5 Things You Should Do If You’re Feeling Extra-Stressed in Class

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  • 1. Acupressure:

    Don’t worry, needles aren’t required! “There are some very simple acupressure points that you can find on the hand and on the head,” says Dr. Milosavljevic, who suggests pressing on the LI-4, located in the web between your thumb and index finger. Use the fingers on your opposite hand to apply pressure. Another popular one is on your forehead, in between both eyes. “It can be very relaxing if you just rub that in a circular motion for one to two minutes,” says Dr. Milosavljevic.

    Courtesy of SeattleClouds.com

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  • 2. Yoga:

    You don’t have to show your off your downward dog to the entire class to get some benefits of yoga. If you’re seated at your desk, bend forward, letting your head and arms hang down while taking deep breaths. After hanging for a few seconds, stretch your fingers down to your toes, releasing the tension that’s built up in your back.

    Courtesy of Instagram/@emmaroberts

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  • 3. Aromatherapy:

    It may sound small, but the power of smell possesses great possibilities. One of the most popular essential oils is lavender, known for its calming abilities. “It can down-regulate the brain and induce calm,” says Dr. Milosavljevic, who developed her own line of single-use essential oil towelettes named SageTonic. If you can’t carry a bottle of lavender oil, or another relaxing oil like Rose Essential Oil, put a few drops of it onto a tissue and keep it in your pocket. If you’re feeling stressed, simply take it out and inhale, taking deep breaths and allowing the scent to draw into your body.

    Courtesy of Sage Tonic

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  • 4. Herbal Tea:

    While boiling a pot of tea might not be feasible, being prepared with some on hand is easy. Bring a water bottle with you to school in the morning that’s filled with herbal tea. Try a type that’s made of calming herbs, like Chamomile, Lemon Balm, or Passion Flower. All of these relax the nervous system, and they’re readily available in most stories.

    Courtesy of Yogi Tea

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  • 5. Listen Up:

    There are certain sounds that are incredibly calming to the brain: tunes with slow melodies, lower frequencies, and nature sounds are known for their soothing abilities. While your teacher certainly won’t be cool with you slapping on a pair of headphones in class, you can take charge of your stress before you even walk into the classroom. Put in your headphones during lunch or as you’re heading to your next class, so you feel prepared before the stress even sets in.

    While some of these tips may seem minor, Dr. Milosavljevic says starting small is the key to meeting with success. “Once your do something and get a comfort level with it, it’s easy to build on it,” says Dr. Milosavljevic. “Also, the earlier, the better. If you’re having some of these small signs or mild symptoms of stress or anxiety, it’s important to get in early.”

    Courtesy of Google Apps / Nature Sounds

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Mental Health

5 foolproof tips to help you feel calmer in the classroom.

We’ve all been there. You’re sitting in class, dreading the geometry test you’re about to take, when your heart starts racing and you can’t catch your breath. It may feel like the end of the world, but here’s the good news: it’s not. It’s just a good ‘ol case of anxiety. And for high school and college students, the threat of stress is even more present than ever. In fact, 25% of 13-18 year olds suffer from an anxiety disorder at any given time. But just because you’re saddled with stress doesn’t mean you have to be overcome by it. Dr. Nada Milosavljevic, a faculty member at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Integrative Health Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, created clinics in Boston-area high schools where she tested mind and body techniques on high school students who suffer from anxiety and stress conditions.

“As a physician, I really wanted to look through this through the lens of modern science, and say, ‘okay, what of all these things can be truly helpful?'” says Dr. Milosavljevic. “Child and young adults are such a vulnerable population because they’re starting to make certain health decisions on their own.”

The current generation of young people has the added stress of social media, which inundates them with information 24/7, says Dr. Milosavljevic.

“What they do have to deal with which maybe wasn’t as apparent 20 years ago. [Social media] can be wonderful thing, but with teens, they not only have the regular pressure of school and finding their way in the world, they never have a chance to decompress,” says Dr. Milosavljevic.

In her school clinics, Dr. Milosavljevic utilizes these five holistic practices that are based on each of our senses, which send signals to the brain and send out a response. The next time you’re feeling anxiety coming on, try one of them out.

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