Mr. Saurabh Rohom
Final Year, B. Pharm (2019-2020)
What is Stress?
Stress is nothing but our body’s typical response to a challenge, a work, a threat, or an excitement. It is a mental push our body gives us to keep us alert and prepared to face an event. A little bit of stress can spur us to do better and keep us right on track with our work, but too much of stress can not only drain a person mentally but also affect their energy levels, the way they think or feel or even work!
Leading a stress-free life is part of healthy living both physically and mentally. The World Health Organization (WHO) constitution states: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” It can be derived from this definition that both, mental health as well as physical health is an indispensable and vital component for maintaining an overall good health.
Today, the most common victims of stress are students, where reasons are many; like academics, peer pressure, burden while zeroing down on a career choice and not to forget the all-time available –‘exams’!
Students, Exams and Stress –
Exam time is the most vulnerable period when students are stressed. Being stressed not only affects their performance but also invites sickness during exams. The fear of failure or the expectations of a glorious result adds-up to this already built stress. Parental pressure can also be counted as a root cause for exam stress in youngsters. Unhealthy food habits and lifestyle, improper studying methods contribute to exam stress, too.
Effectively dealing with such stress can boost a student’s moral, improve their performance, and improve their mental and emotional health as well. One can effectively keep stress at bay by identifying the triggers or causes those results into a stressful state.
To identify the cause of stress is already halfway towards reducing and dealing with it…!
Here are certain ‘indicators’ for students to observe and spot to realize the stressing phase.
Exam stress indicators-
- Physically dull feeling, headache, anxiety, stomachache, etc.
- Panic attack just before exam with symptoms like sweating, trembling, racing heart.
- Feeling emotionally depressed, low on confidence, angry or irritated.
- Feeling excessively sleepy or getting off the food or eating too much during exam.
- The feeling of numbness you get in the fingers or toes just before writing an examination.
Stress and Mental Health –
There have been a lot of talks and awareness campaigns happening recently underlining the importance of mental health. Mental health is foundation of an individual’s collective ability to think as a human and to interact with others.
Today’s competitive world makes it necessary for the students to be able to effectively cope up with their daily stress. Excessive and prolonged stress in students may lead to serious mental disorders and other health-related issues. Knowing ways to cope with stress can ensure sound and healthy mental state for students with improved academic performance and hale and hearty living, too.
Although there is no such single, full proof magical remedy to deal with stress, still one can employ different means and certain habits to beat the stress and lead a productive life.
10 easy approaches to de-stress-
Try these approaches during your examination and I am sure you shall start living a contented life.
- Be realistic:
Identify yourself and your limits, especially when you have less time left. It is always better to focus on utilizing the time wisely. Keeping a high yet false expectation from yourself and ignoring your actual ability calls stress which was nonexistent in your life at first place…!
- Know yourself:
This is a significant attitude. You must know your habits and studying pattern. Some students are habitual of studying/revising early in the morning while, some burn the midnight oil. Identify the time when you are at the peak of your concentration level to give justice to your study. Group studies or lone ones; pick your cup of tea.
- Do not look too far ahead:
Stress can accelerate when there is a frightening thought and you keep running that in your mind. For example, your imaginary failure in exam and then its made-up outcomes. Do not dwell in the past nor dream the future; just live in the present.
- Give yourself a break:
While it is necessary to study and revise vigorously, it is even more important to maintain a balance between both the sides. Keep taking tiny breaks every now and then. This will reenergize your mind and body.
- Eat healthy:
Healthy food habits are scientifically proven ways to deal with stress. If you are getting lethargic or feeling drained and weak during studying or exam period change your diet for good. Do not skip your meals just to save on some time.
Tip- Have a banana while revising, it boosts up alertness. Drink lots of water.
- Exercise and healthy lifestyle:
A little workout routine keeps your brain oxygenated, sweeps out mental fatigue and also keeps your thinking straight. Exercising daily has proven to improve concentration and memory levels with reducing effects of stress and preventing depression. Get sufficient sleep. Do not unnecessarily stay up late, this will only make you more tired and stressed.
- Work on your Time management Skill:
Divide your time effectively. Draw up a study timetable. It will help you discern amongst what you need to study and for how long. This can go a long way in alleviating exam stress and pressure.
- Know that you are are in control of your life:
You may have an exam, but it is your choice how well you perform in it. Also, do not let friends or people around you drive your fear of exam; for it is you who are facing it and you alone are responsible for its outcome.
Stress can speed up with the fear of unknown. Fear and anxieties arise about the unexpected. Know what you are facing and prepare accordingly.
- Ask help. Speak:
Exam fear and stress are common. Do not hesitate, express your fear to your parents/teacher. This can help you to let down some burden off your mind. Seek help. Go to your teacher with your subject difficulties. Try to get help from a friend for studying/revising.
Try any or all the ways. Beat your exam stress before it beats you.
Happy studies, Best of Luck.