Feelings of stress and anxiety are a part of life, but when stress and anxiety exist for an extended period of time, they can become a health risk. Everyone needs to be able to recognize and understand feelings of stress and anxiety. It’s equally essential for people to learn how to manage them, so stress and anxiety don’t become overwhelming.
Research suggests different ways to manage and reduce stress and anxiety. For those with academic demands or test anxiety, some of the tips include:
- Make the time to actually study;
- Study more effectively;
- Find ways to relax;
- Monitor your diet;
- Get enough sleep;
- Exercise; and
- Manage your time wisely.
The most common long-term cause of stress for college students can be academic demands and test anxiety. According to research, when you don’t get the results you think you should get or feel pressured to get specific educational outcomes, this can cause an unforeseen amount of stress.
For some students, college is the first time they get academically challenged; thus, this may be the first time they get a low grade on a test. Test anxiety is typically experienced for the first time or with increased intensity.
Test anxiety is anxiety which surfaces before or during tests. The symptoms range from physical to mental and usually impact your ability to perform. Research suggests different ways to manage or reduce anxiety.
Research says one of the causes of test anxiety is the fear that you didn’t study enough. By taking the time to study as much as you can, this fear gets reduced.
Studying more effectively can be accomplished by finding a study buddy in your program or just someone with whom you frequently converse. Your study buddy can be someone who double-checks your work or quizzes you before a test. Finding someone to help you study more effectively can make all the difference.
What calms you down? Squeezing a stress ball? Taking deep breaths? Counting to 10? Whichever relaxation technique you choose, it can help reduce the symptoms of test anxiety and academic demands. Research has also shown that positive thinking may improve your physical well-being, produce lower feelings of depression, and produce lower distress levels.
Eat, Sleep, Exercise, Repeat.
Eating well and correctly is essential. For example, research suggests that too much caffeine can exacerbate the physical symptoms of test anxiety.
Research is clear. Not getting enough sleep can impair your memory and reasoning abilities. It can also impair academic performance and can make it harder to get through the day. The more clear-headed you are, the less anxious you will feel.
Research also is evident in the fact that exercise can release tension. The less stress you feel as you go into the test, the better off you may be.
Managing your time is a vital skill not just for learning but for life. You’re worried enough about the test, so there is no need to add more. Instead of worrying about being late and having less time to take the test due to unexpected traffic or a test location change, leave a bit earlier. Having the time to relax will help your cognitive functions.
What do you do to help manage stress? How has it worked for you? Follow CanScribe on Instagram and let us know your favourite way to manage stress.