Its result time or India and students across the country are getting their exam results one by one. As they await their results, elements of anxiety and stress may start to emerge. Months of hard work and sustained focus coupled with the pressure of having to make crucial decisions about the immediate and long-term future can leave students feeling overwhelmed. The experience of selecting the right career path, the right university, the right course, deciding whether to have a gap year and how to finance it, devising a realistic Plan B and worrying about what one’s friends will be doing can all play a part in the build-up of stress.
Stress is a natural and essential survival response that can enhance performance at optimal levels. However excess stress can also have a negative impact on health and well-being. Although the effects of long-term stress on the mind and body vary for each individual, common features include muscle tension, palpitations, pain, fatigue, low mood, attention difficulties, and poor concentration and decision-making.
Learning how to manage stress is an invaluable tool crucial, especially on the day, for those who do not achieve the grades that they expected or needed. It is always difficult to cope with negative emotions and perceptions, but it is even harde but with support from family and friends it is possible.
Stress can lead to depression and suicidal thoughts. Every hour, one student commits suicide in India, and India has one of the world’s highest suicide rates for youth aged 15 to 29. Suicide is preventable. If you know someone who is feeling suicidal or is emotionally distressed, tell them that you care for them and be an active listener. Being empathetic helps the person feel understood and heard. It is important to realise that feeling suicidal is not the nature of the person but a mere state of mind. Counselling helps in such a situation.
Conversations with counsellors revealed that young people find it difficult to cope with failure in examinations and careers and neither families nor other social institutions offer adequate support or solace. Family background has an important role in determining how young people cope with despair. Students from “happy” families suffer from less depression.
One of the most effective stress management techniques is the understanding of the biological and psychological mechanisms that contribute to stress. Take deep breaths to calm the sensations in the body and acknowledge that these are natural stress responses that will soon pass.
It is important for parents and teachers to be extra careful during the exam result declaration time.
Here are a few tips to beat the Exams Results stress:
- Taking long walks in early morning sunlight boosts the level of the hormone Serotonin. Low levels of Serotonin are associated with Depression.
- Reduce your stress by taking dietary supplements such as omega 3 fatty acids. Low levels of Omega 3 fatty acids are linked to a host of mental/emotional issues such as Depression, suicide, violent behaviour etc.
- Have a healthy diet including dry fruits, flax seeds, fresh fruits and vegetables to improve mental health as well as physical health.
- Light exercises help boost your mood, it helps release the feel-good brain chemicals that ease Depression (neurotransmitters, endorphins, and endocannabinoids).
- Talk to a loved one or friend. Often, the simple act of talking to someone face to face can be an enormous help to someone suffering from depression. Talk to a friend, family member or a relative about what is bothering you.
- Relax and take time to chose the right course/college for your future. In order to relax and unwind, do one small thing which makes you happy.
- Handle peer pressure well. Comparison with peers is one of the major reason why people end up in an engineering college without having the aptitude or interest for it. Take time out to understand where your interest lies.
- Pet a dog or cat (if you have any). Pets are extremely therapeutic. Nothing beats the experience of putting a cuddly dog or cat, and it is good for you, while facing results anxiety.
- Understand that these marks do not define you, there are tons of examples of successful people who did not do well in academics. So please do not take hasty decisions in anxiety.
If you feel that you have tried everything to deal with your Depression on your own and nothing seems to work, then consult a professional counsellor. Exam results declaration can be a challenging part of school life for students and their parents. So do not lose hope and always look at the bright side! Seek help if you have to and be optimistic about your future. Please find below link of our psychiatry department for counselling :