stress

All posts tagged stress

The Simple Breathing Technique That Will Help You Sleep

Published November 26, 2015 by teacher dahl

breathing pix

QUESTION: I’ve had trouble sleeping as I’ve gotten older—is this a big problem?

ANSWER: Persistent insomnia becomes more common as we age. It’s a risk factor for weight gain and can disrupt the body’s regulation of blood sugar, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Continued lack of sleep can also affect cognitive function and increase stress-hormone levels that raise blood pressure and promote inflammatory changes associated with chronic disease. In other words, this is one problem you need to address.

For better sleep, try a technique like this relaxation breath exercise when you get into bed tonight. (For more help sleeping, check out these 20 ways to sleep better every night.)

  • Exhale through your mouth.
  • Close your mouth and inhale through your nose for a count of 4.
  • Hold your breath for 7 counts.
  • Exhale for 8 counts.
  • Repeat the sequence 3 times.

Credit: Prevention.com

Why Do We Yawn, and why is it contagious?

Published September 30, 2014 by teacher dahl

yawning pix

Why Do We Yawn?
1. Yawning doesn’t just mean you’re tired.
Next time you’re with a group of your friends, try this out. Take a big yawn, don’t forget to cover your mouth, and wait to see how many other people yawn. There’s a good chance your yawn will be contagious. In fact, before you even finish reading this story it is likely that you’ll yawn at least once. Not that I’m trying to bore you, but just reading about yawning will make you yawn.
2. Yawning doesn’t always mean you are bored. Adelie penguins actually yawn as part of their wooing ritual. Couples face each other and the males stand with their beaks wide open and face towards the sky.
As for why people yawn… good question. Nobody really knows why we yawn. For a while scientists believed that you yawned when there was too much carbon dioxide and not enough oxygen in your blood. Part of your brain realized this and triggered you to yawn. As your mouth stretches you inhale deeply, sending a shot of oxygen to the lungs and into the bloodstream. That theory went out the window because nobody can prove it.

The reason yawns are contagious?
Power of suggestion perhaps.

If you’re out late with your friends after school, you’re probably tired.

You’re probably on the verge of a yawn, too, and seeing one person do it is enough to drive everyone to yawns.

Have I made you yawn yet? If I have, I hope it’s not cuz you’re bored, but simply by the power of suggestion.

A Few Cool Yawning Facts

  • The average yawn lasts about six seconds.
  • 55 percent of people will yawn within five minutes of seeing someone else yawn.
  • Blind people yawn more after hearing an audio tape of people yawning.
  • Reading about yawning will make you yawn.
  • Olympic athletes often yawn before competition.

Coping With Exam Stress

Published August 23, 2014 by teacher dahl

eyes

As the examination period approaches, you may feel the pressure of the exams getting to you. This is not surprising — in fact it is quite normal to feel some anxiety about exams. Most people find that a bit of pressure spurs us on and enables us to get down and do some serious work.

General Exam Stress-Busting Tips:

  • Believe in yourself
    You wouldn’t have been given a place on the course if you didn’t have the ability to do it. Therefore, if you prepare for the exams properly you should do fine, meaning that there is no need to worry excessively.
  • Don’t try to be perfect
    It’s great to succeed and reach for the stars. But keep things in balance. If you think that “anything less than A+ means I’ve failed” then you are creating mountains of unnecessary stress for yourself. Aim to do your best but recognise that none of us can be perfect all of the time.
  • Take steps to overcome problems
    If you find you don’t understand some of your course material, getting stressed out won’t help. Instead, take action to address the problem directly by seeing your course tutor or getting help from your class mates.
  • Don’t keep things bottled up
    Confiding in someone you trust and who will be supportive is a great way of alleviating stress and worry.
  • Keep things in perspective
    The exams might seem like the most crucial thing right now, but in the grander scheme of your whole life they are only a small part.

lying examinee

 

Overcoming test anxiety:  General preparation

  • Building confidence

Review your personal situation and skills
Academic counselors can help you in these areas, or refer to our Guides on the topic:

  • Developing good study habits and strategies (a link to our directory)
  • Managing time
    (dealing with procrastination, distractions, laziness)
  • Organizing material to be studied and learned
  • Take a step by step approach to build a strategy and not get overwhelmed
    Outside pressures  success/failure consequences (grades, graduation), peer pressure, competitiveness, etc.
  • Reviewing your past performance on tests  to improve and learn from experience

Test preparation to reduce anxiety:  Approach the exam with confidence

  • Use whatever strategies you can to personalize success: visualization, logic, talking to your self, practice, team work, journaling, etc.
  • View the exam as an opportunity to show how much you’ve studied and to receive a reward for the studying you’ve done
  • Be prepared!
  • Learn your material thoroughly and organize what materials you will need for the test. Use a checklist
  • Choose a comfortable location for taking the test with good lighting and minimal distractions
  • Allow yourself plenty of time, especially to do things you need to do before the test and still get there a little early
  • Avoid thinking you need to cram just before
  • Strive for a relaxed state of concentration
  • Avoid speaking with any fellow students who have not prepared, who express negativity, who will distract your preparation
  • A program of exercise is said to sharpen the mind

Get a good night’s sleep the night before the exam

good sleep

Don’t go to the exam with an empty stomach

  • fresh fruits and vegetables are often recommended to reduce stress.
  • Stressful foods can include processed foods, artificial sweeteners, carbonated soft drinks, chocolate, eggs, fried foods, junk foods, pork, red meat, sugar, white flour products, chips and similar snack foods, foods containing preservatives or heavy spices

food

  • Take a small snack, or some other nourishment
  • to help take your mind off of your anxiety.
  • Avoid high sugar content (candy) which may aggravate your condition

exam stress pix

During the test:

  • Read the directions carefully
  • Budget your test taking time
  • Change positions to help you relax
  • If you go blank, skip the question and go on
  • If you’re taking an essay test
  • and you go blank on the whole test, pick a question and start writing. It may trigger the answer in your mind

Don’t panic    when students start handing in their papers. There’s no reward for finishing first

Use relaxation techniques
If you find yourself tensing and getting anxious during the test:

  • Relax; you are in control.
  • Take slow, deep breaths
  • Don’t think about the fear
  • Pause: think about the next step and keep on task, step by step
  • Use positive reinforcement for yourself:
  • Acknowledge that you have done, and are doing, your best

Expect some anxiety

  • It’s a reminder that you want to do your best and can provide energy
  • Just keep it manageable
  • Realize that anxiety can be a “habit”
  • and that it takes practice to use it as a tool to succeed

After the test, review how you did

  • List what worked, and hold onto these strategies
  • It does not matter how small the items are: they are building blocks to success
  • List what did not work for improvement
  • Celebrate that you are on the road to overcoming this obstacle

Source: studygs.net./humanities.manchester.uk

 

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