We all encounter stress in our lives. It's a normal part of life that serves an important role in our bodies' functioning. It's also known that stress can become a factor that is too involved in our daily lives, whether it stems from school, work, or personal matters. Stress can be beneficial and actually encourage some of us to take initiative on a certain project or goal that has been the source of that stress; however, it can also negatively impact many aspects of our lives, particularly our health. Especially during finals week, the stress levels of many students across the nation are at an all-time high, but it doesn't have to be this way. Here are some things you can do to minimize your stress and chill out.

Exercise. Moving your body in any way activates your muscles and helps give you a much-needed boost of energy. It doesn't have to be an intense workout; even walking for a few minutes will do the job. The point is that by giving yourself a break from all that studying and instead investing some time to enjoy the outdoors and stay active, you can feel less overwhelmed and more rejuvenated.

Eat right. I know that this is easier said than done. When you're using a lot of your energy on something, you're not really in the mood for a salad or a fruit (although some of you may be and that's great for you), but if you're anything like me, you tend to eat what you crave during times of higher stress levels. I think you should definitely satisfy your sweet tooth if you're really craving something sugary to eat and avoid depriving yourself. On the other hand, you should be generally mindful about what you eat and how much of it you eat. Again, you don't want to stuff yourself with processed junk food and caffeinated beverages to keep you energized and focused, because, in the long-term, it'll be detrimental to your health. Instead, focus on eating more whole foods, but don't deprive yourself. What you put into your body is so important, because it ultimately impacts how you function and feel.

Meditate. This is a really effective way of just chilling and completely relaxing. There are so many meditation videos available online that are conducive to different purposes. Despite the different types of meditation that are accessible, they all are efficient ways to reduce stress and increase awareness, focus, and energy. To add, it doesn't need to take up a lot of time. Even meditating for just a few minutes a day can do the trick.

These three tips are obvious ways to make healthy changes in your life and bring down the stress you feel, but what is most important is that you take these essential steps and put your health and happiness first before all else.