How to study with less stress
As you reach the halfway mark of this teaching period, you might be getting familiar with the feeling of stress. While some stress can energise you, too much might prevent you from studying efficiently. The resulting decrease in productivity could hinder your ability to get the marks you want so, for the sake of your studies, these stress reduction techniques should come in very handy.
Food for (improved) thought
Believe it or not, chewing on something crunchy like a carrot or celery stick is a renowned stress reliever. Same goes for folate, found in green leafy vegetables, which produces dopamine, the pleasure-inducing brain chemical. The link between gut health and mental health is now widely accepted as being very real, so probiotic-rich yoghurt should also be part of your diet. While you’re at it, pour yourself a nice cup of chamomile tea. Chamomile contains an antioxidant called apigenin, which can reduce insomnia; with a lack of sleep being closely linked with stress and depression, a chamomile cuppa can help you catch those z’s and feel rested for the day ahead.
Some colourful ways to de-stress
You can become a more relaxed individual in some very interesting ways. For example, colour in a geometric pattern. The research into this art therapy suggests that an anti-stress colouring book would be a very wise purchase, and not just another fad.
While we’re on the subject of colourful things, try curcumin supplements. Curcumin is the natural compound that gives turmeric its yellow colour, and is a real mood booster as it balances brain chemicals, like noradrenalin and serotonin.
The essentials to have on hand and other things
A whiff of essential oil can do wonders. A study in the International Journal of Nursing Practice found that a spray of lavender oil onto clothing effectively reduced work-related stress for several days. Other essential oils to help you through trying times include bergamot for relaxation, lemongrass to calm anxiety and lemon to improve your sleep.
A few other ways to ease your stress include:
- Sitting up straight while you’re at your desk. Slouching can dampen your mood.
- Watching fish in an aquarium can lower blood pressure and heart rate.
- Chewing gum to ease stress and increase alertness.
- Laughing and dancing are instant pick-me-ups.
Don’t de-stress alone
In a 2017 survey conducted by the National Youth Mental Health Foundation and the National Union of Students, 83% of students reported feeling stressed. With this statistic in mind, you’ll be far from alone when you interact with your support network, or jump onto Yammer, Griffith’s internal social networking platform.
You’ll discover most of your peers are going through the same trials, so ask for their advice and tips. Just knowing you’re not the only one dealing with the stresses and strains of postgraduate study can be reassuring in itself, so grab a cup of chamomile tea and reach out.