Are you a student suffering from academic anxiety and needing some help? Well, universities offer personal development, where you can embrace independence, make new friends, study, and enjoy. However, the prospect of living away from home, being surrounded by new people, dealing with student debt, and facing deadlines, expectations, and exams can be extremely daunting.
While these feelings are entirely normal, some people can go deeper and trigger anxiety, a common mental health condition characterised by persistent fear, panic, worry, or unease. This article will provide you with some self-help tips for dealing with academic anxiety at university to keep you on track.
What Causes Academic Anxiety in Students?
The following factors lead to significant academic anxiety in the students:
- Suffering from mental illness, loneliness, homesickness, or relationship problems
- Finding it difficult to save money or deal with debt, not knowing how to balance work and study, worrying about exam revision
- Struggling with essay or dissertation writing and unsure of what to do after graduation
- Alcohol or drug abuse or withdrawal can be harmful
In the article below, we will guide you on how to get rid of such academic anxiety.
What Are The Best Way To Deal With Academic Anxiety When You Are A Student?
The following five methods will help you relieve academic stress, and you will be better able to deal with your academic anxiety.
- Practising Mindfulness
- Talking to Friends
- Getting Regular Sleep
- Time Management
Let us describe these helpful tips in detail now.
It does not have to be a strenuous gym session or a ten-mile run; get your heart rate up by going for a brisk walk or a bike ride.
Regular exercise can help relieve stress in a variety of ways, including:
- Breathing-centred exercises, such as yoga and pilates, are beneficial for grounding and breathing management.
- Aerobic exercise can help manage stress hormones, release tension, and increase endorphin levels, resulting in a ‘feel good’ feeling.
As we know, social engagement benefits our mental health and well-being. Team sports and activities can add a social dimension to help someone with academic anxiety and stress management.
Mindfulness, a Buddhist relaxation technique, is a popular coping mechanism for those students dealing with stress or academic anxiety. It can significantly reduce stress levels when used by clinicians to improve patients’ physical and mental health. Usually, it is done through deep breathing or guided meditation.
It is more effective if practised regularly. There is evidence that mindfulness can improve the body’s response to stress and change the shape of the brain after eight weeks of regular practice. One of the most convenient ways to practise this is to use free smartphone apps like The Mindfulness App, Calm, and Headspace. Several books on the subject are also available.
Talking to Friends
Isolation can have a devastating effect on your happiness. Accepting that you require assistance and speaking with someone is frequently the first step towards feeling better. You’ll probably discover that you’re not alone if you talk to other students on your course. It can help put things into context. Inquire about their stress-management techniques.
It would help if you spoke with your friends and family; they know you best and care the most about you. Also, studies show that socialising with a friend once a week can reduce stress and improve mood just as much as therapy or counselling.
Make an appointment with your student well-being service. Most institutions have these, and they should be your first point of contact if you’re worried, stressed, or upset about anything. They will lend a sympathetic ear and refer you to specialist services that can provide specific assistance if necessary. While well-being services do not offer counsel, most universities provide free counselling and support groups. Session topics range from surviving freshers’ week to dealing with post-Christmas exam stress.
Getting Regular Sleep
It may appear to be an obvious solution, but it is frequently overlooked. Since no one functions at 100% when they are tired, your mental health and well-being are dependent on you getting enough sleep.
You must try to get up and go to bed simultaneously every day. It is advised to get seven to eight hours of sleep per night. It may not be possible every night of the week but strive for it more often. Here are a few tips for handling academic anxiety by getting enough sleep:
- Try to unwind as much as possible before going to bed.
- To unwind, take a bath or a warm shower, watch your favourite TV show, listen to a podcast, or sit quietly and read.
- Avoid as much screen time as possible, and turn off laptops, phones, and tablets at least an hour before bed.
- Put all study materials away if you study in the same room where you sleep.
These steps will help you stay more organised and relaxed, increasing productivity.
Do you ever feel that there aren’t enough hours in the day? You are not alone. Students frequently become stressed when they believe they are running out of time to complete a task, which could be related to study or work, or it could stem from feeling overwhelmed with social activities. On the other hand, simple time management techniques can help you feel more relaxed and focused. Some of such techniques include:
- Make a written schedule, break your tasks into manageable chunks, plan accordingly, and set aside time daily to relax or socialise.
- Divide your work into urgent and non-urgent tasks and important and minor ones.
- You can hire assignment writing services to craft the best academic papers per your needs if your deadline is too near and you face severe academic anxiety.
- Examine your institution’s website. Most universities create useful content pages, skill guides, and toolkits to assist you in learning soft skills such as time and stress management.
These tips will effectively help you in managing time.
Self-care is extremely important when you are confronted with challenges and experiences that have the potential to overwhelm and stress you. It would help if you thought about developing a self-care routine and scheduling and prioritising activities supporting your coping mechanisms, such as exercise, eating regularly and well, fluids, sleep, hygiene, social engagements, and ‘downtime’ hobbies. All of these activities will assist you in handling your academic anxiety.
If you’ve tried all of these coping strategies but still can’t break the stress cycle, it’s a good idea to see your doctor to ensure that the symptoms you’re experiencing are indeed stress-related and that there are no underlying issues.