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Posted at: Feb 11, 2019, 8:21 AM; last updated: Feb 11, 2019, 8:21 AM (IST)STRESS BUSTER

Bye-bye, exam fever!

Exams are not avoidable, but examination stress totally is. A few tried and tested methods to keep those academic blues away
Bye-bye,  exam fever!

Renee Singh

With exams around the corner, I have so many students and parents coming in with their stress related queries. So much so that I feel addressing the issue, by giving a general overview of this type of a stressful situation is imperative. Most students reported to being completely overwhelmed by stress. In today’s fast-paced competitive world,  they feel their stress levels are definitely exceeding their ability to cope with stress. They felt their lives completely affected negatively in terms of their sleep patterns, eating habits, and their exercising habits. A study conducted by the American Psychological Association found that much of the college stress had its origins in high school. So much time and intensity goes into amassing lots of extra curriculars and conducting various other activities, apart from just studying for the exams. 

Time management: One of the key factors for a student is to divide his time correctly. Students have a tight schedule comprising of studying, homework and extra curricular activities. They need to plan and prioritise.

Breathing exercises: Whenever stressful thoughts start running in the mind, you need to mentally take charge.  Stop the racing ideas constantly. Take a long, deep breath, this helps to calm down. It is particularly helpful just before entering the examination hall, or whenever stress is overwhelming you. Stress can be recognized in the following situations.  

  • Hyperventilation
  • Panic disorders
  • Sleep problems
  • Feeling tense 
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Headaches
Visualisations: This detaches us from our immediate environmental scenario and takes us to a beautiful and calm space. It is a free therapy and extremely relaxing. You come back to your immediate environment, feeling calm, peaceful and ready to take on the world.  

Excercise: Students can work on an excercise schedule as a daily routine. It releases endorphins. It helps to regulate the body clock, and puts a level of enthusiasm and charge to the brain. It is easy to just take a walk around the campus. 

Power naps: Short power naps are very useful. Students have a habit of missing sleep. Long hours at your desk, puts you at a disadvantage. You become less productive and, find it difficult to learn and absorb knowledgeable information. 

Power of music: Music has been proven to have cognitive benefits. Play your favourite music to enhance your potential. Upbeat music charges your mood. To  study well, slow melodies are relaxing for the mind. 

Eat right: Diet can boost brain power beautifully. Correct diet is essential as a stress management technique and a study aid. 

  • Mindless eating should be avoided. Due to increase in the stress hormone cortisole, people crave wrong foods—high sugars & carbs. Avoid these. 
  • Don’t skip meals.  This creates blood sugar imbalances, leads to mood swings, fatigue and poor concentration. 
Poor nutrition leads to lower immunity, so students will become more susceptible to infections. This in turn will actually increase stress levels. 

Just organise: Keep the environment clutter free.  Clutter creates stress and decreases productivity. 

Positive affirmations: These are very helpful. Optimism creates better circumstances.  

(Singh is a Chandigarh-based psychotherapist)

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