Wednesday, December 1, 2010

School & Stress

The majority of college students do more than just go to class. Between jobs, internships, student groups and clubs, Greek organizations, community service, hobbies, and the mass amounts of studying each class requires; it's easy to get overwhelmed. Lord forbid, something were to go astray to each strategically planned scheduled event! Overtime, college students begin to accumulate a large amount of stress. So how do we get all of those scrambled ducks back in a line?

Two words: stress management.

We all know chugging an energy drink in order to finish a paper that's due the next day is one tactic to getting the job done. However, it is not the healthiest. Incorporating mass amounts of sugar only increases short-term energy which also increases stress levels. So how do we manage to fulfill all our obligations in a healthy, yet timely manner?

Here are some stress relieving tips that students can use to not only excel while managing all the different facets of university-level education, but also can be used during real-life dilemmas.

1.Manage Time Wisely: It’s important to give yourself plenty of time to work on your studies if you want to do well, and you can save yourself a lot of stress if you plan ahead with good time management skills. Setting up a schedule for study, breaking up your studies into smaller chunks, and other time management skills are essential. Here are some more time management tips you may find helpful.

2.Get Organized: Have a system of organization for note-taking, keeping track of assignments, and other important papers. Being organized can bring you the peace of mind that comes from knowing where everything is, remembering deadlines and test dates, and clearing your mind of some of the mental clutter that disorganization brings. Keep a calendar or planner, a schedule, and a filing system for your school assignments, and you’ll find it prevents a significant amount of stress!

3.Create a Good Study Environment: Creating a soothing environment can reduce stress and help you learn. Aromatherapy, for example, is a known stress reliever, and peppermint essential oil is said to wake up your brain, so I recommend burning it as you study. Playing classical music as you study can also soothe you and help you learn (unless you find it distracting). Here's more on finding a good study space.

4.Know Your Learning Style: Did you know that we don’t all learn in the same way? It’s important to know whether you’re a visual, kinesthetic or auditory learner, as you can tailor your study practices around your particular learning style and make success easier to attain. Grace Fleming provides a quiz to help you assess your learning style so you can streamline your efforts.

5.Practice Visualizations: Visualizations and imagery are proven stress management techniques. You can also reduce student stress and improve test performance by imagining yourself achieving your goals. Take a few minutes each day and visualize, in detail, what you'd like to happen, whether it’s giving a presentation without getting nervous, acing an exam, or something else that will support your success. Then work hard and make it happen!

6.Develop Optimism: It’s been proven that optimists—those who more easily shrug off failures and multiply successes—are healthier, less stressed, and more successful. You can develop the traits of optimism and harness these benefits for yourself, and do better in your studies as a result.

7.Get Enough Sleep: If you want your performance to be optimum you need to be well-rested. Research shows that those who are sleep-deprived have more trouble learning and remembering, and perform more poorly in many areas. Work your schedule so you get enough sleep, or take power naps.

8.Use Stress Management Techniques: Chronic stress can actually impair your ability to learn and remember facts as well, stress management is one of the most important--and most overlooked--school necessities. A regular stress management practice can reduce your overall stress level and help you to be prepared for whatever comes. This self test will help you choose wisely.

More of this list is provided here.

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