Anxiety

I would like to know you manage anxiety and the pressure of studying, especially in exam period. I tend to panic so it would be nice to hear what things helped you

  • Whilst a lot of the approaches to anxiety are commonplace, they do work with effort and practice. So I apologise in advance if you already know a lot of this.

    Firstly, sorting out a to-do list helps with focus. It helps you know what the priorities are for your energy.

    I think also it's important to look at the pressures behind studying; why are you studying?, what to do you want to achieve with it?, what other pressures are there to do well?, what happens if you don't do well?, can you speak to family/friends/counsellor about these things?, can you ask for more support from family/friends/counsellor/your place of study?

    Have you heard of the Worry Tree (see image link below)? It's actually quite useful with the worries and anxiety, but it takes a lot of practice to really get working in your every day life, but I absolutely recommend getting into habit with it.

    Breathing techniques. Simple, easy, but actually very helpful. Anxiety and panic attacks cause an increase in your breathing, which in turn causes your heartrate to increase, and your body temperature to go up, which all cause you to feel dizzy, nauseous etc. All the symptoms of these attacks go right back to your breathing. If you can keep your breathing slow and steady, everything else will come back down (if in an attack) or be prevented (if you feel an attack coming on). There are mobile phone apps for this, one I particularly like is "BreathWrk".

    Sleep hygiene. I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to make sure you get quality sleep, preferably for 8 hours. Cramming in study is great, but your brain truly starts to learn and memorise things when you're sleeping. Your brain needs it. Your body needs it. Your mental health needs it. Sleepfoundation.org/sleep-hygiene has lots of information that I recommend reading into!

    Find joy. It's also important to get happiness in despite all the stress of study and life. Stress has a massive impact on your immune system, and can in turn make your brain sluggish and struggle to concentrate, your mood low, and cause lots of medical issues, such as stomach issues, headaches, muscle pains, high blood pressure, chest pains etc. So it's important to laugh as often as you can, and find things you enjoy. 

    Find nature, and exercise. Taking time out in nature has shown to improve physical and mental health, even better if you can get some exercise in whilst out in nature - 30 minute walk in a park? Perfect. Exercise creates "feel good hormones", and helps your body regulate, and your lymph nodes to clear out any nasties so your body can work in tip-top shape - this includes your brain, which you need so desperately to work during study and exams!

    If you haven't already spoken to a counsellor or advisor in your place of study, I recommend it. Furthermore, if you think the anxiety is still a massive problem then please don't be afraid to speak to your GP.

    Help IS available, don't be afraid to reach for it.

    Best wishes with your studies!


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  • Thank you Maegan, i will try to implement some of them into my routine

  • The worry tree looks fantastic. It always helps to have a clear path you can use.

  • One of the big things that helped me was writing notes so when exam came I just had to read my notes, and not the entire textbook. 

  • As Maegan said exercise is a big one for me. I go for a cycle 3 times a week and try to go for a 1 hour walk ever day. It is easier said than done though, Im lucky I live near a lake with wind life and is around an hours walk round trip. 

    Another thing that helps me is CBD, while its not available everywhere I love CBD oil, just drop a couple drops on my toung and it helps to relax me and really helps me sleep (I have a bad habit of never going to bed at a reasonable time, I would naturally be awake 24-36hrs then sleep 10 hrs, but thats not how the world works).

    Finally an organised and pleasant work space makes a big difference. My 'office' would make anyone think Im a bit of a new age hippy. I have LOTS of plants, some which smell nice, so relaxing insense (Dragons blood smells amazing), a candle powered tea warmer with a variety of different herbal teas, a thumb piano and mini tongue drum as fidget toys, soft latern string lights,sit stand desk, and a big super comfy reclining ergo chair. Its a place I generally just love to be.

  • This is a very comprehensive and spot-on reply. Anxiety comes in many forms, and not everyone experiences it in the same way, so there are many ways to combat it. However, this also means that what works for someone might not work as well for someone else.