A woman jogging down a road at sunset in New Orleans, LA

MedMatchPlus+ professionals know all about Residency Match. They’ve gone through it themselves. Exercise reduces stress, increases the flow of endorphins, and requires only 20 minutes to produce benefits. A walk in the park or another serene setting can evoke “involuntary attention,” during which flowers, a squirrel, a bird, or any object may induce reflection, even meditation. Also, don’t overlook the hot bath or massage to relax your body and mind. Try some of these other ideas to help reduce your stress during match week.

Mellow Out With Music

Classical music reduces blood pressure and the heartbeat. Favored tunes and songs stimulate such upbeat neurochemicals in the brain as dopamine.

Take a Moment to Meditate

According to the Mayo Clinic, meditation can restore calm and inner peace. In a quiet place, relax and concentrate on your breathing to remain at rest, and ignore any distraction or interruption.

Practice Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing can steer thinking inward and trigger the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes relaxation. Even a few deep breaths can help reduce blood pressure and tension.

Eat the Right Foods

Little stresses the brain like the body running short of nourishment. The potassium of a banana or potato, or a handful of nuts or an avocado, can calm rising blood pressure in times of stress.

Silence Phones and Darken Screens

Computers, tablets, and cell phones invariably drive a sense of urgency to respond to messages. Cell phones can raise the blood pressure 24 hours a day, as can uninterrupted and late-night use of computers. The way to de-stress is to shut all of them off at least an hour before going to bed.

Don’t Forget to Have a Good Laugh

Here again, the Mayo Clinic chimes in with a proven way to de-stress: Sustained laughing increases the inhalation of oxygen-rich air that simulates the lungs, heart, and muscles while increasing the flow of endorphins in the brain.

MedMatch+ is a comprehensive resource for all medical students, including students who have not matched with a hospital. Peruse our candidate resources and contact us for a consultation.

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