Alternative Methods of Stress Relief and Management

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By McKenzi Thi Murphy
Contributing Writer


College is a stale pit of hell that causes students to long for the sweet sword of death. Countless websites will recommend equally immeasurable amounts of ways to relieve some of the stress associated with looming finals, mounting student debt and crumbling mental health. And while exercise, yoga, and breathing deeply are all well and good, I am here to offer you a less fanciful approach. Disclaimer: results are not guaranteed.


1. Orgasms

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Orgasms are, to be perfectly honest, fantastic. Sexual activity actually releases chemicals (endorphins, serotonin, oxytocin and so forth) leaving your body feeling refreshed both physically and mentally. Furthermore, orgasms have been shown to regulate menstruation by giving blood to organs in the pelvic region. In fact, over 39% of American women use masturbation as a relaxation technique. It has been known to counter insomnia, increase pain thresholds and yes, cure headaches. But aside from the added health benefits, let us go back to the pleasure aspect.

I recommend you take some time out of your day, and just get comfortable with your own body. While you might not achieve long term relief, you cannot be disappointed with the outcome.


2. Puppies

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Or any fluffy, or even not so fluffy animal. I am not picky. But aside from the fact that dogs are an adorable gift to humanity, there is also a perfectly valid reason for this one. So, petting animals actually increase oxytocin and decrease cortisol (stress hormone). Dogs can lower blood pressure, feelings of loneliness and even get you that exercise everyone else is so keen on. And luckily for us, CAPS runs a Pet Away Life Stress program where you can actually go to pet dogs, and it is great. Keep an eye on the CAPS calendar for the next event.


3. Eating

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Okay, so this is entirely antithetical to the whole healthy, kale and exercise attitude most articles love to preach. But let us be real. We are college kids. College kids with access to unlimited meal plans. We do not have the time, nor the energy to waste on worrying about calorie counts. There is something to be said about sitting down with a bag of heavily processed chips, and just devouring it with complete disregard for everything. Eating is a nice reprieve from the daily grind. Going to a dining hall is like an hour-long event away from homework, classes and death.

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