Mindfulness and Well-being
Everyone is under constant pressure everyday and many people have different thresholds of the amount of stress they can take, without it taking a mental and physical toll. The saying that everyone is fighting their own battle, is very much applicable and it sometimes is apparent that many people are not as openly expressive of how they feel compared to others, and keep many of their troubles to themselves. I can personally relate to this as over the past few years of my life I have experienced some very personal problems and while I am a person who prefers to keep my worries to myself, I do occasionally open up to people who I feel I can trust enough. In addition to this, I realise that at times when I am particularly stressed and start emitting a very heavy and negative aura. This in turn affects the people around me in the same manner and there is just a lot of tension and negativity in the environment which is not the healthiest to be exposed to.
As a community it is important to respect everyone’s personal space and not be too quick to judge. family problems, personal worries and stresses and even conflicts with peers or partners may also be catalyst factors that many people may be surpassing on top of any academic concerns. University can indeed get very stressful with everyone spending night upon night in the learning grid or library trying to hit the books and lecture notes in preparation for exams (especially the second and third years, as these are the years your performance has an impact towards your degree). Some people may be a little more sensitive or a slightly more cranky and temperamental during these times, so they may appear more on edge than usual. Instead of lashing out and assuming the worst, try and explain how you have been feeling and talk out and situations where you felt any tension. I have had moments where I felt someone was being particularly cold or moody towards me and I was quite upset since I did not recall anything I had done differently towards the person, but when I approached them and explained how I felt it turned out that they were also just very stressed and tired. At the end of the day everyone is in the same boat trying to juggle many things at a time with only so many hours in a day, stress is sometimes inevitable.
Prevention is always better than cure, so it is wise to try and nip any problems, concerns or stress at the root before it grows and spreads. When things are getting particularly chaotic and busy, take some time to breathe or simply do nothing. Sometimes your brain and body really just need a break in order to organise things and refresh your system so you can continue on with your responsibilities on a day to day basis. When you start getting overworked without any time to actually have time to yourself and rest, this is when stress starts actually building up. Being organised is another way to counter any cluttered thoughts or emotions you might have, I found that writing in a journal or even making a small note somewhere helps me organise my thoughts and things I need to do. This way it is easier to plan and schedule certain tasks that need to be done, or by simply seeing your thoughts in a physical manifestation helps clear any uncertainties. Confiding in other people and getting the weight of off your shoulders sometimes is what works best for certain people. By talking your problems out with trusted peers, adults or even seeking professional advice, this can really help set you back on the right path and even give you a peace of mind knowing that there are people who care for your well-being. Make sure to breathe, focus on your goals, surround yourself with positive people who you know will always have your back and will support you no matter what.
(If ever you feel you need professional guidance in regards to mental health, Warwick Mental Health Services can be found here.)