a regular sleep schedule and stick to it as much as possible.

Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day will help your body get into a rhythm and make it easier to fall asleep at night.

2. Create a relaxing bedtime routine. A few minutes of winding down before bed can help you transition from the busyness of the day to a restful state.

Try reading, writing in a journal, or taking a bath before bed.

3. Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed.

Exercise Regularly

a woman running early morning - how to reduce stress in college students

Exercise is a great way to reduce stress. It gets your heart rate up and releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects.

A moderate amount of exercise is the key to reducing stress.

You don’t have to go to the gym every day or run a marathon, but regular physical activity will make a big difference in your stress levels.

If you’re not used to exercising, start out slow and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts.

There are many different types of exercises that can help reduce stress, so find one that you enjoy and stick with it.

Taking a brisk walk in nature, going for a swim, or taking a yoga class are all great options.

Making time for exercise may seem difficult when you’re already feeling stressed out, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Practice Self-Care


One way to reduce stress in college students is through practicing self-care.

This can look different for different people, but some examples of self-care activities include: getting regular exercise, eating a balanced and healthy diet, getting enough sleep, spending time outdoors in nature, meditating or practicing mindfulness, and spending time with loved ones.

When students make an effort to practice self-care on a regular basis, they are likely to see a reduction in stress levels.

This is because self-care allows individuals to take a break from the demands of everyday life and focus on taking care of themselves both physically and mentally.

Additionally, self-care can help boost mood and energy levels, which can also help reduce stress.

So, if you’re looking for ways to reduce stress as a student, consider incorporating some self-care into your daily routine.

Practice Positive Thinking

a woman having positive thinking - how to reduce stress in college students

It’s easy to get caught up in negative thinking, especially when you’re feeling stressed.

But did you know that practicing positive thinking can actually help reduce stress?

Here are some ways to start thinking more positively:

-Focus on the good: Make a list of things that are going well in your life, no matter how small. Every day, add one more thing to the list.

-Stop comparing yourself to others: You are on your own unique journey and comparison is the thief of joy.

-Be grateful: Gratitude has been shown to boost happiness and reduce stress. Keep a gratitude journal and write down three things you’re grateful for each day.

-Practice self-compassion: Be kind to yourself when you make mistakes or things don’t go as planned. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to a good friend.

Conclusion: Stress reduction is possible with effort and support

When it comes to reducing stress, students often have to take matters into their own hands. Here are a few tips on how to do just that:

First and foremost, take a deep breath and remind yourself that stressing out will not do you any good.

It’s important to stay calm and focus on the task at hand. Secondly, make a plan.

Once you have a clear idea of what needs to be done, it will be easier to tackle each task one by one.

Lastly, don’t forget to take breaks! Relaxation is key to managing stress levels.

If you find yourself struggling with stress, remember that there is always help available.

Talk to your parents, teachers, or a counselor about what you’re going through. They can offer valuable guidance and support.

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