There's no doubt that the college environment tends to mess with our mental health, especially our anxiety level. Everyone has their own unique coping mechanisms and some of us know exactly how to lower anxiety. But for those of us who don't, it's important to keep in mind that it doesn't have to be complicated.

Adopting some simple, everyday habits and gradually incorporating them into daily life can help you find your way of finding peace. Here are eight ideas to get you started.

1. Keep a Gratitude Journal 

cappuccino, tea, chocolate, espresso, coffee
Shelby Cohron

Sometimes, putting words to paper makes all the difference. Write down 10 things you're grateful for every day or once a week. Either way, taking a couple minutes to write down things you're grateful for can increase your attention and overall positivity making you realize that things might not be as bad as they seem. 

2. Find Some Zen With Mindful Meditation

beer, water
Marina Wollmann

Just sitting (or walking or standing) and breathing doesn't seem too complicated, but clearing your head and finding peace from all the thoughts swirling in your head isn't always so easy. However, when you are able to find that peace of mind, it's a beautiful and healthy thing.

Meditation can give you more than just a calm sensation. Brain images of people practicing meditation have shown activation in areas of the brain that are prominent in executive control. Better yet, studies have shown that meditation might actually make you smarter by increasing the size of your brain. 

3. Socialize

Becky Hughes

You might think it's best being alone when you're tense and filled with worries. You probably don't want to project it onto your friends or even have them see you that way. But being around others and socializing has shown to actually suppress cortisol and decrease the stress and anxiety.

So, next time you find yourself freaking out, don't stay cooped up in your room alone. Instead, go find a friend to hang out with. What are friends for, anyway?

4. Get Your Lavender On

Halley Rose Meslin

An experimental study showed that lavender can be effective in decreasing anxiety levels in test-takers. Whether it's by using a spray bottle or an aromatherapy diffuser, smelling in the essential oil of lavender can help calm you down. It takes essentially no time out of your day and will make your room smell like a fairy garden. 

5. Go for a Run

tea, coffee
Nicole Laszlo

It's no argument that some form of exercise is needed to lead a healthy lifestyle. Exercise is usually thought to benefit physical health but has been proven to benefit mental health as well.

It turns out that exercising leads to new neurons especially in the ventral hippocampus, where emotional processing occurs. These neurons tend to create more stimulation in the brain, but some neurons work to inhibit stimulation thereby reducing anxiety.  

6. Drink Tea 

milk, mocha, tea, cappuccino, espresso, coffee
Alex Tom

This one should be no surprise, but it should be noted that not all teas are great for anxiety. Generally, the teas you should be drinking should have little to no caffeine.

Keep in mind there are more options than just chamomile and peppermint tea. For example, rose tea might not be the first thing sitting in your kitchen cabinet, but it has many benefits in addition to helping with anxiety. 

7. Get artsy

Don't we all miss the days when we had coloring time (and nap time) at school? Nowadays, if you're not doing work of some kind, you're not being productive. No wonder anxiety levels increase from when we were kids. Just grab some colored pencils and crayons and color your worries away.

8. Make Lists 

It's as simple as it sounds. Most of the time, especially in college, anxiety results just from the overwhelming amount of things to do. As mundane as it sounds, making to do lists can be one way to put your thoughts into order. Furthermore, I think we can all agree that the act of crossing off things on a list is satisfying in itself.