Studying is one of the most important parts of succeeding at school, but it can also be one of the biggest and most consistent sources of school pressures. So how can you lower stress when it’s time to hit the books? Here are some healthy study habits that help me when I have to do intensive research for a project.
How to Reduce Stress When Studying
#1: Take Care of Your Body
Your brain and your body are inseparable. So caring for your physical health can only help your study time be more effective and more productive. This includes things like:
- Not drinking too much caffeine, which can make you feel more anxious
- Drinking plenty of water
- Replacing sugary snacks with more nutritious, protein-rich snacks (veggies, mixed nuts, hummus, etc.)
I like to keep a bottle of water nearby while working so I can stay hydrated. Caring for our bodies is a great way to keep our minds sharp.
#2: Take Mindful Breaks
Taking breaks during studying can be beneficial, and can help you sustain your focus better when it’s time to get back to work. Time your breaks for between 5 and 10 minutes for each hour of study time. During this time, you might:
- Pray or meditate: If your study time is particularly stressful, or for a high-stakes test, it is a good idea to still yourself with some deep breathing, so you can remind yourself that God can handle anything. No matter what you’re facing, it will not overwhelm God.
- Move: Healthy movement, like walking around the room or doing some light stretching, keeps the blood flowing. That makes you feel better, and can give you a little energy boost during a long evening of studying.
Pairing regular, short breaks with a mindful attitude is a great way to build healthy study habits that make you feel better, not worse.
#3: Study Every Day
Even if you don’t have an assignment due the next day, regularly reviewing what you learned is more effective than just cramming the night before a big exam or project due date.
Like practicing a musical instrument, the more you familiarize yourself with what you’re studying, the more comfortable you’ll become with the material.
#4: Have a Support System
According to the American Psychological Association, respondents in a stress study who had a support system reported they had a significantly lower stress level than people without a support system. Just knowing someone is there for you, or there with you, can make a big difference. This can mean:
- Studying with a group: If you’re all committed to doing well, a study group can be a great means of support. You can divide up the study materials, so it is not all on one person’s plate. And instead of having to rely only on your memory, you get the benefit of what others remember, too.
- Tutoring: Getting a tutor can turn things around if you are struggling in a class. Your instructor can recommend a tutor, or you can find a friend you trust who is doing well in a difficult subject and ask if they are willing to help.
Sometimes, no matter what you try, it feels like school pressures are overwhelming. You don’t have to face them alone. Chat with a HopeCoach from TheHopeLine today. Make a plan to lower stress, build healthier study habits, and succeed this school year. We are here for you.
If you’re feeling stressed from school, there are ways to cope. Read my blog, School Pressure: How to Cope with Stress in a Healthier Way.
Photo by Kyle Gregory Devaras