Part II: Conquering College Without Putting Your Mental Health at Risk

testYour mind goes blank. You can’t concentrate. It’s exam time and you don’t remember anything. This anxiety can be reduced through helpful study tips, and it can also be reduced through helpful mental health tips.

Relationships with others and self

Attending any school can be extremely stressful for your body, whether it’s not knowing anyone, a change in environment, a change in workload or all of the above. In her scholarly article on social connection in university life, Sara Kathleen Henry focuses on different aspects of being social and students sense of community as a result of these aspects. Henry said, “Increased time spent playing video or computer games alone contributed to higher scores on measures of loneliness, depression, and shyness and to lower scores on perceived social skill, social self-confidence, and social self-efficacy.”

Video Games
“Increased time spent playing video or computer games alone contributed to higher scores on measures of loneliness, depression, and shyness…”

Culturs Mind/ body expert, Yvette Vega, said depression is estimated to be the second largest disability in the world in 2020. Currently, she said there are 38 million people in the U.S. who are clinically depressed.

It is important to have relationships with others, and it is also extremely important to have a relationship with yourself. Every day we must put forth our best effort to improve our quality of life and in turn make us happier. This is an ongoing journey. You will never reach ‘peak’ happiness. Vega said, “Every day there are stressors, whether it be economical stressors, relationship stressors or internal self-esteem stressors. Every day I wake up, and I work on it. You have to like doing it too so it doesn’t become a chore.”

Work on that external (friends) and internal (self) happiness, and keep them in mind before that exam.

Mental Health Exercises

There are multiple mental health exercises that will help get you to achieve that internal happiness including words of affirmation, oigong and other practices.

Part of creating a higher quality of life means changing the words you use, even if it’s a lie. This theory is called Self-Affirmation Theory, which was developed in the 1980s by Claude Steele. Vega said of the theory, “…it’s proven in science that it will reduce the stress provoking hormones in the body.”

So how do you do it? A self-affirmation is a positive statement you say in your mind or out loud. It’s said in the present for immediate gratification. An example is, “I am successful.” Saying this statement repeatedly will in turn make you feel successful.

"The Chinese believe oxygen is food."
“The Chinese believe oxygen is food… nutrition for their organs.”

Qigong is another exercise that anyone can do. Vega said, “It’s an aggressive breathing technique that stimulates the neuroreceptors in your brain, spinal cord and stomach… because the Chinese believe oxygen is food. It’s nutrition for the organs. See Vega’s video above for more information on Qigong, words of affirmation and other important techniques to help your mental health. Also, read what Vega said about meditation here.

If you or anyone you know is interested in life coaching, e-mail Yvette Vega here. Vega is looking for 10 volunteers to do a clinical study where participants will be apart of something bigger than themselves and have the opportunity to see themselves grow.

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