Stress is an integral part of everyone’s life. When present in optimum amounts, stress actually helps us excel in our lives and keeps us alert and active and is a very important motivating factor of our lives. It is like that “Smoke Alarm System” in our body that warns us from slackening, becoming lethargic and propels us towards our destination — Success.
However there is a thin line between “Eustress” (Good Stress) that is useful to us and Bad Stress that is debilitating. Stress when present in excess inside our system, it affects the functioning of “Hypothalamus” inside our brains. When that happens, “Cortisol” the stress hormone is released which affects major functions of our body, mainly affects our circulatory system, digestive system, reproductive system, immune system etc., The effects of which are seen in various forms like a raise in the heart rate, excessive hunger or loss of appetite, sleeplessness, nightmares etc., Physiological aspects aside, stress of course affects our mood levels, emotional balance and also makes us think “irrationally”.
Professional entrance examinations are a pathway to one’s future careers and the related stress is an unavoidable part of student life. Some of us get overwhelmed and engulfed by the wave of stress and some use the stress to encourage themselves further and overcome the impasse. The one thing that is clear is that students need to know how to cope with stressful situations that arise around the time of their examination results. Students these days need lessons in stress management.
If your results are around the corner and you have been experiencing loss of appetite, sleepless nights, trembling hands or rapid pulse, you are exhibiting symptoms of anxiety, you need to know how to deal with this stress and this list below is just what you need.
Our team at VISIT has put together these 7 effective ways to deal with examination stressors:
1. ACCEPT: Accept that it is very natural to feel stressed and don’t desperately try to force yourself to think positively. This can be your first step towards stress management. If you have a passing negative thought or vision about you not performing well in your exams, just let it pass, don’t hold onto it and try to ponder or brood over it and get into that loop of negative self-talk.
2. BE RATIONAL: Examination results are not so unpredictable that a person who has written it well will fail in the exam. Usually when tensed, we tend to see things as black or white and never shades of “grey”. We either see it as getting a seat or failing. We fail to look at it in a pragmatic and rational manner. Once you try to consciously start thinking about it “rationally”, you would know that results are mostly predictable and you can almost expect what are the marks you would get.
3. PREPARE YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY: Once you have a fair idea about how you have written your exams and have a rough prediction of the marks you will get, mentally prepare yourself and also discuss with your family about what your next step would be. Worst case scenario, assuming you have not done the exam so well and feel you may not get through the entrance, know that it is not the end of the world and when one window closes, several other doors open, so be open and prepare yourself to take life as it comes. Have alternate plans and accordingly move forward. Like Shah Rukh Khan says in Om Shanti Om “Our life is also like Hindi movies, it has to be Happy Endings after all” 🙂
4. EAT WELL AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER: Ensure that you eat all your regular meals on time and take care not to over-eat/ binge-eat (chocolates, sweets, chips etc.,) or skip any meals. Have plenty of salads and fruits. Drink plenty of water which will keep you hydrated and will also keep your brain active. Dehydration is a very common cause for psychological stress.
5. DEVISE CHANNELS TO DE-STRESS: Try to find out what suits you best, what you can do to pull yourself out of the stressful situation you are going through. Divert yourself by listening to good music, dancing, reading, drawing, coloring, gardening, exercising, swimming, playing a sport, watching good movies or videos, talking to family and friends etc.,
6. MEDITATION AND YOGA (PRANAYAMA): Deep Breathing exercises will help you keep your cool and will give you that well-deserved peaceful time to think clearly and develop a strategy to cope with the anxiety you face owing to the exam stress. Meditation is a proven tool for stress management. Find a quiet corner in your house, keep all your gadgets away and practice breathing to soothe your raging stress hormones and to develop a sense of calm within you.
7. PROFESSIONAL HELP: If you feel that you are unable to cope with this stress and are unable to make your family understand your fears and feel that you might take any wrong step which is unwarranted (before the results or after) then you should not hesitate to reach out to professionals. Be it dealing with physical symptoms or psychological stressors, VISIT has a fleet of specialists who will be able to help you, from the comfort of your home. We will also counsel your family if need be and equip them to cooperate with you to help you deal with your situation and guide them about how they can infuse that positive thinking in you by creating an encouraging environment at home.
At the end of the day, you need to remember that you are more than an examination grade and examinations will never define you as a person or be indicative of your value. Perseverance is the key that will unlock many doors for success for you and will eventually take you places!