What is stress?
School life can be busy and confusing, causing you to feel stressed. Stress is when you feel overwhelmed by problems or pressure and start to find it hard to cope. Stress can trigger the ‘fight or flight’ response causing feelings of anxiety. Stress is common during exam time when you can feel lots of pressure to do well and get good marks. Some people might get stressed at other times too.
What are the effects of stress?
A little bit of stress can be helpful: it can improve your concentration and give you short term energy to achieve a goal e.g. studying hard the week before an exam, completing homework for a deadline. However, too much stress or feeling stress for weeks and months at a time can cause problems such as
- Difficulties sleeping
- Difficulties concentrating
- Feelings of anxiety
- Feeling angry or irritable
How to cope with stress
Some ways to reduce exam stress are:
- Get organised e.g. make study timetables
- Try to get plenty of sleep and eat well
- Take regular breaks from studying and get exercise outside
- Try not to compare yourself to others
- Ask for help if you are struggling
- Practice coping strategies to deal with exam day stress e.g. breathing activities