Monday, June 1, 2009

10 Stress Busters for the College Bound Student

Sometimes I think that every student should be required to take a course on stress management. Can you imagine how much healthier everyone would be? Did you know that stress affects your body and your memory? Some people get so stressed that they feel like running away from life all of the time. If you are a student of any age you will experience some stress. Even some well prepared students get anxious when they think about the next test. Stress can creep in when you are least likely to expect it. So why does the feeling of anxiety which is associated with stress overtake students? Sometimes students are stressed when they take a challenging test. They get too little rest before an intense test and the energy to overcome stress cannot be found.

So the answer seems simple. Get better prepared for the test and the stress will go away. Not so easy. Other factor could include a diet that is inconsistent or unhealthy. Some students have potato chips and a Coke for breakfast. The get their sugar rush in the morning but the rest of the day seems to fizzle out. Poor eating habits and too little rest can contribute a significant amount to the stress that students feel. When a stressful test is on the horizon it is extremely difficult to relax. Also, sometimes roommates and friends can add to the stress levels if they remind you of the difficulty of the next test.

With all of this going on you need an action plan to uproot the stress that you are feeling. Two things you must do are learn how to manage your time and don’t procrastinate. You must keep your priorities organized on paper. Here are some of the benefits of reducing your stress:

1. Improve your confidence that you will pass your next test.

2. Clear your thoughts when you are preparing to listen to an instructor

3. You will improve your organization skills at home and at school

4. Increase your ability to focus on tasks and to complete assignments

5. You will have less stress when preparing for presentations

6. End your habit of waiting until the last minute to complete assignments

7. Get an adequate amount of rest before every test

8. Become more focused on maintaining positive thoughts

9. Reduce your anxiety when meeting an instructor

10. You’ll decide to eat the foods that increase your energy the most.

You can reduce your level of stress and increase your potential to learn new things. You must be willing to make sacrifices. You should start by organizing a realistic schedule that also gives you flexibility to relax. Keep a weekly journal of all of your quizzes, major examinations and general activities. Identify your time wasters and eliminate them. Remember to write down your priorities so that you do not get off track. Take time to recognize that you’re accomplishing new tasks everyday. Over a period of weeks notice how much time you are gaining to study for your tests.

You can reduce your stress by noticing the signs that you are tired. Some students express stress in through signs of fatigue, anger or refusing to talk to anyone. Just making a few changes can make a difference when it comes down to eliminating stress. Don’t get stuck in old habits that don’t work. Try deep breathing exercises and focus on relaxing your entire body. Take a break if you feel that you are no longer remembering the information you are studying. If you are willing to work hard at it your stress can be eliminated and your next exam can be a success.