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How to manage stress

Peak stress period is going on for those who have submitted fees and are preparing for September. And then it’s not only the stress of study, somehow everything just happens to come up when you least want it. Today, I am going to share with you some stress relieving tips and techniques which have always helped me to pass through the most stressful situations. Although my focus will be on the stress of exam, I hope this blog will serve the purpose beyond exams also.

I’m not aiming to write any technical stuff or a scholarly article on how to manage stress, but will just share some time tested strategies that have always worked for me. Accept the responsibility: I have discovered that to cope with stress, the most important step is to accept the responsibility of the role you play in creating, maintaining or aggravating a stress. With a little tweak in the way you think, you can bring a dramatic drop in your stress levels.

The fact is that you chose to go through the stress of this exam, no one else but you decided to sit for it with some aims and dreams in mind. Then why not to enjoy taking this challenge instead of beating your head against the desk? Growing wings is painful, but the joy to soar high in the sky is worth this pain. Shift your focus from the stress to your aims/dreams and you might be surprised to discover that you can actually get addicted to the stress of an exam in anticipation of a brilliant result.

Declutter your mind: Have you ever noticed that when one thing goes wrong, everything else seems to go bizarre? It just feels like you are trapped in the middle of a cobweb with no possible way out. Here’s my most powerful tool for such phases: Sit down alone with a paper and pen in hand, think carefully and list down every single bit that is bothering you around. You are likely to end up with a list of 13-15 items. Make sure you list down every single thing, no matter how big or small it might be. By doing so, basically you are trying to identify the stress and the source it is coming from. Now, when the list is ready, go through each point one by one and prioritize. You will be surprised to find that out of 13 only 1-2 or maximum 3 issues would be of high priority requiring your urgent attention. Rest of all the issues are there to entertain your nerves. Don’t ignore these apparently less important issues, instead think about them one by one and either sort them out there & then or keep them in a waiting list to be sorted later.

Now, come to the most important issues and device a proper plan to deal with them. Set out realistic deadlines and kick start. Remember, focus is nothing more than removing distractions. So, by this process you can remove the distractions and will be able to focus on your target. Phew!!! Your stress level will fall down to 2 or 3 at the scale of 10. (do remember to say a silent prayer for me when this happens)

Look at the positive side:

My next strategy is to look at the positive side of even the most negative picture in view. There are many things in life that we can’t change but we can change our outlook to those things. No one is a super human with unseen powers to combat stress. We all are ordinary people with a lot going on in our lives at a given time. Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for bends and breaks, wear and tear, ups and downs. Stillness and stiffness are signs of dead. So, if you accept stress as an essential part of life, you can then focus on how to deal with it instead of wasting time and energy in complaining about it.

Always remember, nothing in life comes for free, there is a price we all have to pay for everything. If you are under the stress of exam today, then it’s you who will be celebrating your success tomorrow. For now, all you have to do is to sort out a few things and bite the bullet. Believe that on the other side is either a better situation or a better you. i.e. even if you don’t get through the exam, you have definitely learnt a few valuable lessons. Give time to yourself: You MUST know what gives you a sense of fulfillment. Every person has something that gives them an inner strength. Do that as often as you need.

Examples are: – Pray – Exercise – Socialize – Write a journal Last but not the least, we must accept that life is all about a moment-to-moment survival and nothing else….fight or flight. I choose to fight. What do you choose?

July 1, 2014

2 Responses on How to manage stress"

  1. Asma Naqi says:

    Hi Heba,
    I am sorry to know that you are struggling. The courses are online and you can join anytime you wish. For March, you should not delay any further to give yourself enough time to prepare well.
    You can find courses and a sample tutorial on the link below
    Good luck !!

  2. Dear Dr Asma
    If you Plz I want to know when the osce and written course will start and end I wish to enter the next march exam I actually enter the mrcog exam twice but not pass need your help and support

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