Easy Ways to Tame Your Exam Stress in College.
Exams are stressful. But stress doesn’t have to take all your life. If we understand the science of how it works, we can make it work for us.
Nature of Stress
When faced with a potentially stressful situation, like angry parents, driving tests, or exams, the danger center in our brain, the amygdala, is activated. This allows the nearby hypothalamus to send a long-range message through the pituitary gland to the adrenal glands, which secret the hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol into our body. Adrenaline increases the blood flow, speeding up our reflexes and sharpening our reactions. Cortisol, in its turn, releases glucose necessary for giving our body vital extra energy. This response is known as ‘fight or flight.’ Thus, our bodies prepare us to tackle big challenges. But when stress levels get too intense, they can trigger a wide range of negative symptoms, e.g., difficulty focusing, tension headaches, nausea, and disturbed sleep.
It’s not a secret that during stress and anxiety, it’s difficult to stop thinking about your upcoming exams. Many students find it challenging to put their minds off what’s bugging them and thus also aggravate their predicament. Psychologists emphasize that you should make more time for your hobbies when you feel overwhelmed and stressed out. So, don’t let your
approaching exams and tons of materials to revise preclude you from indulging in things you enjoy doing. Make some time to read a couple pages from the novel that inspires you, watch a new episode of your favorite TV series, do some gardening, or create a price list for your online business using tools from https://create.vista.com/create/price-list/. Not only will it serve as a great distraction and make the distressing situation more tolerable but also notice and deploy more tools that will help you tame anxiety.
The good news is scientists are working hard to figure out how we can keep our stress response balanced and healthy. Some cultures have slow breathing as one of the most effective and quick methods to reduce the negative effects of stress. Slow breathing has helped aid relaxation for centuries, and now scientists think they know why. You inhale, then, exhale slowly. When we exhale, our brain sends signals that control our heart rate, making our heart beat more slowly. Reduced heart rate, in its turn, helps you relax and blunt the impact of stressors.
Another trick is exercise. When we exercise, our body releases feel-good chemicals that work in the same way as painkillers do. Exercising goes a long way in lifting our moods, reducing anxiety, and helping us to sleep. And good sleep is especially important for exams because it helps combat excessive stress levels even more.
Another area the scientists are currently investigating is socializing. Believe it or not, locking yourself away in your room for weeks is the last thing you want to do if you want to get rid of those haunting feelings before exams.
Scientists have been looking at our close cousins, chimpanzees, for evidence. When they tested chimp urine, they found that levels of stress hormones were much lower in those groups that had been spending more time interacting with their chimp friends than in those that had been isolated. And it seems the same is true for human beings. Thus, when revising, you should make some time to hang out with friends and your family. Undoubtedly, you have someone you can confide in and off-load to. Even a short conversation with your close ones can be a great diversion and do you much good. So, keep in mind that socializing is a scientifically proven relaxation booster that can help you unwind and soothe your stress.
So, as for your exams, remember, a little bit of stress is not a bad thing. Just make sure to follow the simple tips mentioned in today’s short post and you will be able to take control and get in the right balance that works for you!