Combat stress the right way

With AP tests and finals approaching, stress is inevitable. Stress can often be overwhelming to an unhealthy point. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tools to implement when you feel your heart start racing and before the panic sets in.

STRESS EFFECTSTangible Solutions

1.Take a series of deep breaths.

We know that breathing gives oxygen to the brain and the rest of the body, and we need oxygen to function. But the pace of breathing can dramatically affect your mental stability. To reduce stress, try inhaling for four-five seconds and then exhaling very slowly. For more breathing tips to reduce stress, check this out.

2. Take a break from studying.

Studying is important, and not studying can result in poor grades and even more stress. However, balance is the key. After 30-45 minutes of studying, take a break. Step away from the notes and textbooks and distract yourself. There are many things you can do, including exercise, having a snack or reading a book. Limit your break to 5-15 minutes in order to maximize the time you set aside for studying.

3. Doodle on the side of your notes.

Sometimes your brain needs to go on ‘Low Power Mode.’ In order to make your studying time beneficial and walk away knowing the information better than before, give your brain a rest. Take 30 seconds and let your mind wander as your pen doodles.

4. Engage in some light yoga.

During a break, get out of the chair and stretch. Don’t be nervous about being graceful or accurate. Check out videos on Youtube like the ones here and here. Yoga will help guide your mind away from the stress in order to focus more on studying when you return after your break.

5. Turn off the technology.

It has been scientifically proven that too much technology adds up and can result in more stress. Try to have your study tools and notes on paper, that way you’re not staring at screen for an unnecessary amount of time. In addition, make sure your break doesn’t involve technology. Instead of jumping onto a social media, play with your pet or read a book

6. Laugh.

When you laugh, endorphins are released. Simply put, endorphins are happy hormones. Because your brain doesn’t know when you fake a laugh, you can create happy hormones to be released into your body whenever you want. This is a perfect way to get your mind out of the sad depths that studying causes.

Mental Solutions

1.Realize that it’s not that big of a deal.

No matter what test you’re studying for, or what class you’re trying to pass, it’s not that big of a deal. High school is a time for experimenting with what subjects you are naturally gifted in and which ones are better to take regular. That being said, don’t completely shrug off all responsibility and not study at all. There’s a difference between not being stressed and not doing your work. You will survive if you make less than your goal grade on the AP test or final. The world will keep turning, and you’ll probably still go to college.

2. Think about all that you have done thus far.

You’ve made it this far. You are finally in the home stretch of the school year, with less than 50 days remaining (including weekends). Soon it will be summer and you can kick back with Netflix and completely forget all the facts you are currently cramming for your test. But you’ve made it this far. Giving up now would be childish and you will regret it. Press on the finish line.

3. Remember how your teachers have prepared you to succeed.

Teachers were hired because of their passion for a certain subject and their ability to teach high school students. Disregard any opposing views and trust their ability to prepare you for this. Their goal is for you to succeed, so accept their aid and trust fall.