Student Stress: Sick of University?

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Ever felt breathless, sick, heart pounding and racing, dizzy just before an exam or a presentation? That’s adrenalin (I’m not the right sort of doctor to pronounce on medical issues so I’m assuming that you will visit your GP if you are ill – please 🙂 ).

Adrenalin kicks in when we are under stress, be it physical or mental. It prepares the body for fight or flight and can be pretty powerful, particularly when students supplement it with caffeine and sugar! Here’s the thing: adrenalin is designed to power your body to do something. If it is given no outlet, adrenalin can make you feel ill. If this goes on for long enough it can actually contribute to making you ill with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / ME or exacerbate other illnesses.

Humans function well under certain kinds of stress – ask any athlete how well they peform when they’re sitting in their comfort zone 🙂 . Stress is not bad per se but if you are getting stressed and adrenalin is coursing through your body it needs an outlet: exercise, effective breathing and dealing with the cause of the stress ie studying as effectively as you can.

I wrote a post on stress here but will include the breathing exercise here too:

BREATHE. Simply breathing deeply and taking the time to exhale as far as you can really does help. 5 minutes will make an enormous difference but in fact even taking 3 deep breaths (and exhaling!) will help more than you expect it to. Simple exercise: breathe in for a count of 3, hold your breath for 3, exhale for 3. Repeat but for a count of 4, then 5. The brain needs oxygen :-) .

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