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An Expert's Opinion On How To Release Academic Stress

By Dr. Divyani Sharma, Co-founder And Managing Director At The Catalyst Group

The recent survey conducted by WHO to evaluate and assess the mental health status globally, reports that over 72 per cent of the survivors include children and adolescents [1]. As for the initial times, the wide scope of online interactions made coping with mental health issues easier with the students midst of a pandemic. But as time dragged on and online classes came into full swing, students seem to begin feeling the weight of new external stressors and mounting academic expectations in a situation they had initially viewed as temporary. From new academic pressures to the struggles brought on by isolation, young aspirants are struggling to cope up with the new normal.

Here are a few ways to relieve study stress and boost your learning potential:

1. Exercise: Aerobic exercise, such as jogging, cycling or dancing, but says the specific type doesn't matter as much as just getting some physical activity. The main way exercise helps relieve stress is by increasing endorphins. Endorphins are the hormones produced naturally by your brain to alleviate pain and reduce stress. Exercise also ultimately decreases the levels of hormones associated with stress, including cortisol and adrenaline. A quick session of half an hour exercise can also help in releasing stress.

2. Avoid isolation, always talk: When you are feeling stressed, reaching out to your friends and family can help. Studies have found that people with less social support are more reactive to stress, exhibiting increased heart rates, blood pressure, and hormone levels, according to a 2007 review published in the journal Psychiatry. Catch up with your mates once in a while even if that is over a video call.

3. Reward yourself: After the completion of any difficult task coddle yourself with something you like. You can also include happy days in your schedule, like Sundays - where you can pamper yourself. This will keep you motivated and always help you strive to work hard and achieve the best results.

4. Follow the NO COMPARISON rule: Sometimes students indulge in comparing themselves with their peers. Often these are not the signs of healthy competition and leads to the students over burning themselves with performance pressure. Follow the no comparison rule - always remember that each and every individual is unique. The ultimate goal is should be to thrive and live up to your own potential!

5. Take enough sleep: Anyone who has ever had to function on just a few hours of shut-eye knows that lack of sleep makes it harder to deal with anything, including stress. In fact, 21% of students report feeling more stressed when they don't get enough sleep.

6. Mindfulness meditation when stressed: The current scenario and the pandemic have not only taken a toll on our minds but also the body. It is imperative for us to thus focus on ourselves when feeling anxious. Take time out for yourself. Even 10 minutes at your favourite and secluded spot in your house, just sit up straight. Focus. Meditate. This will help you in releasing the negative energy and increase concentration. Deep breathing whenever you feel anxious, anywhere and anytime for 30 seconds can also be helpful.

7. Time management: Students often find that there is never enough time to get everything done. All of the responsibilities of school, work, family and friends, can be enjoyable but taken together, may begin to feel stressful. Making To do lists and prioritizing tasks continuously for rather shorter time frames helps build the right focus. Learning to manage your time is a great way to learn to balance all your responsibilities, and helps you to reduce the stress.

On A Final Note...

For most of us, stress is a part of our lives, but there are ways to manage and relieve it. Maintaining healthy habits will make you better able to respond to stressful situations. While it's important to innovate and evolve our outreach programs, it is always advisable seeking professional help for any clinical issues one might be undergoing because only a medical expert can offer the right kind of assistance.

Story first published: Monday, October 12, 2020, 11:04 [IST]
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