Just a few years ago, scoring 90 percent in the board exams was considered quite a big deal. In today’s competitive scenario, even 95 percent doesn’t seem enough if one wishes to pursue one’s dream career or get into the best colleges. This has obviously created an environment of undue stress and pressure for both parents and students and justifiably so. However, it is important to remember that marks alone don’t guarantee professional success and board exam results are not the end of the world. It is more imperative, instead, to maintain one’s mental and emotional equilibrium and ensure that result-related anxiety doesn’t harm one’s health and peace of mind.
While it is normal to feel stressed with exam results, too much of it can take a toll on your health and can actually lead to physical ailments such as insomnia, excessive fatigue and irritability, unexplained aches and pains, migraines, blurred visions,loss of appetite, snappiness, panic attacks and even weight gain in many cases. To avoid this scenario, parents and students alike must follow the below tips and must remember that what is done is done and there is no point losing sleep over the impending results.
Tips for students
1. Refrain from comparisons: There is a high possibility of your friends, siblings or cousins scoring higher grades than you. However, there is no point about worrying yourself silly over that. You scored what you were capable of in this particular examination and by comparing yourself to others, you are hampering your own ability to do better next time.
2. Discussing answers post-examination is absolutely useless: Once the examination is over, avoid discussing your answers with your friends. Even though you have made a good attempt, you might not remember the answer you marked. This only adds to the anxiety and makes you more stressed prior to the results.
3. Overthinking is a bad idea: Do not obsess over your exam results because it will not allow you to redo what has been attempted and change your score. Instead of giving into undue mental stress and mulling over the results, keep your cool, learn from the mistakes you might have made and continue with your daily activities like catching up with friends, enjoying retail therapy with your parents, watching comedy shows or taking a vacation.
5. Focus on a balanced diet: Unnecessary stress can hamper your diet leading to health disorders yet again. Be logical and consume a balanced diet, focusing onample hydration. This will helpin reducing the stress levels by increasing the serotonin levels in the body which are responsible for giving a sense of relaxation.
6. Exercising: This is the best time to divert your mind and pamper your mind and body by doing some or the other form of exercise. Go for a jog, join a kickboxing or a Zumba class, or take membership of your neighbourhood gym. Working out will not only increase the endorphin levels which aid in calming the mind and body, it will also break down the cortisol hormone which causes stress.
7. If beyond control, consult a doctor: Do not take it lightly if the stress and anxiety levels become intolerable. One needs to rush to the doctor immediately for help though the idea of consulting a doctor for the same may not always be easy. If you feel shy in facing a medical expert, consult them over the phone to maintain a certain level of anonymity. This will make it easier for you to open up with them without any hesitance and cope with stress in the comfort of your home
Tips for parents
1. Setting unrealistic expectations can be upsetting: Your child might be a performer and excellent in academics but that should not lead you to set unrealistic expectations and force him/her to become a topper. This puts unnecessary pressure on the child and can create extreme levels of stress and anxiety. Remember that all students cannot be toppers or first rankers. Academics is just one aspect of life and it is imperative for you to remind your child that regardless of their academic performance you will love them just the same after the results are out.
2. Avoid performance comparison with peers: Comparing your child’s performance with other students can have a negative impact on his/her mental health. In fact, it only makes the situation worse by hampering your child’s ability to perform as they end up doubting their capability. The best way to check their performance is to compare the current one with past results and to motivate them to do better the next time.
3. Talk to a psychiatrist: Results is a crucial time for your children. This is when they would need your support the most. If you notice your child undergoing any of the symptoms mentioned above, consult a psychiatrist to learn about the best ways in which you can help your child combat stress and anxiety. Rather than make a big deal out of it in front of your child, you can converse with world-renowned psychiatrists and psychologists through various doctor consultation apps like DocsApp and talk about combating stress and anxiety in school going children and teenagers with ease and privacy.
Afterall, as parents, it is your responsibility to ensure that your children are leading a stress-free life and staying motivated to cope with any situation coming their way. Till then, make good use of these tips. Good luck with the results!
Authored by Dr. Gowri Kulkarni, specialist in Family Medicine and Adult Psychiatric disorders and Head of Operations at DocsApp.