How to Manage Study-related Stress?

There have been several studies in recent years looking into the mental health of students.
Last September, one of the leading healthcare organizations published the results of a massive survey it’d conducted. According to it, nearly 60% of students report having felt stress in the days preceding the survey (for comparison: in 2013, it was only 53%).
This can be provoked by a host of factors, such as:
● Puberty
● Uncertainty about the future
● Maintaining high academic performance
● Having to work to fund one’s education
● Romantic and friendly relationships, etc.
And here, a simple but crucial question pops up: how do you manage study-related stress?

Identify and Understand Stress

So, what is stress? Most of us can easily identify it: your heart beats a little faster, you have trouble maintaining concentration, you experience sleep problems, you lack appetite, etc. Scientifically speaking, stress is your body’s physiological response to a dangerous or challenging situation you’re facing or about to go through.
Therefore, experiencing stress is perfectly understandable when you have an exam coming up or when you need to do your homework assignment. Even such a primary task as formatting the references in your paper yourself can make you panic and want to break down. But if you can use an APA format generator for that, not everything can be resolved so simply.
What’s important is that you learn to handle stress effectively, so it doesn’t end up ruining your daily life.

The “Worst Possible Scenario” Exercise

It is probably the simplest and yet most challenging exercise. When your stress levels peak, you should try answering one simple question: What is the worst possible scenario at the moment? Imagine stressing out before an important exam (e.g., you’re afraid of making a mistake at the very last minute). Once you have, you need to consider the best ways of fixing this problem.

By practicing imagining the worst possible scenario, you realize that it is not actually as terrible as you think it is, and you can avoid all the stress related to it by devising plan B.

Put Yourself First

With exams approaching, students increasingly start looking for ways to effectively deal with the looming challenge. To put themselves in the right mind-frame, they come up with all kinds of motivational mottos, the most popular of which usually go like this: “In two weeks’ time, this ordeal will be over, so I should put on hold all partying and concentrate solely on my studies!”

The thing is, your number-one priority should be taking care of yourself, your health, and well-being. Try doing that, and you will see all your academic anxieties go in no time at all.

If you haven’t got time for jogging or your boxing class, you shouldn’t worry — a Harvard University study proves that regular exercise can decrease the symptoms of any “light” depression.

Similarly, if you know that you’ll spend the next several days revising writing assignments or dealing with academic projects, you should come up with a detailed plan. Having one will allow you to prioritize activities, arrange meetings, manage your time effectively, schedule appointments, etc. By knowing that something nice is going to happen to you, you can stimulate your body to produce more endorphin and thus get through stressful times more easily!

Try Meditation

Meditation can be a particularly effective way of dealing with stress. Breathing exercises can affect the physical effects of stress by slowing down your heartbeat and sending a positive signal to your brain.

In many universities, students can benefit from psychological support services. They can provide them with advice and encourage them to share their fears or worries. Some colleges even practice having weekly sessions of the so-called “mindfulness exercises.” Of course, many researchers suggest that students do meditation at home (it can be some mind exercises or a simple walk in a park).

The impact of mindfulness and regular meditation can be observed during the exam period (usually, in May and June), which is a particularly stressful time for students. Awareness and mindfulness have a positive effect on students who try to overcome stress. They report fewer anxiety attacks and generally feel much better than the ones who only receive “verbal” psychological support.

As you can see, stress-relief techniques don’t require a lot of money or effort. We hope that with their help, your next school year will be really enjoyable!

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