One thing you can be sure of during this time is that you are not alone in feeling some sort of stress. It is a difficult time for all, and we’ve put together some useful tips and websites that can help you.
We spoke to Dr Rachel Dodge, Qualifications Development Manager (and PhD in Psychology – focused on student wellbeing), who told us what's happening to our bodies and minds when we're feeling stressed, as well as ways to combat these effects.
What is Stress?
The NHS defines stress as the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure. When you feel unable to cope with pressure, it then turns into stress which can affect people in different ways.
The signs of stress
Stress can manifest itself in many ways; we tend to focus heavily on the emotive effects of stress such as the feeling of panic or not feeling in control, however, the effects of stress can also be found in our cognitive and physical states. Some people may be all too familiar feeling their legs weaken or their heart rate increase in some situations, as well as the feeling of struggling to concentrate in a tense situation. The good thing is though, there are ways to combat these feelings.
How to combat stress
1. Practice breathing techniques. It may sound simple but being able to control your breathing when you start to feel stressed is a really useful way to calm yourself down. It will give yourself some time to relax and clear your mind in order for you to refocus on the task in hand.
2.Try some mindfulness classes. There are a range of apps you can download for mindfulness or you can find videos on YoutTube. Mindfulness has been proven to help individuals better deal with the effects of stress. Practicing mindfulness will help you change the way you perceive the effects and allow you to utilise any pressure in a way that is beneficial.
3. Create, recite, remember and most importantly, believe, positive personal mantras. Perhaps easier said than done, changing the way you think will make all the difference in stressful situations. When stressed, we tend to focus heavily on the negative thoughts and potential outcomes of situations, but if you can channel your energy into believing the positive mantras you have created, then this will go a long way towards helping you to keep your head above the water in those high-pressure moments.
4. Remember to look after yourself. It’s important to take time out to do something you enjoy helping ease your mind, whether that’s doing a face mask and having a bath, reading or playing computer games, time for yourself is important. Eating properly, drinking plenty of water and keeping a social routine (as much as possible) are all important too.
One of the most important things to remember about stress over receiving your results is that if you are starting to feel overwhelmed, it's extremely likely that you are not alone in feeling this way. Talk to your friends about how you're feeling, and you may find that you'll be able to help each other. If you still need further guidance, then make sure you speak to a parent or guardian who can help you, there are also a range of resources online that we have linked below.