High school and college students are often under an enormous amount of stress and pressure. There is the stress of achieving exemplary academic standing in order to get accepted into the college of their choosing. Furthermore, there is the stress of maintaining that academic standing to ensure they can enter into the job market successfully after college. During these times they may fall victim to the temptation to use substances as a source of stress relief. This can have long term catastrophic effects on their lives. My best advice for students going through this tough time would be to find healthy drug free alternatives to relive stress.

One of the best and well known stress relievers is exercise. Exercise has numerous stress relieving benefits; it is known to release endorphins in the brain as well as helping to enhance sleep quality. It also helps promote overall health and wellbeing. Exercise is one of the most versatile forms of stress
release, it can range from a weight lifting session at the local gym or auditorium to a simple walk or jog around campus. Simple calisthenics can usually be done almost anywhere and are simple to learn and perform.

For those that aren’t attracted to the idea of exercise I would recommend the practice of mindfulness. This practice has been getting results for thousands of years and has long been known for its stress reducing effects. The simple act of being fully aware of one’s surroundings through meditation and
experiencing everything that is around oneself is an extremely relaxing experience.

There are numerous ways to practice mindfulness and one could easily find a practice that is suitable to their lifestyle and time restraints. There are many great books and online articles written on the subject of mindfulness. Another easy way for students to reduce stress is to practice good time management. Simply put this is just the act of organizing and scheduling your time so that you are not constantly rushed or double
booked. The act of using a calendar or a daily schedule can be a great stress relieving tool. Instead of feeling overwhelmed you can schedule the necessary time to attend to commitments and your studies without overextending yourself. The benefits of time management will carry over into your work life after school and will continue to help alleviate stress from scheduling conflicts.

These are just a few of many ways for students to relieve stress without the use of substances. Though the allure to relive one’s stress through chemical means may be strong during these formidable years it is certainly a short term fix with long term consequences. Many young adults are introduced to psychoactive substances at this stage of their lives and many develop lasting addictions that extend for years and can have devastating effects on their lives and the lives of those around them. By choosing instead to practice healthy stress relieving techniques, you may be able spare yourself and your loved ones the suffering that accompanies a lifetime of addiction.

Justin Willis, Program Facilitator & Facilities Supervisor

If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, give us a call us at the Top of the World Ranch in Milan, Illinois. Come join us at our beautiful ranch surrounded by the beauty of nature. Call toll-free at 1.844.814.8885 or email at [email protected]

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