When attending university in Waterloo, students can sometimes forget the impact of mental health on their overall well-being. Stress can affect many aspects of your life so it is an important area to focus on.
How the Mind Influences the Body
What’s the most powerful step you can take to dramatically improve your health?
Learn how to effectively manage emotional stress. No other factor has more influence over your health; not diet, not exercise, not even how much you sleep.
Why is emotional stress one of the most significant causes of all chronic health challenges?
Because your body cannot defend itself against the damage that emotional stress quietly creates over time. Your body pays a heavy physiological price for every moment that you feel anxious, tense, frustrated, and angry. These emotions all serve important purposes when they first arise, however, the danger is in experiencing these emotions on a chronic basis. For example, adrenalin is over-produced by negative attitudes. Adrenalin may heighten your hearing, taste smell, and vision and strengthens short term memory and amplifies stamina. Although this may sound positive, you will later feel muscle and joint pains and drowsiness.
Emotional stress sets off a series of reactions in your body that involves your sympathetic nervous system, the portion of your nervous system that would increase your chance of surviving if you were to run into a mountain lion during a hike. Every health condition is partly caused by emotional stress. Emotional stress always equals increased output by the sympathetic nervous system, which always equals accelerated aging and breakdown of your tissues.
So, what can you do to effectively manage emotional stressors in your life and prevent them from creating health problems?
7 Ways for University Students to Manage Stress
- Breathe deeply and regularly. This can decrease the tone of your sympathetic nervous system and increase the tone of your parasympathetic nervous system, which is the portion of your nervous system that promotes relaxation and good digestion.
- Spend some quiet time every day in prayer, meditation, or purposeful relaxation. All three have been scientifically proven to facilitate a relaxation response in your body that can decrease blood pressure, decrease pulse rate, and improve blood circulation.
- Practice visualization. Almost all great athletes practice some form of visualization. Spend some time each day visualizing yourself going about your day in a balanced and emotionally poised manner. You can include visualization in your prayer/meditation/relaxation session.
- Socialize. Be honest about your feelings. Striving to know yourself and what you are truly feeling on a daily basis is absolutely essential to preventing unpleasant but genuine emotions from becoming chronic states. Anger, frustration, and anxiousness can all help to fuel personal growth and character development if you are honest with yourself and seek to discover their root causes. Socialize and learn about yourself with others.
- Move your body. It’s a well-established fact that regular exercise is one of the best habits you can adopt that will help you avoid depression and stay emotionally balanced. It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you do. What’s important is to be active and use your joints and muscles on a regular basis. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommended that adults get a minimum of 2.5 hours per week of aerobic activity or a minimum of 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity a week.
- Enjoy a healthy diet. Don’t make the mistake that many health conscious people obsess over the percentages of carbs, protein, fat, raw food, and cooked food in your diet while neglecting the emotional stressors in your life. Eating fresh, nutrient-dense foods is good for your health. Make sure that you are getting the nutrients that you need for a healthy nervous system. Your nutrition can make all the difference between being able to handle a certain amount of stress without breaking down vs. quickly suffering health problems when faced with stress.
- Get plenty of rest. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night is very important in the short run and long run. Sleep plays a key factor in determining how your body and mind function. There have been studies conducted linking years of bad sleeping habits with obesity, diabetes and heart issues. Sleep is important for the mind and body because it will make you feel less pain, it lowers your risk of getting injured, it can help your weight control stay balanced, and you will be able to think clearer and be more focused.
How Rez-One Supports “Healthy Body Healthy Mind” for Waterloo Students
Promoting healthy eating
- hosting a nutrition workshop in September
- located close to large healthy foods departments such as St. Jacobs and Zehrs which sell fresh local produce and other healthy foods
- located near many restaurants, with a wide variety of foods to make sure you can eat portions from all food groups
- students can showcase their healthy cooking ideas on the Rez-One on Facebook
Promoting an active/outdoor lifestyle
- hosting a fitness workshop in September
- modern gym in the building easily accessible for tenants
- located near additional fitness gyms: WLU and UW’s gym, as well as Goodlife Fitness on Weber.
- secure bike racks to promote bike riding exercise
- the perfect distance to the schools for a fresh air fitness walk to class
- outdoor green space and benches to enjoy the outdoors
Promoting a sense of community within a comfortable environment
- bright and enclosed study room to ease your mind when studying
- many soft seatings and small break-out spaces
- large windows to bring in a lot of light which to literally and figuratively brighten your day
- pool table and air hockey table as stress free diversions
- opportunity for social interaction within each suite with open concept kitchen and living room; sharing the large, open and bright space with a small group
- open concept lobby, concierge, and recreation area
- scheduled social events help in meeting your neighbour and on-site staff with plenty of activities to break the ice.
- supportive community partners will visit to introduce products and services to support residents with their lifestyle needs. Rez-One is actively working with UW Off-campus housing, UWCSSA and Hong Fook Foundation to support our student tenants.
- “get outside” accessibility with car rental on Rez-One parking lots. Discover your neighbourhood or take a short trip to neighbouring cities.
Waterloo students need to focus on healthy body and healthy mind techniques and consider a holistic perspective to achieve an overall positive state of well-being. We are either in balance or out of balance, aligned or misaligned, integrated or disintegrated, and that’s what makes us feel well or unwell. The body, mind and soul work as a system with each part contributing equally to whole person. When in flow, this system facilitates the natural flow of energy throughout the body, without blockages or resistance. When out of flow, this natural flow is interrupted as energy accumulates and stagnation of energy occurs.