Welcome to our special section, Thrive Global on Campus, devoted to covering student mental health, well-being, and redefining success from all angles. If you are a college student, we invite you to apply to be an Editor-at-Large, or to simply contribute (please tag your pieces ThriveOnCampus). We welcome faculty, clinicians, and graduates to contribute as well. Read more here.

Stress in fact, is in itself, a very depressing word. Why do we take stress? To achieve greater? To move higher?!Because we are greedy? No! We take stress because that is what we think would conglomerate into us, all the preps we need just before going up and performing, be it on stage, in the exams, or wherever. It’s a common phenomenon among school children that they often tend to burn midnight oil to try to focus on studying only because they have this misconception that studying up the night before would make them a nerd. Even I’d tried this a few months back. And the consequences? Well, I felt too sleepy in the halls — just that way. You forget what you’d prepared all these months when you read beyond limits. It’s not reading at night, it’s about being self satisfied that yes, I’ve been reading the whole night. This is just so weird!

With the education system having such a high pressure on us students at all times, it’s really an emergency to tackle the causes, which could pose a potential threat in the hall! My advice to the nerds would be to study smart. Yes! That’s the best solution you would know. Try to make frequent illustration, diagrams, charts, mind maps, and whatever you think would keep you motivated. Just focus. Not too deeply here.

The Indian education system is one of the hardest and the most difficult to cope up with, in the world. Fortunately for us, the Indian Yoga provides a solution to all. I’m not advising you all to go by yogas all the time and forget reading books and throw away your notebooks and sit still, thinking that yoga’s gonna help you out in the hall. That’s a crazy idea! But yes, sometimes ancient wisdoms do work out as they did for me. I would point out the several yogas one might try out whenever you find yourself under extraordinary stress.

  1. The easiest and the most influential asana, the Samavritti or the Equal Breathing. Patanjali has widely marketed this yoga under the tag line of Pranayama. That’s a story in itself. For me, this was the easiest way I could devise to find a relaxation out of yogas. What do you need? Nothing much! Sit cross legged on a floor or a chair or wherever you find yourself comfortable with and breathe. Inhale and exhale in patters. I don’t know if that’s why mankind finds itself so drawn to patterns. As you continue iteration, you find that you feel relaxed, you feel stress free! 
  2. Meditate, meditate, meditate! The simple tag line that takes us to the ancient Sukhasana, devised in both Hinduism and Buddhism, gives you an eternal relaxation. Again find yourself seated cross legged and close your eyes. This provides a huge benefit to your spine and bones and your brain, which is sometimes monotonous. Start thinking of something you love, someone you are close to. There’s a contradiction here, as you can even just sit quietly without thinking a bit. What matters is how you stay focused and relieve yourself of your stress. Good job! You fought your stress a second time!
  3. Although quite difficult for the novice beginners, Balasana finds a place among the top four which could keep you stress-free. Certainly, it is that effective! It usually means sitting on your knees with your head bent forward and arms relaxed either on the sides or upwards. This is a posture that provides you instant stress free but should be done for three to four minutes with continued breathing. 
  4. The fourth on this list is not in fact, an asana. This is a variation term quite similar to the one mentioned under the first. You sit cross legged. You close your eyes and start pressing the region between your forehead (I would prefer the exact centre position) with your finger gently for about some minutes. Keep focus. This point is often said to be the connection with the soul. Who knows? This exercise which also comes under Pranayama, helps remove any kind of stress, tension and depression.

Hope to see you soon fighting all kinds of stresses, arising out of performance, work, exams and so on, with the ancient Indian yogasana wisdom. Try and find out! These positions are sure to keep you stress free, anytime anywhere. All the best for stress free examinations, everyone!

Subscribe here for all the latest news on how you can keep Thriving.

More Thrive Global on Campus:

What Campus Mental Health Centers Are Doing to Keep Up With Student Need

If You’re a Student Who’s Struggling With Mental Health, These 7 Tips Will Help

The Hidden Stress of RAs in the Student Mental Health Crisis