Being a student means being stressed. Stress rains down on you from different factors like socialization, family, personal life and studying on the top of them all. And the culmination of all academic stresses is the exam stress coming out from the moment the teacher announces the date of your exam and all the tension, anxiety and panic build up.
Exam stress may appear both before and after the exams. You may worry about failing the test, not having enough time to review, or not being smart enough to understand the lectures. However, while a certain level of stress is expected, an excessive amount can affect your daily life. If not tackled correctly, stress may provide you with symptoms that will keep you from productive preparation to exams and spark further health problems:
- inability to concentrate on your work
- increased heart rate
Stress is a simple reaction of your body to unusual or uncomfortable circumstances, nothing supernatural. Therefore, beating exam stress isn’t as difficult as you might imagine, you don’t need any meds or procedures. You will be surprised by the only fact that spending time outdoors can be all you need to find clarity and rejuvenate your mind and body and kiss good bye to stress.
Not convinced? Here are scientific reasons to compel you to get started:
1) Time under the sun provides an energy boost
When you’re stressed out with your exams, you might feel like sitting on the couch or tapping away at your screen all day. But doing these things won’t do you any favors. No matter whether the exam is ahead, or you have just taken it, what you really need to do is head outdoors and get some vitamin D. You’ve probably heard that it’s good to spend some time under the sun, but what does it do for you?
By getting enough vitamin D, your body benefits from improved blood circulation. This is precisely the reason why you often feel being in a better mood when you’re under the sun. What’s more, vitamin D promotes better calcium absorption and reduces the risk of several diseases such as stroke, diabetes, and cancer. Just don’t forget to protect yourself by wearing sunscreen and proper protective clothing.
2) Natural light regulates your sleep schedule
Are you the kind of student who stays up past midnight to get all done (or surf the internet?) and needs to go to college at 7 AM? It’s crazy how students take pride in being sleep-deprived but getting enough shuteye will only worsen your exam stress.
Going outside to get your daily dose of sunlight helps regulate the melatonin production of your body. This hormone is responsible for controlling your body clock. Since the pineal gland is influenced by light, you’d also want to stay away from your laptop or smartphone at least an hour before hitting the bed.
3) Try technology detox
Speaking of gadgets, you should start thinking about whether you’ve become a slave to them. Picking up your phone when you know you should be studying may have become second nature, but such a bad habit only contributes to exam stress.
When you try “forest bathing,” you’ll have a new-found appreciation for nature. It becomes easier to see the natural beauty of the environment when you don’t get notifications every minute from your electronic devices. Besides, getting ready for your exams somewhere under the tree will be less nervous and more productive without your smartphone.
4) Give your brain some much-needed break
After dealing with exam week, you may want to reward your brain with some downtime. Think of your brain like a muscle which needs time to recover after an intense workout. In case you didn’t know, the brain requires 20% of the body’s total energy to function optimally. This bumps up by 5% to 10% when you’re doing something mentally challenging.
The brain never stops working, even if you’re just sitting on the couch while daydreaming. By being in nature’s serene environment, your brain has an easier time rehabilitating. Also, this allows the brain to enter the daydreaming state more easily, which scientists consider essential in helping people realize their identities.
5) Lower your stress hormone levels
Between studying for your exams and the other responsibilities you have, it’s no surprise that cortisol, the stress hormone, accumulates in your body more rapidly than you’d think. However, spending time in nature fights stress more effectively than other leisure activities.
For instance, some people like to stay indoors and read a book to cope with exam stress while it is actually possible to move such home activities outside the house. To get distracted from constant studying before the exam or have some rest after it, try going outside and perform the repetitive tasks like gardening to reduce stress hormone levels with such kind of meditating technique or consider doing yoga, listening to music, or anything else in the world that you usually do at home from cooking to knitting.
Gearing Up for Your Nature Adventure
- You don’t have to go to a forest – There’s no reason to take “forest bathing” literally. Just go to any green space near you. Strolling in the park or walking your dog around the neighborhood can produce the same effect.
- Protect your skin and body – After spending more time outside, you might get addicted to it without you realizing. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen and spritz on bug spray before going out. You should also wear the right clothes depending on your location and the weather. It’s also recommended to invest in a comfortable pair of shoes if you plan on walking or running a lot.
- Keep your body hydrated – Take a water bottle with you every time you go outdoors. Avoid caffeinated or sweetened beverages. It’s important to stay hydrated when you’re spending time under the sun.
- Leave the gadgets behind – It can be tempting to leave the house without your smartphone but doing so can help tremendously in your quest to beat exam stress. There’s no point in immersing yourself in nature if you’ll be bombarded by endless messages and notifications.
- Get some help when you need it – There are times when you just couldn’t seem to do everything by yourself. To avoid too much stress at once, you may want to use a professional assignment help service. This gives you more time for yourself while competent specialists are preparing answers and materials for your exam.
Rehabilitating your mind before and after the exams can prove challenging. But if you follow all the steps mentioned above, you’ll find yourself ready and willing to take on new challenges by simply incorporating a new habit into your routine.