While it is true that some amount of stress is necessary and may also be good for us, it is necessary to not be overstressed especially before big events like examinations. The best method to avoid getting too stressed is to first relax the muscles and focus on deep and slow breathing. Positive affirmations and visualizing that you will do well in the exam are other key elements that will help you reduce stress.
You need to sit up and take notice when you feel that you are getting irritated too quickly, withdrawing into your shell, not having sound sleep and getting into a state of depression. These are all typical symptoms and signs that you are indeed stressed out and allowing them to get the better of you will mean poor performance in studies. They will also have a negative impact in the manner you are leading your life. So, along with the hectic studies you will be required to do for two to three years at the university, you also need to manage stress levels such that they are not able to pull you down.
1. Focus on physical activity
Continuous study can make you lethargic and sluggish since you will be sedentary most of the time. It is necessary to intersperse studies with some physical activity like running, brisk walking, taking part in some group sport or just working out at your local gym. All these activities will release hormones that would make you feel good by enhancing the endorphin levels in your body system. The choice is entirely yours as to what activity you wish to indulge in. You will also find that you are able to get good sleep at night because of these activities.
Just ensure you do not procrastinate thinking you are short of time for these activities. You need to shake your self out of this complacency and get going. They will surely make you feel much better and help you beat stress.
2. Have a balanced diet
It is important to supply your body with the right mix of fresh fruits, cereals, vegetables, nuts, grains and proteins along with lot of water to ensure that your body remains fit and your brain remains sharp. Make sure that you do not starve the body of vital nutrients and hydration as that will lead to fatigue and you will not be able to concentrate on studies. Keep away from junk food, artificial stimulants like drugs, alcohol, coffee, drugs and any sugary foods like chocolates. Also make sure that you do not attempt to multi task by eating and studying at the same time. You need to go slow with the food and enjoy the experience of eating.
3. Maintain social contact
It is very essential that you do not lose touch with friends and relatives in your serious quest to excel in studies. You need to make time for some social activities and never lose sight of the fact that there is more to life than mere academics. Try joining a club where you get to meet people and exchange ideas. It will provide you with the ideal break from monotonous studies. You can also try group studies for some diversion occasionally.
4. Make the study process smarter
It is a fact that those who indulge in smart studies always get ahead and score better than those who just focus on studying hard. It is the process that requires scrutiny and regular planning is a great first step towards smarter studies. Maintain a time table of things to do every day along with deadlines so that you have definite goals and milestones to achieve. Once you do cross these milestones, they help you to not only manage your studies better; they also make you feel good at having stuck to a plan and achieved something. Of course, the important consideration here should be to set realistic and achievable goals. The best way is to split major tasks into smaller ones with strict deadlines over some days so that you are able to score small victories and those will give you the confidence to persist and finish the bigger task eventually. Do remember however to reserve time for physical and social activities.
5. Do not hesitate to take help
It is not as if everybody knows everything. Hence when you do get stuck at any point in your studies, do not hesitate to seek help from people in the campus. There are tutors, senior students, supervisors, faculty advisors, counselors, host of equity and other finance planners, crisis management officials and career advisors who would be more than willing to extend help. You only have to ask them and not feel guilty or squeamish about it.
6. Ensure you get proper rest
In addition to eating a balanced diet, indulging in physical and social activities, it is very important to ensure that you are getting regular rest and not wait for fatigue to overcome you. If you do find it difficult to get sleep at night, try yoga, meditation or deep breathing. Indulge in a lot of positive affirmations and build up a relaxed atmosphere prior to hitting the bed by either reading, taking a massage, warm bath or listening to gentle music. Of course, your reading should be light and not something which requires you to concentrate very hard. Do not try out activities that are addictive such as surfing or playing games on the computer as they will make your mind active and not allow sleep to set in.
7. Maintain your mental balance and equanimity
Remember that it takes more than mere good grades to become successful in life. It is a combination of grades, personal attributes, strength of character and your skills at people management that will prepare you for a successful career and mental happiness. There is nobody perfect enough; so do not aim for perfection. Just ensure you are doing your best without losing focus on what you wish to achieve and you are sure to taste success. Learn to distinguish between what is urgent and what is important as that will stand you in good stead in future.