5 Tips on How to Control Stress When Studying

5 Tips on How to Control Stress When Studying

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Stress is not always a bad thing. It can be the driver that pushes us on to achieve things, whether that is a qualification we have always wanted or finishing a unit assignment.

But just like stress in life, when stress over your studies become too much it can overcome you and lead to real problems.

Controlling stress means identifying what triggers it and what preventative measures can be taken to stop it engulfing your studies. Don’t let stress squeeze all of the enjoyment of the course you are completing.

As a leading provider of online courses, we have gathered many hints and tips over the years from our students and our tutors about how stress and studying can be controlled.

Here we give you five of the best ideas and tips.

ONE – Organisation

The first tip is to get organised. Being organised is more than just shuffling papers; it is about being proactive in managing every aspect of your studies.

Organising and planning study time, organising your work environment, organising materials and even keeping your desk or work area clean and clutter-free are just some of the tips students say help them to keep stress to a minimum.

TWO – Exercise and Fresh Air

When an assignment is due, it can be tempting to put head down and stop taking breaks so that you get the work done as quickly as possible.

But sometimes ‘less haste, less speed’ is the solution, because speed doesn’t mean you are producing your best work or are grasping the content of what you are learning.

As counter-intuitive as it seems, taking a walk in the fresh air or simply sitting outside for 20 minutes is ideal for gathering your thoughts and pushing stress back down to acceptable limits.

THREE – Distractions…

Distractions are annoying. Someone tapping away on a keyboard or someone clicking their pen can be the stressors that push us over the edge.

But here’s the thing – mindfulness experts and experts on Neuro-linguistic courses tell us that our attempts to block out these annoying habits and distractions can actually make us more stressed.

The solution is to tune into these distractions and you will be amazed at what happens! The distractions disappear.

In other words, stop working so hard at thinking about your distractions and how much you hate them. Accepting that they are there (and not becoming embroiled in hating them so much) actually loosens their grip over you. Try this method and let us know how it works for you.

FOUR – Talk

Studying for a qualification is a challenge. No one said it was going to be easy, but from what our students tell us, this is part of the learning journey.

Studying at home in your own time, whilst balancing family, work and life will see you find and hone new skills. Organisation is one key to successful study, and identifying problems and finding solutions is another.

But there are times when it can seem like just too much, and you will start to feel stressed. Talking to someone can help – you just need to find someone who is a good listener.

This could be your partner, your friend or a fellow student. You may also want to have a chat with your tutor, as they too have been in the same position. They may have pearls of wisdom and advice to impart.

FIVE – Change your outlook on stress

As we said at the start of the article, stress is not necessarily a bad thing.

Stress triggers a reaction within the body that causes us to either run away from the problem (flight) or stay and deal with it (fight).

If you want to gain a valuable qualification, flight isn’t an option. But when stress overwhelms you, it can be hard to stay and fight, simply because you don’t know how to fight against this particular challenge.

Understand how stress makes YOU feel – we all react differently to surges in stress. Do you find it difficult to sleep? Do you feel the quality of your work suffers?

We are also used to being told that stress is a negative thing. But, there are studies that show people who are exposed to positive messages about stress learn to deal with its effects much better.

Neuro-linguistic programming is about changing how we think and view certain things in life, stress being one of them. Why not take a look at how NLP can help you in your studies, as well as in life in general?

What tips could you offer fellow students for dealing with stress and their studies?

Nick Cooper
Nick is NCC's resident blog author and covers a range of subjects, including teaching and health & social care. NCC is an international learning provider with over 20 years’ experience offering learning solutions. To date, NCC has engaged with over 20,000 employers, and delivered quality training to over half a million learners.
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