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The Cord News

The Student News Site of Dakota Ridge High School

The Cord News

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6 Healthy Ways to Relieve Stress

Kike vega on Unsplash
“When I’m stressed, I like to put my airpods in and forget about the rest of the world,” Sophia Martinez, DRHS senior, said. “It allows me to focus and reset my mind.”

With the end of the semester approaching, the end of the school year can feel very overwhelming and stressful. Stress can fog the mind and prevent a good score on a final exam, but there are many healthy ways to reduce that stress. 

Get outside

Going outside, even for just 20-30 minutes, can raise oxygen levels in the brain which in turn raises serotonin levels. Serotonin alters your mood. Raised serotonin levels means a person is happy, which then causes less stress. Being outside reduces cortisol levels as well. Cortisol is the naturally produced chemical in your body that causes stress. 

Take deep breaths 

A typical stress response is shallow upper chest breathing, which actually causes more stress. By consciously copying a relaxed breathing pattern of breathing deeper, an increased feeling of calm and well being can occur, reducing stress. Taking deep breaths can also lower blood pressure and heart rate which reduces that ‘flight or fight’ response. 

Take a few minutes for meditation

Meditation can clear a person’s mind and allow them to better react to stressful situations. It can be done in just 5-10 minutes. An option to get started with meditation is to look up a guided meditation on YouTube. Meditation helps get rid of the constant stream of thoughts. The process of meditation leads to an overall better physical and emotional well being. 

“Whenever I’m stressed, I like to either work out to get my mind off whatever is stressing me out or relax in bed and watch a movie,” Scarlet Adele, DRHS senior, said. (Photo by Benjamin Child on Unsplash)

Get more sleep

After a good night’s rest, the body naturally reduces cortisol. Teenagers 13-18 should be getting 8-10 hours of sleep each night. To get better sleep, stick to a consistent sleep schedule. This means going to bed around the same time each night and waking up around the same time each morning.  


Exercise stimulates endorphins, which increases the feeling of well being. Exercising doesn’t have to be just running. It can be yoga, dancing, swimming, weightlifting, walking, and any other activities that make the body move. 


Journaling is simply just writing down thoughts and feelings to help better understand the emotions. It allows symptoms to be controlled by tracking and identifying triggers. A negative behavior being recognized is the first step to fixing that behavior. 

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About the Contributor
Brook Nekuda
Brook Nekuda, Staff Writer
Brook Nekuda is a senior at Dakota Ridge and a first year reporter for The Cord News. She joined the team to broaden her experience and further develop her writing. Outside of school, she enjoys hanging out with friends, being outdoors, and going to concerts. She hopes to pursue a career in nursing when she graduates. 

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