Exams Stress Wellbeing

10 ways to stay calm and confident

At different points in our lives, we may all experience varying levels of worry or stress, but there are lots of things you can do to manage this. Here are some tips to help you do just that

1. Try relaxation technique

Relaxing is great to way to help yourself stay calm and effective. This can be in the form of meditation, yoga or any other sort of mindfulness activity. The University’s Counselling Service run regular mindfulness sessions, or you can look at their relaxation audio downloads.

2. Time Management is key

Working smart is essential; the best part is that is saves you time to do other things you want such as catching up on Netflix, reading or playing a sport. In the long term, it can be a challenge to balance your time management skills without procrastinating creeping in. There are lots of online resources available to help you manage your time – why not take a look.

3. Eliminate stimulants

Often we overlook simple answers that are right in front us, so try getting a good night’s sleep and a healthy breakfast to ensure you have enough energy, instead of stimulating food and drink. High doses of caffeine or energy drinks can lead to panic attacks, shaking hands and a rapid heartbeat, often doing more damage than we expect and affecting your long term health.

4. Accept the elements of randomness

It can be easy to always blame yourself for things that go wrong, but try to understand that some things in life can’t be changed, and putting your best in to what you can control is enough. For example, there is no good in allowing the weather to bother you, as worrying won’t change the weather. Alternatively, look at how you can make the most of every moment, spend the rainy day reading or even go jogging in the rain!

5. Laugh more and smile

Freaking out about your busy schedule? Smile, just like the famous philosopher Bob Marley said: “Don’t worry, about a thing”. Taking life less seriously can ironically help you live a better life. Spend some time watching comedy, as laughing increases oxygen and blood flow, which in turn reduces stress.

6. Enjoy time with friends

During stressful times, you can feel lonely, so spending time with friends will help you feel more confident and relaxed. Finding time to do social activities such as grabbing a drink or going shopping with your friends will help bring some positive energy

7. Eat well

Eating lean protein, vegetables, whole foods, and a moderate carbohydrate intake will help you feel better in general and work effectively. It is easy to crave junk food and sugar, but remember that these will make you even more tired and sluggish in the long run.

8. Take control

We can all sometimes fall in to negative thinking patterns, but simply understanding this is crucial, as it allows you to be consciously aware and take control of what you can do to mitigate these negative emotions. You could try using Silvercloud through the University, to learn therapeutic techniques that spot these patterns.

9. Pursue your passions

Try to spend some time away from your desk! You may have lots to do with studying, work and seminars, but do your best to squeeze in a couple of hours a week to do the activity you really enjoy. It is always healthy to feed the soul, and it can make you more productive when you return to studying.

10. Reward yourself

When accomplishing personal goals, big or small, treat yourself to something nice. This can be as simple as a nice meal, a relaxing night or even a weekend away. Take notice and enjoy each achievement before you jump into the next thing.

For more wellbeing advice, check out the Manchester Six Ways to Wellbeing.