Top Stress-Busting Tips for When You’re Studying
It’s understandable that you may feel under pressure at exam time, not least when you’re juggling so many other aspects of your life simultaneously. Indeed, a sense of urgency and a certain amount of adrenaline are no bad things. But stress doesn’t have to take over, and you shouldn’t be feeling constantly overwhelmed.
Here are some of our tips for zapping stress and anxiety quickly and easily, but there are plenty of others.
When you’re stuck at a desk and chained to a screen all day (and quite possibly some of the night as well), it can be easy to forget that the human body simply isn’t designed to spend long periods in a fixed sitting position.
So feel stretched – in all the right ways! You’ll reap the rewards, including a boost to the circulation, improved focus, and reduced muscle tension. You may even find you sleep better, which can only enhance exam performance.
It may be worth considering enrolling in a local yoga class for the ultimate stress-buster, while some gyms even dedicate whole hours to stretching sessions.
Here are a few quick ideas for inspiration:
Leg and feet stretches
Stand up and have your feet slightly apart. Place one foot forward then slowly bend the knee on that leg, shifting all your body weight on to that foot. Ensure the toes of your other foot remain on the ground. Hold for a count of 15 before swapping over.
Another option is to stand with your feet a little apart then lift yourself up on to your tiptoes and stay there for 10 seconds before lowering yourself back down. Repeat 10–15 times. (This is a good one to do while waiting for a kettle to boil or brushing your teeth.)
Shoulder and neck stretches
Shrug your shoulders to get the blood flowing to your neck and shoulders. Hold for a couple of seconds before rolling slowly back.
Next, put your inner left wrist just higher than your right elbow so your right hand stays across your chest, and gently keep up some pressure for around 15 seconds before repeating on your other side.
It’s also worth trying some gentle neck rolls as well. Bend your head forward, before gradually rolling it to the right, and then the left, dropping back into the original ‘head down’ position in between.
Finally, try a bicep stretch to work the upper arms and improve flexibility. With your feet shoulder-width apart, hold your hands tightly behind your back, palms facing outwards and downwards. Raise your arms until you can feel the stretch in the muscles, and hold for up to 30 seconds before repeating two or three times.Here are some of our tips for zapping stress and anxiety quickly and easily - especially helpful at exam time! Click To Tweet
Of course, we all do it all day and all night without thinking about it, and it may seem a slightly odd thing to focus on. But in fact, breathing techniques are among the simplest ways of calming the mind and banishing tension.
If you take slow, deep breaths, the body responds in a way designed to relax. Your heart rate slows, blood pressure isn’t so high and your muscles lose tension.
You could try abdominal breathing (meaning the focus is on filling your tummy with air) or what’s called 7:7:7 breathing involving breathing in for seven, holding your breath for seven seconds, then breathing out again for seven. Try it – and notice the difference.
Most importantly, when it comes to stress, it’s vital not to suffer in silence. If these tips don’t help you relax sufficiently, consider talking to a friend about your anxiety or even seeking medical advice.