How to Reduce Study-Related Stress I Oxford Open Learning


    How to Reduce Study-Related Stress

    Studying Can be Stressful – But it Shouldn’t be.

    Exam season has passed now, which will be a relief to many students. Some will have found themselves in a particularly constant state of stress.

    It’s actually true that you can feel relatively calm, yet still have stress show up in a number of physical ways. Here is an NHS-produced list of signs that you might be stressed:

    Now, let’s flip this around and look at how you can avoid suffering not just these stresses, but any at all.

    What is Stress?

    Stress is a natural response when something happens to upset your natural balance. It triggers our ‘fight or flight’ response.

    If you are feeling this way about your studies, it means that you are seeing it as something that is threatening. For instance, it might be that you are focusing on whether or not your results will enable you to go to college, or whatever your planned ‘next steps’ are.

    This is a natural thought process, so I won’t advise not to think it. However, there are many ways to transform that energy from being unhealthy to being healthy.

    The Art of Relaxation

    Before I go through some ways to relax to specifically alleviate study-related stress, the following articles might be useful.
    Look them up under my profile:

    • 3 Things You Should Be Doing Now That Exams Have Started
    • How To Schedule Revision Of Multiple Subjects During Exam Time

    I advise you to read these because, whilst relaxation is an important way to reduce stress, so is confidence. And you will be confident if you are secure in your knowledge of your subjects.

    1. Physical Exercise

    It is no secret that physical exercise releases endorphins in your brain – the ‘happy hormone’.

    This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go out for a run, if that isn’t your thing or you feel like you don’t have enough time.

    Something simple like putting some music on and dancing around the house will do the trick!

    Here are some more ideas:

    • Go out in the fresh air and do some skipping
    • Walking
    • Exercise classes / DVD
    • Yoga

    2. Give Yourself a Change of Scenery

    When taking a break, you will find it more energising if you leave the place you’ve been studying, just for a while. In fact, you might also find it refreshing to choose different places to study, instead of always being in one place, in one room.

    If you are trying to relax, doing things like meeting friends is a great way to get out of the house and take your mind off studying for a while.

    3. Don’t Forget to Enjoy Yourself!

    When trying to work out what to do during a break, don’t try too hard! Just choose something that you enjoy, be it cooking, reading a book, writing, playing a game – whatever suits you best.

    There is a slight caveat, though. If you can, try and avoid looking at a screen. This won’t give your brain enough of a chance to de-stress and relax.

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    Sumantha is an education and training specialist with over ten years' experience in developing and delivering adult and secondary level education. Her professional journey includes a six-year stint as a secondary school teacher. She is currently a freelance content writer and learning and development consultant. Sumantha also has a portfolio of private students who she teaches up to GCSE level.