We all know that the civil services exam is one of the toughest exams to crack in the country. The UPSC aspirants face a lot of issues along with the mostly ignored issue called “stress”. Many students move away from their families for the preparation and take up accommodations which provide little comfort. Some don’t know how to cook and completely dependent on the mess food or street food. They put in 15-18 hours of hard work because of the pressure. The lack of sleep, unhealthy food, mental pressure causes a lot of physical and mental issues. Stress & anxiety are common among the youth but it’s hardly ever paid any heed to only to face the consequences later. So, if you are stressed, deal with it now and deal with it in the right manner.Here are a few tips:
- Train your brain to be quiet: Meditation has multiple benefits on your mind and body. Meditating for just 10 minutes a day can do wonders for your brain. Meditation helps you deal better with a lot of things in life. Most importantly, it helps eliminate the random negative thoughts that occupy your mind and contribute to stress and anxiety.
- Get proper rest: Take proper sleep (7-8 hours). Chronic sleep deprivation can really strain your nerves and reduce your cognitive abilities, reduce your IQ and also your concentration power. Follow a simple nighttime routine to help you unwind better. Setting a bedtime alarm can be a good idea. Also, make the environment around you conducive to sleep.
- Keep yourself happy: Happiness is a habit and not an effect as most people would like to think. Nothing causes a person to be happy, you are happy because you want to be. So, you must never stop wanting to be happy. Look for what you can do to become a much happier person each day. A positive mindset is the key.
- Think of the big picture: When often focus on trivial things and forget our goal. In times such as those take some time to ask yourself the right questions, get to the root of the problem and take smart decisions.
- Eat a balanced diet: Eating healthy plays an important role in keeping your stress levels down. A hormone called cortisol is responsible for causing stress in your system. Magnesium helps reduce the cortisol levels. Food such as nuts, leafy greens, berries, raw cocoa are high in magnesium content. Eat a low sugar and high protein diet and don’t drink your calories. Do not skip meals and snack on healthy foods.
- Drink a lot of water: You should drink atleast 2 litres of water to keep yourself healthy. Lack of water causes a havoc in your system if you are working under pressure.
- Find a hobby: Art keeps you occupied in a meaningful way and also helps you destress. So, find a hobby and stick to it.
- Challenge your body, let your mind take the backseat: Physical exercises are very good for the brain, as they help release the feel good hormones like endorphins. They also help improve your brain’s cognitive performance and problem solving abilities. It also helps boost long term memory. You can choose to do yoga, cardio exercises or something simpler like a run in your neighbourhood or brisk walking.
- Read more (Watch less TV): Reading helps the mind unwind and relax. It not only entertains but exercises your brain and makes you a much knowledgeable person capable of striking up aconversation with anyone anywhere.
Handling stress is an ultimate deciding factor between two individuals with equal opportunities and capabilities. Performance is a combination of intelligence and your state of mind. While you keep acquiring more knowledge, but if your state of mind is not right it is of no avail. So, handling stress is very important. One way to handle stress is to look beyond the task that needs to be accomplished. If you focus too much on the task you will end up stressing so instead look at yourself beyond the process. This will amazingly calm your mind. During the course of your preparation keep your mind as stress free as you can. Take corrective steps to avoid any such problems that might be hampering your preparation. You deserve and sound mind and body which is also a prerequisite for your IAS preparation. So, let nothing take away your peace of mind. Be calm, composed, cheerful and jolly. Do your best and leave the rest. All the best!