Stress Less - Nick Hampton
Recently I performed the practical component of my HSC music exam and while I found that went well, the experience also highlighted for me, the impact stress and anxiety can have upon my own personal performance in exams. Consequently, I have recently been looking into and testing ways in which I can combat this problem. While I don’t expect this to be completely relevant for everybody, I do know that many struggle with stress and the ways in which it can negatively impact their work. As such have put together this list of tips which may help!
Exercise: While I know that it can be hard to get motivated to do exercise I want to point out that not all exercise involves intensive gym programs, long distance runs or weekly team sporting events! (Which are all great, but not for all types of people). Sometimes, just getting in a short walk around the block can get you motivated and de-stressed! It’s also financially friendly and allows for you to enjoy your favourite podcasts, music or audiobooks on the go!
Eating: Eating right is something which many scoff at but also something which can have a drastically positive impact on your stress levels. While eating unhealthily might feel good in the moment, making the choice to eat good, healthy foods and sticking to it in the long run offers up more positivity and de-stressing benefits than that momentary impact of eating unhealthily.
Stretching/muscle relaxation: Often times as we stress, our muscles get worked up in knots which further snowballs your stress. Stretching out and relaxing all the muscles in your body can be a therapeutic and incredibly beneficial exercise to do when feeling stressed. Either you can slowly and methodically stretch out the muscles in your body or alternatively, you can utilise progressive muscle relaxation in order to de-stress. This form of relaxation begins with tensing and relaxing each muscle in your body in a repetitive manner starting from your toes and is scientifically proven to help you de-stress when under pressure.
Electronics: Electronic devices are undoubtedly one of the biggest contributing factors towards the culmination of stress and while we have all heard it before, simply turning them off can make a huge difference to your stress levels. You don’t even need to completely sever your relationship with your phone or other electronic devices to feel the benefits of the action. Periodically turning off your phone and ignoring it is a great way of taking control while also maintaining the connection technology provides.
Overall, in my experience, it’s the small actions of taking control in my own life when everything else seems to be out of control which contribute most to my own de-stressing. Leading into the final exams, I’m sure this may benefit others in their own pursuit of stressing less during the HSC.