Like most people in life I have had my own battles with stress and aniexty.
I used to have aniexty/panic attacks everyday, all day, for months. To the point where my mother would worry so much and take me to A&E this then led to other problems concerning my health. Anyway...when I felt like I was over the aniexty attacks I got a tattoo as closure 'Just Breathe' to remind me to relax and to show that I am a very strong person and I can get over such hard times.
On the OU Skills bit of the site there are tips & tricks to help manage with stress - which I have found very useful. Furthermore it also shows how much the OU cares for their students - I am only 18 and so I've just come out of education really and I must say not many colleges or universitys etc etc actually care about the students as people they just care about the money - it's sad but true.
The Skills page gave ideas of how to relax when under exams - I don't think I have to take any actual exams on my module but I do think it will help anyway.
Visulising someplace else:
The tip is to visual someplace nice feel the warmth and the breeze and other nice asspects of it - I did try it and it really does make you feel much more relaxed!!
"Create a scene in your imagination. Think of a scene - real or imaginary, and from any time - that makes you feel safe, warm, secure and peaceful, with no uneasy feelings. Make it vivid - feel the breeze, the warmth, picture the colours, hear the sounds. Practise visualising this scene as often as you can. When you want to feel calm then think of this scene and imagine it for a short while. Then return your thoughts to the matter in hand. The sense of calm should stay with you and enable you to cope better with whatever comes."
How to prevent stress:
  • keep fit by taking some exercise you enjoy
  • relax, perhaps by sitting quietly or meditating
  • eat well, but healthily
  • get sufficient sleep
  • take some planned time away from study, rather than feel you're avoiding revision
  • be pleased with your achievements as you revise
  • reward yourself with an occasional treat
^ these points where taken directly from the OU Skills Part of the website under 'coping with exam stress'
To myself personally self-talk is very important as it shows how you feel about yourself, if you think something negative of your else e.g. "I'm worthless" then you will in turn feel bad about yourself. On the other hand if you think positively - even though it's hard and sometimes very difficult to do! You will in turn feel much better about yourself, e.g. looking in the mirror and saying to yourself "I am a good person".
Self-Talk is also why I got the tattoo, when having an aniexty attack most people will talk to themselves to calm down as a form of self help e.g. "Just Breathe, it will be ok don't panic...."
The OU website gave some excellent points to help you understand and better your self-talking:
  • What were you telling yourself?
  • Was it positive or negative?
  • What were your feelings?
  • What did you learn from these feelings?
If you described negative feelings and statements then the OU tells you to try and change them into positive ones which then consequents to positive actions!
"You may discover that you undermine yourself by negative self-talk. Keep re-wording negative statements into positives. Positive self-talk is a powerful tool."
This is just like in CBT (cognative behavouiral therapy) which I myself have had, They tell you to write down something that you think about yourself e.g. "I'm worthless" they then tell you to write down why YOU think or rather feel that way. Then after that you can only write down FACTS of why it's true NOT just because you feel it, after doing this you then move onto to thinking actually I'm not worthless because there are no real facts to support this evidence! thus making you feel more positive about yourself! :)

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