Mental health strategies for young aspirants: Tips for students to manage stress | Health - Hindustan Times

Mental health strategies for young aspirants: Tips for students to manage stress

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Jul 06, 2024 08:30 PM IST

Want the key to academic and career excellence? Check out these strategies for students to balance academia and mental health

In our continuous quest for academic excellence and future career prospects, the significance of prioritising our mental well-being often gets overshadowed. Amidst the hustle and bustle of exams, assignments and aspirations, it's effortless to neglect our mental health however, the reality remains that overlooking our mental well-being can deeply impact our daily lives, particularly when faced with the immense pressures of academia, stress, and the accompanying responsibilities.

Mental health strategies for young aspirants: Tips for students to manage stress (Image by Freepik)
Mental health strategies for young aspirants: Tips for students to manage stress (Image by Freepik)

We got a few experts on board who stressed on the vital importance of mental health, highlighting its central role in both personal and professional achievements. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Professor (Dr) Padmakali Banerjee, Vice Chancellor at IILM University in Gurugram, shared, “Optimism trumps melancholy which generates mental well-being and resilience to cope with ups and downs of life successfully. This is a major step towards prudence, perspectives, insightful and hopeful for positive outcomes. Adaptability and flexible mindset are other attributes that need to be imbibed by young achievers to deal with life circumstances effectively, foster resilience and bounce back with redoubled spirit from any adversity while moving forward with conviction.”

She suggested, “Goal setting is imperative for youth. If there a set direction to proceed, then young achievers will never vacillate thereby avoiding anxiety and mental distress automatically. Goal-setting has to be realistic and practically achievable so that young achievers can celebrate the progress along the way and feel happy. Every time young achievers feel happy they win life journey and become more optimistic. Young achievers have to also develop problem solving skills to get rid of mental distress and dilemma. There will be problems all the time that need to be addressed tactfully by problem solving skills. By incorporating these strategies young achievers can become successful in life and living while experiencing self-actualisation.”

Gurmanjot Butalia, Senior School Counsellor at GD Goenka Public School in Delhi's Vasant Kunj, recommended the following strategies to address mental health concerns -

  • Taking control of mental well-being is crucial for everyone, particularly young high achievers who encounter unique challenges and stressors. The initial step in conquering these obstacles is to pay attention to thoughts, feelings and behaviors and become self-aware.
  • Recognising signs of stress can enable them to take proactive steps. Young achievers may feel constant pressure to excel in their endeavours. It is essential to establish boundaries between academics and leisure activities. Self- care must be prioritised. Ambition is admirable, however, setting unrealistic goals can lead to burnout and disappointment.
  • Realistic goals should be aligned with values, strengths and priorities.
  • Seek support of friends, family members or mental health professionals if needed. Coping with emotions and talking about experiences can alleviate stress and provide perspective. Young individuals should be encouraged to celebrate their victories no matter how small. Valuing achievements can boost self-esteem and motivation.
  • Mindful techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, exercises, or yoga can help young achievers to cope with stress and stay grounded in the present moment. These practices should be incorporated in their daily routine. Identifying sources of stress can help develop strategies to minimize or cope with the stressors.
  • Learning to say NO when necessary, empowers individuals to prioritize their own well-being. Embrace setbacks as learning opportunities and develop resilience to bounce back stronger. Remember, failures are a natural part of the journey towards success.

According Neha Tripathi, Counselling Psychologist at Toprankers, “Aspirants should limit their exposure to stress by avoiding negative news, social media comparisons or excessive competition. Creating boundaries and prioritising mental well-being can help maintain a positive mindset. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you're feeling overwhelmed by stress, anxiety or other mental health challenges. School counsellors, therapists or mental health professionals can provide valuable support and coping mechanisms tailored to your specific needs.”

The necessity of prioritising mental health transcends mere choice; it stands as a fundamental requirement for attaining comprehensive success. Whether in personal aspirations or professional endeavours, fostering mental well-being is pivotal, forming the foundation for resilience, innovation and effectiveness. As emphasized by experts, investing in mental health isn't discretionary—it is a crucial commitment with profound implications.

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