Life as a student is stressful no matter what age but more so when in the last years of high school. The pressures of learning and doing well in the end of year exams can mount up and become overwhelming. It can get to a point where stress stops you from studying.
As students get older and move through higher classes, they are conscious of preparing themselves for going out into the world. They may have an after-school job and juggle their studies in a balancing act with the rest of their lives. There is a lot of pressure to do well to set them up for the rest of their lives.
Often every spare minute of a student’s waking day is filled with worry about doing well and living up to expectations as well as the pressures of everyday life. All this can lead to burnout if you do not reduce the stress in your or your children’s lives.
Recognising student stress
It can be difficult to recognise stress in your child or teenager. Signs to watch out for include:
- disturbances in sleep patterns
- mood swings and irritability
- either hungry all the time or a loss of appetite
- constantly worried about everything
- no longer wanting to do the things they once enjoyed
- more negative than usual and appear to feel down
- frequent headaches and stomach aches
- has a hopeless outlook on the future.
So, what do you do if you see these signs in your child? Teach them mindfulness to help relieve their stress and help them study for their exams. Mindfulness is simply being in the present while becoming aware of and acknowledging how you feel and think. Here are some mindfulness tips for stressed out students to help them cope with pressure.
Encourage mindfulness studying
Mindfulness study is taking a few minutes to become aware of where you are before sitting down to study. Consciously think about how sitting in the chair feels. What sounds do you hear? What can you smell? How does the room make you feel?
Download my Study Focus Accelerator to help you become laser focused. Take a few deep breaths paying attention to how it physically feels to breathe in and out. Before you start studying, set a time limit of 20 to 25 minutes to take a quick break. Be alert to your focus wandering from your study. Simply take a few deep breaths when your mind wanders off and refocus on your work. There will always be distractions of some sort so there is no point letting them make you feel frustrated. The more you practice mindfulness; the less distractions will affect you.
Practice mindfulness meditation together
Practice mindfulness meditation with your child to help them learn how to reduce their stress. Download a free copy of my Mindfulness Meditation audio program to listen to as you meditate.
To get started get comfortable and take a few deep breaths. As you do, notice your surroundings, the space in the room or the garden. Listen to the sound of the world, cars going past, dogs barking in the background, the singing of birds. Are there any scents on the air such as your neighbour’s cooking? Notice any lingering tastes in your mouth.
Now pay attention to your breathing; to the sensation of inhaling slowly and exhaling. Count the number of breaths you take if it helps you focus. When your mind wanders, and it will, take notice of the thoughts, acknowledge them and bring your mind back to your breathing.
Try to make time to do this with your child every day for a few minutes. Also, prompt your child to meditate when you see stress affecting them.
Benefits of mindfulness meditation for kids:
- helps them focus and improve performance
- promotes better behaviour
- fosters compassion for others and self-esteem
- give confidence a boost
- improves happiness and empathy for others
- can reduce ADHD.
Body Scan Mindfulness Meditation
Teaching the kids to practice body scan mindfulness meditation will instantly help them calm down and release their stress.
How often do you only really notice parts of your body when they cause pain? Most people are only aware of different parts of their body when they do not function correctly. The body scan mindfulness meditation helps you become more aware of all parts of your body. Are you ready to start? It will take between 20 and 30 minutes.
Download my free mindfulness audio program which could help you focus. Get comfortable. Lie on the bed or couch or lie on the grass outside under a tree with your child. Take a moment. Take a few breaths and start scanning every inch of your body from the top of your head down to your toes. You do not need to linger for long in any one particular area. Take notice of areas that feel relaxed or tense. What areas have pain? Do you have stress related neck pain, for example?
Avoid dwelling on any areas of pain or discomfort. Acknowledge the pain but move on. The purpose of the body scan is to discover what feels good and not so good throughout your body. Not to change it.
Spend a few moments exploring every part of your body as you meditate. When you are ready, pay attention to your body as a whole while still paying attention to your breathing. And, when ready, open your eyes and remain in position for a few moments savouring how you feel before getting up.
Use mindfulness breathing
Breathing is at the heart of all mindfulness. You breathe automatically to stay alive. But you can also breathe intentionally. You do not need to do anything special. With mindfulness breathing you only focus on your breathing and how it physically feels.
As you breathe in feel your lungs expand to accept the life-giving air and how they relax as you exhale. Where do you feel the strongest physical sensation in your body as you breathe? Your airways? As the breath expels through your mouth. Do not try to change anything. The purpose is awareness and to focus on breathing without being judgemental for a few minutes to remove any stress.
The benefit of mindfulness breathing is you and your child can practice it when and wherever you are when you need to. It will help you feel calmer in just a few minutes.
Learn to show gratitude
We often automatically show gratitude to the people we cross paths with every day but do your children or you truly feel gratitude?
Keep a gratitude journal. Write what you are grateful for daily. Writing your thoughts down helps you to see each situation with greater clarity and appreciate it in more depth. Get the kids into the habit of keeping a gratitude diary to help the appreciate all the amazing things they have in their life.
Consciously notice the world
Teach your child to notice the world around them when they feel stressed or overwhelmed. It helps bring them back to the present. This is simple to do by asking your child to name five things they can see, hear, smell or feel with touch.
You can teach this to your child by sitting down together and telling them you are going to play the Name five things game. Start the game with you naming five things that you notice and then it is your child’s turn.
Once your child gets the idea of the game let them know they can play it by themselves whenever they feel stressed. Play the game on a regular basis and mix it up with noticing things you can smell, hear and feel. Once they get the hang of the game and can see how it works, your child will learn to use this when they feel they feel overwhelmed or are losing control.
Get help for students
Childhood, school and studying can be a tough time for children. Especially for kids in the last years of high school with exams looming down on them. Many believe their future links to exam results. With the help of these tips you can help them learn how to dial down their stress so they can focus on passing their exams.
But if you need more help, download the Ultimate Performance Accelerator Bundle which could help your child focus on studying. Or, contact us to find out how we can help you get rid of the stress and refocus attention to pass those exams. We can help you quickly deal with stress. We can work with you in our Spas, over the phone or via Skype. Book in today for my Emotional Empowerment Program. I have an introductory offer for just $79 so you can start taking back control of your life. We can help you or child deal with the stress of being a student and succeed in your exams. Invest in yourself and children today.
Let me help to stop stress in its tracks
My Emotional Empowerment Program has helped thousands of people like you control their mental health issues so they live happier, less stressed out lives. With my help you can learn to stop these crippling symptoms taking over your life without the use of prescribed medications. I can help you and your children replace student stress with happiness, peace and contentment in weeks not years. Have a listen to what Kaylee has to say about my program after only a few sessions.