What is stress?
Stress is the reaction people have to excessive demands or pressures, such as passing exams. You may find it difficult to cope with tasks, responsibilities or other types of pressures or you might get anxious trying to meet such demands. This could be seen in you worrying excessively about getting results or about what you will do afterwards. Not only does it mess with your mind, it could also be affecting your physical health.
What are the symptoms?
- Difficulty getting to sleep or difficulty waking up in the morning
- Constant fatigue
- Aches and pains for no apparent reason
- Poor appetite
- Social withdrawal
- Loss of interest in activities
- Increased anxiety and irritability
- “Flying off the handle”
- Increased heart rate
- Blurred vision
Everyone has bad days but if you’ve noticed three or more of the above symptoms and you’ve experienced them for some weeks you may need to do something about your stress levels. Visit your local GP to rule out other possible reasons for the symptoms such as depression. If you think you may be suffering from stress it is worth visiting your GP for a check up. Stressed out people have higher blood pressure, and where stress-levels hit boiling point sufferers are at a higher risk of death from any cause than their more chilled out colleagues. They are also prone to heart disease, colitis (inflammation of the bowels), thyroid disorders, and ulcers.
What causes it?
In the case of exam results time it may be:
- Pressure from parents and relatives to do well.
- The need to get high grades to get on track for the career you really want (be it medicine, journalism or mechanics).
- Uncertainty on what to do next – “There are so many options, what if I make the wrong choice?”.
- The whole process of everything changing in your life – friends and yourself maybe moving away, your daily and weekly structure will be totally different.
The thing to remember is that while all of these fears and concerns are completely natural (all your mates are probably feeling exactly the same whether they let on or not) if you are getting yourself really worked up you need to try and relax.