How to Deal With Stress in School (4 Quick & Easy Methods)

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Effective ways to deal with stress when you’re facing college burnout.

college stress - woman looking stressed

How often do you find yourself saying or thinking, “I’m so stressed”?

If it happens all day long, you’re not alone. “Being stressed” has become a way of life in college.

In fact:

The National Health Assesment found that 98.4% of college undergrads felt stressed out. Only 1.6% of students said they felt no stress. Everyone agrees that college is stressful, especially during exams.

While that’s not going to change, you can learn how to handle stress in college.


Mental, Physical, & Emotional Signs of Stress

The question is…

What do you do when you’re in class taking notes, and all of a sudden you feel your heart racing and sweat forming on your forehead? 

What can you do about situations where you spent the last hour reading in the library and you don’t remember any of it?


What if you’re in the dining hall with your friends, someone asks you a question, and you don’t hear them because you’re thinking about the exam you have in the morning?

I’m sure that these mental and physical symptoms sound familiar. You may have signs of emotional stress, as well.

It’s clear that:

When stress starts to take over your college life, you need to know what to do. 

You need techniques to bring yourself back to feeling in control. And as a busy student, ways to deal with stress that are both quick and easy are especially important. 


In this post, I’m going to share with you 4 super easy and quick ways to calm yourself down. Try them out and see what works for you in different situations.

How to Handle Stress in College

how to handle stress - woman breathing

Number one: BREATHE.

Get this:

When you’re stressed you tend to breathe rapidly and shallowly. That type of breathing causes more anxiety.

One way to deal with stress in college is to do this instead:

Take some slow deep breaths, filling your abdomen with air. Breathe in through your nose to a count of 5. Hold your breath for 2 counts.

Then push the air out through your mouth to a count of 5.  Hold for 2 counts before breathing in again through your nose.

Repeat the pattern 3 to 5 times and you should feel your stress melt away.

ways to deal with stress


Stress makes you a pessimist.

When you feel stressed…

There’s a good chance you’re focused on all your problems, on everything that could go wrong, or on how unfair your life is.

Pay attention when you start thinking these negative thoughts. Just because you’re having these thoughts doesn’t mean you’re right (objectively speaking).

You need to break the pattern of looking at situations from a negative point of view.


Turn your thoughts around, find whatever is positive in the situation and focus on that. Stress will vanish when you become more upbeat.

Here’s an example:

If you go back to your dorm after class and find that your roommate left a mess, your current reaction may be anger, accompanied by tension and stress in your body.

In place of those negative feelings, you can use the messy room as a chance to have the conversation you’ve been putting off. Let your roommate know that you aren’t going to clean up after them anymore and that they need to do their share in keeping things neat.

An optimistic person finds an opportunity in the messy situation! Effectively dealing with stress all starts with changing your mindset.

how to cope with stress at school

Number three:  TAKE A BREAK.

Do you sometimes find yourself sitting in the library for hours feeling stressed because you’re not getting enough done?

That’s a common feeling among college students.

You may think that the best way to prepare for an exam or to write a paper is to sit in one place for hours until you finish.  But that’s actually not true.

Studies show that taking regular breaks and even changing your environment will increase your productivity.


Leave the library, take a walk, and go get some fresh air! Grab a healthy snack, and talk to a friend. Take your books and find another spot to work.

Learning how to deal with the stress of school doesn’t need to be complicated. You’ll see that a break and/or a change in scenery will refresh you, and you’ll be more focused and less stressed.

Learning how to deal with the stress of school doesn't need to be complicated. Here are 4 of the quickest & easiest ways to reduce stress. Click to Tweet

handling stress as a student - mindfulness

Number four:  MINDFULNESS.

You may have heard of mindfulness-based stress reduction, but what is mindfulness?

It’s simply bringing your attention to what’s happening in the present moment.

When you’re stressed you’re usually worried about what you need to do in the future. You aren’t being present.

To break that kind of stress:

Make yourself pay attention to what’s happening around you right now. You can use your senses to help you focus on the present.

Here’s one method that works well:

1. First, look around and name 5 things that you see.

2. Second, touch and name 4 things you touched from where you’re sitting or standing.

3. Third, listen and name 3 things that you hear.

4. Fourth, name 2 things that you smell.

5. Fifth, name 1 thing that you taste.

After using all of your senses you should feel more connected to the present moment and a reduction in your stress level.

Using all of these techniques together will help you manage stress at school in a healthy way.


Conclusions on how to deal with stress in college…

Will you remember these 4 easy and quick strategies for calming down and reducing stress?

Here’s a mnemonic to help you out:

BPTM….which stands for Be Prepared This Month (Breathe, Positive thinking, Take a break, Mindfulness).

Want more tips to help you handle the stress of college?

Visit my website or get my free checklist with the top 7 habits to crush college stress!

You can do it!  Good luck!


How do you cope with stress from school?


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How to Deal With Stress in School (4 Quick & Easy Methods)

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