(KPIX 5) — It’s graduation time! It’s a reason to celebrate, but it also a scary time for many college grads who might be conflicted or worried about what’s next.

In the featured video above, Dr. Jamil Zaki, a psychology professor at Stanford, tells KPIX 5’s Emily Turner that post-graduation depression is real and details ways recent grads can fight it, including:

  • The science behind how the brain rewires when you’re kind to yourself and others
  • How kindness towards others can reduce our own stress, including during high pressure moments like transitioning to a new life stage
  • How self-compassion can help students navigate stress and why it’s often so difficult for them to practice it.
  • How empathy works like a muscle — the more you use it and practice it, the easier it becomes to access and default to it.

“Graduation can be a mixed blessing, in a way. It’s a time that we expect great happiness and a sense of accomplishment, but for many students, it actually turns into a source of stress,” Zaki said.