Stress refers to a situation where our resources are tight or not sufficient to meet the expectations and demands placed on us. These demands can come from external sources, but we often also set too high expectations for ourselves.
Stress factors related to studying can include constant academic pressure, lack of control over studying, a workload that feels unreasonable, hurry, challenges in time management, or a feeling that our abilities are not enough for studying. Conflicts in relationships, a negative study atmosphere, and a sense of exclusion can also increase stress. Different changes in our own lives or daily routines can also cause stress.
Sometimes even positive things, such as starting a new relationship, job, or studying, can cause stress.
However, it is important to remember that not all stress is harmful. Beneficial, short-term stress can make us act more efficiently, for example, in dangerous situations or improve our performance. Exhaustion, difficulty concentrating, and inability to make clear decisions are sure signs of harmful stress.
Therefore, stress is a natural part of human life, but it requires rest and recovery as a counterbalance.
The experience of stress is individual. Can you identify which situations in studying cause stress for you? And what methods can you use to manage stress?
It is good to learn to recognize the symptoms of stress, as then you can intervene in them at an early stage. Recognize stress with the help of the traffic light model developed by YTHS:
GREEN: Resources are sufficient, continue the journey!
- I feel that I am doing well and have enough energy
- I pay attention to sufficient breaks and my concentration is good
- There is time for recovery
- I have enough energy and enjoy studying
YELLOW: Slow down and anticipate.
- My mind and body are running on overdrive
- I am constantly tired and have difficulty concentrating
- I sleep poorly and wake up multiple times during the night
- Relaxing and calming down feels challenging
RED: Stop – resources are running low
- My mind and body are running on low energy
- Starting things is difficult
- I feel like I can’t handle all the workload
- I am so tired that I don’t feel like getting out of bed in the morning
- I am not interested in studying.
Taking control of stress
There are many ways to manage stress. The most important thing is to find the ones that work for you. Pay attention to at least these:
- Take care of the basics of everyday life. Maintain routines that support your daily life; regular daily rhythm, sufficient exercise, and a varied diet.
- Make sure your time management is effective. One source of stress in studying is the feeling that there is not enough time to do everything that needs to be done. Find the time management methods that work best for you, supporting your progress in your studies while also ensuring that you have enough time for rest and recovery.
- Stick to your boundaries and also say no. It is important to recognize when there are too many things going on at once in your daily life.
- Set limits and prioritize work: determine where to invest effort and what things can be set aside. Remember that your own well-being is always at the top of the priority list!
- Pay attention to sufficient breaks during study days. Taking breaks prevents mental exhaustion and serves as a more effective way to recover throughout the day.
- Find ways to relax. Nature, art, and exercise are, for example, excellent ways to relieve stress.