Don't Let Stress Impact Your Academic Performance

By Fairleigh Dickinson University - Vancouver Modified on April 24, 2020

Getting a handle on pressures can help you as a student.

Two Fairleigh Dickinson University students manage stress to make the most of their post-secondary experience.

Everyone has experienced stress at some point in their life. It is the body's reaction to changes that require an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses. Although it's normal for everyone to feel stress sometimes, excessive stress isn't healthy for your body.

As students, we stress a lot throughout our academic careers. When we get stressed out, we get overwhelmed. Some signs of stress can include talking rapidly or growing very quiet. We become agitated and can lash out at our loved ones, or feel irritated by strangers. Therefore stress can negatively impact both our professional and our personal life. High levels of chronic stress can cause a decline in decision-making, increase the likelihood of making mistakes, and lead to lower productivity.

So to stop this domino effect, here are a few tips, tricks, and resources to help you manage your stress throughout your academic program.

Exercise Regularly

Physical activities like yoga and stretching, even only ten to 20 minutes per day, can elevate relaxation and help reduce stress. Moreover, this 20 minutes of physical activity can help you focus better on your studies because your body and brain will be refreshed and recharged. has quick and easy workouts that you can follow at home.

Get enough sleep

Another action you can take to help reduce stress is getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night. According to the American Psychological Association, "Adults who sleep fewer than eight hours a night report higher stress levels than those who sleep at least eight hours a night." Many students think it's a good idea to pull an all-nighter right before their exams, but doing this has a terrible impact on your brain, as students cannot reach their full potential and underperform in the exam.

Eat a healthy and balanced diet

Students often don't realize that your diet can play a significant role in boosting your brainpower. Having a proper diet is not usually considered as a stress management practice, but doing so can help reduce mood swings and keep you focused.

Prioritize your time

Stay up to date with all your assignments and complete all your tasks. Breaking down assignments and prior time management allows you to check your work thoroughly. Have a set time to study, write it down on your calendar and stay committed to it. Most importantly, do not procrastinate. Studying in blocks of 40 to 50 minutes can help students be as productive as possible. So, take a break and do something that helps you relax, for example: drink some green tea, listen to your favourite music, or meditate.

Use student support services on campus

Many post-secondary institutions have counsellors and peer tutors who are there to help students. Fairleigh Dickinson University Vancouver Campus (FDU) also offers confidential counselling services to their students to support them in various areas of mental and emotional health, including stress, anxiety, depression, concentration, and relationships. In addition to the counselling service, FDU offers peer tutoring. Peer tutors help students who are facing challenges in their academic studies.

Article by Dhruv Sharma, Student Ambassador, Fairleigh Dickinson University Vancouver Campus

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