Student years create multiple opportunities for stress that challenge both freshmen and undergraduates. Even a student who is known as an excellent essay writer might fall out of productivity mode during the time of exams. After all, exam stress is the issue most students can’t cope with even in the later student years.
Add taking care of a family, working part-time, and finding time for self-development to the mix, for it to become easy to understand why stress during exams hits mental and physical health in such a heavy way. Read this article to find more about this kind of suppressing factor on student life to answer what is exam stress and how you can mitigate its drawbacks.
How to Deal with Exam Stress through Technologies
Dealing with exam stress is a multiple-step process, and there is no general recipe for everyone. Stress management is aimed at reducing the impact of stress factors on improving your mental state, yet it won’t remove it entirely. Students can use health monitoring devices to deal with after-exam stress as well. Among common recommendations, you can use the following ones:
- Sleep well and sufficiently. At least eight hours a day without interruptions is perfect timing.
- Ensure that your diet is proper. Three-four meals a day is a must.
- Add physical exercises to the schedule. Morning and evening exercises do the job.
- Avoid stimulants. One or two cup of coffee should be your highest daily bar.
- Get rid of procrastination. Concentrate on the exam tasks and move your phone away.
Moreover, there are also technologies and software that might be beneficial when managing stress and monitoring one’s own health. For example, there are tech-like portable wearables (Apple Watch, MiBand, HonorBand) that allow students who wear them to track the level of oxygen in blood, heart rate, and lack of physical activity.
Speaking of software, there are apps like Headspace. During strict quarantine, most people found meditation and self-focus apps to be very helpful in managing stress and prolonged isolation. Students should install apps like that to spend time meditating between the exams.
What is Exam Stress Anyway?
Exam stress isn’t that different compared to the one caused by critical life events that lead to a strike on mental well-being of an individual causing physical response of the body at the same time. When a student enters the examination period in the educational facility, mostly negative kinds of stress influence his or her life. Sleepless nights over books, rushing deadlines, and during-the-exam fear of failure definitely undermine the physical condition of a student.
Other extra factors that could multiply negative effects of exam stress are adaptation to the new social environment (relates to freshmen), fear of being expelled out of university or college leaving parents disappointed, and financial struggles to keep up with basic needs. When exams kick into this stress house, it’s only a matter of days for the body to exhibit the signs of fatigue that could have long-term consequences on student’s health.
Effect On the Body
Stress causes almost immediate effect on a student’s body – decades of research into its effect on the human population can’t go wrong. In fact, stress constitutes a physical reaction to human emotion. When a student gets into the exam groove, several things happen if they become pressurized by the external environment:
- The body experiences the range of emotions that could cause the release of cortisol by adrenal gland. The hormone leads to boosting the response of the human body activating its reserve potential for the situations that may endanger human life. Sure, there is no actual danger – students are not running from a lion in savannah, but that’s what we’ve got from our primal ancestors.
- The excess of a cortisol for the prolonged time periods is the main threat of exam stress as a whole. Such vital processes in the human body as metabolic rate, blood sugar level, and work of brain parts responsible for memory might be pushed down by several iterations of cortisol release.
Post Exam Stress
Post exam stress symptoms may be too familiar for the students who just got rid of the final subject to pass. The main types of post exam stress are related to episodic acute stress and chronic stress that develop when a student enters the cortisol loop.
Episodic acute stress begins to develop when a person experiences stress seizures over and over again. Among the typical symptoms of this stress subtype, students may encounter such mild health distortions as migraines, hypertensions with associated headaches, and loss of coordination in space around.
Chronic acute stress is the worst scenario if talking about post exam stress in general. It takes place when a person can’t avoid being in a stressful state for the time period of more than a month or two. Health outcomes become more severe at this stage. People in this condition become the victims of weight increase, sleep loss, and social anxiety that distorts relationships with people around.
We hope this information about exam stress was helpful for you after reading this article. Now it’s your job to make sure that stress levels inside of your body subside. Using these recommendations, you can easily define the root of your stress and thereby determine the course of action.