Students often feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities and pressures that come with being in college. While stress is a normal and often adaptive part of life, it can often be debilitating and frightening. Some students find that they have a hard time concentrating, feel unmotivated and struggle to enjoy their studies and interactions. Fortunately, there are practical approaches that can make a profound impact on stress and quality of life.

At the most basic level, sufficient sleep and exercise can be instrumental in bringing life back into a feeling of balance. Beyond that, being able to talk to someone about what you are experiencing- whether a friend, family member or a counselor- is very useful for many.

Additionally, meditation and mindfulness-based exercises have been shown to help people address a wide range of difficulties and stressors. Listed below are two basic exercises with accompanying audio files to guide the process. The exercises were recorded by Fran Taylor, the Director of Wellness Programming and Matt Elliott, Senior Psychologist from the Counseling Center at Holy Cross University, The brief descriptions were adapted from the same website.

Basic Breathing Exercise

Muscle Relaxation