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Stress-busting techniques - Part 2

Your best bet is to break up large tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks. Working on a big project every day for an hour will likely produce better work than pulling an all-nighter the night before it's due — and you'll be much more relaxed about the whole thing.

You can also plan homework sessions with friends to keep you motivated. Just like planning sweat sessions with your pals helps you stick to your workout schedule, planning study sessions helps you stay on track at school. And it helps to be able to bounce ideas off one another when you get stuck on a sample test problem. You'll thank yourself for planning ahead when all of your other classmates are stressing the day before a big paper or exam, and you're enjoying a night of must-see TV or taking a fun kickboxing class at the gym!

We've touted the benefits of exercise all throughout this book, but did we mention how awesome it is for stress relief? It's true. Fitting in fitness can relax tense muscles and improve your mood. Research has also found that exercise relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety.

If you want more stress relief options, there are several ways to get huge relaxation benefits and even pamper yourself at the same time.

Yoga

Yoga is hugely beneficial to your body and mind. Yoga improves strength, flexibility, and balance, and provides other health benefits. Some studies even show that yoga helps with everything from back pain, chronic headaches, neck aches, and upset stomach, to sleeplessness, obesity, anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure. Yoga helps you focus on your body and work with your breath. It's a mind-body experience that can help you send stress to the sidelines.

There are many types of yoga, ranging from super-gentle to vigorous and sweat-inducing, so don't be afraid to try a few until you find the one you love. Ashtanga, Hatha, and Vinyasa yoga all involve poses that flow from one to another at a fairly quick pace. These are more active types of yoga as well, which focus on strength and consistent types of yoga, such as Iyengar, are less active and focus much more on the details of getting the postures and positions exactly right, and keeping your body in alignment throughout. And when it comes to restorative types of yoga, they tend to be quieter, focusing on on slower transitions and gentler poses where you are able to relax in each pose for an extended period of time.

Stress-busting techniques

But no matter which type of yoga you decide to try, the main focus is generally directed toward the breath and breathing techniques, helping practitioners to reduce stress and find a sense of balance through their physical movements.

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