7 Simple Strategies to Keep Calm While Learning

You enter a level in a game so intense that your only focus is survival. You have two choices — stay put and fight, or run and hide. If you’re suddenly bombarded by a situation of extreme difficulty, you freeze — GAME OVER.

Your brain enters the same mode when it has to deal with stress levels higher than it’s used to. Stress triggers instinctive responses — freeze, fight, or flight. Past a certain point, a person might fail to process the stressful event and erupt in extreme emotions. 

No matter if it’s mountains of homework or impending exams, it’s important to always remember to take care of your well-being. Here are some ways you can manage high pressure in the face of assignments and examinations:

Breathe

The only constants in life are change and breathing. High levels of stress and the accompanying strong emotions can cause respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath and panic attacks. When faced with such a situation, remember to consciously BREATHE. Focusing on breathing helps release physical tension in your body, and reminds your central nervous system to calm down. Find some mindful breathing techniques to add to your arsenal of healthy coping mechanisms. One method you can try is 7:7:7 breathing. Breathe in for seven seconds, hold it in for another seven, before slowly breathing out for the last seven seconds.

Ask For Help

Often, we are so caught up in dealing with a situation that’s causing us stress that we don’t speak about it. Feelings of being alone with our problems might arise, which is a short step away from feeling like no one cares about us, leading to a negative thought spiral. Remember that a problem shared is a problem halved, and no one will know that you’re struggling if you don’t voice it out. Break out of the vicious cycle by approaching someone who can help you with the situation, be it a teacher who can reschedule a deadline for an assignment, or a friend who can lend you a listening ear.

Take A Walk Outside

Literally nothing will change if you don’t move! It’s easy to give in to the lethargy that accompanies intense pressure and coop yourself up within the four walls of your bedroom for extended periods of time. Don’t give in to the inertia — step out of the house for a walk around the neighbourhood, or make a trip on foot to your favourite food place instead of ordering in. The fresh air, natural light and greenery helps your brain reset after cycling through the same stressors on repeat. A change of environment and stimuli can also give rise to inspiration that leads to solutions for the problems you’re trying to resolve.

Look After Yourself

When it feels like there’s too much to do, it’s easy to neglect your personal wellbeing. But how will you be able to complete any of your tasks if your body and mind are falling apart from all the pressure? Forget all-nighters — head to bed and wake up early the next day to continue your assignment or revision. Take a 20-minute power nap to recharge if you feel your eyes drooping in the middle of the day. Put aside enough time in the week to keep your mood regulated by playing a sport, engaging in a hobby or hanging out with family and friends. The light at the end of the tunnel might feel far away, but taking care of yourself means you’re halfway there.

Study Within Your Limit

It is one week before your Math exam, and you wish to make the most out of your study time. As a result, you decided to cram for the exam by diving right into your textbooks for a few hours straight. If you are easily prone to feeling overwhelmed when it comes to studying, avoid cramming. Cramming may cause information to be overloaded, causing you to be more anxious. Instead, try to space out your study and study within your limit. For example, you can break up your study session into two or three 25-minute sessions with a short 5-minute break between. Furthermore, take note of when you are the most alert throughout the day. If you are more energised and think clearer in the morning, try to plan more study sessions in the morning instead. 

Eliminate Distractions

Your mobile phone is constantly vibrating on the table, alerting you of new notifications. You pick it up and start scrolling through your social media. Before you know it, a few hours went by and you got no studying done. Panic starts to kick in as you realise the limited time left for you to take in the required knowledge for the test the next day. This can increase anxiety, causing you to be overwhelmed with your studies. 

Put your phone or any other electronic gadgets away when studying. Alternatively, you can switch off notifications on your laptop and phone so you won’t be yanked out of your study session by unwelcome vibrations or pings. Inform your family and friends and tell them you’d appreciate not being disturbed for a set duration of time to dive deep and free into your notes. With distractions out of the way, it will be easier for you to stay on track, reducing stress and anxiety related to studying. 

Choose Your Study Snacks Wisely 

While some may argue that having snacks between study sessions can be distracting as it breaks the flow of studying, having healthy snacks can actually be beneficial especially if you are studying for a long duration. Studies have shown that dark chocolate, almonds and raisins are some snacks that can help to boost our mood, as well as enhance our memory. Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants which helps to improve mood and cognition, enabling us to have better focus. Almonds contain a high amount of protein which gives us energy, keeping us going for a longer period of time. Furthermore, the boron in raisins helps to improve concentration and enhance memory. 

Although these snacks are relatively healthy and easy to consume, try not to over-consume them as eating too much of anything can cause a strain in our digestive system, causing discomfort. Choose your study snacks wisely and eat in moderation! 

Conclusion:

It is important to keep calm while studying to ensure a more efficient and productive learning. When you are calm, your brain tends to pick up important information more efficiently and prevents you from blanking out during a test or exam. If you are easily overwhelmed by your studies, try following the steps mentioned above! 

Feel free to reach out to us if you require additional help and guidance! 

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