Powering through the pressure at exam time
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By Bruce Hoverd, author of Powering Through Pressure: Building resilience for when work gets tough As you approach and sit exams, do you experience excessive tiredness, low energy, headaches, mood swings, memory loss, difficulty in your interactions with others and loss of focus? More than one 'YES' means that you need to take action NOW to prevent stress. The good news is that if you take action early enough and continue with our “wise regime,” you are more likely to overcome the pressures you face. So what do you need to do? Firstly, notice the signs. Many people continue to have a lifestyle that ignores the causes of the pressure. These symptoms are early warning signs. Your brain and body is telling you it is time to stop doing the things that are only exacerbate your situation. These can include working for long periods without breaks, snacking on sugar-laden food, using stimulants to keep you going, sitting badly in one place in front of a screen for hours, and allowing yourself to become dehydrated. Research has shown that the greatest sources of the energy you will need to get through this period and think clearly will come from eating well, getting sufficient sleep and balancing regular activity with sedentary work carried out in a comfortable environment. What will help you nutritionally? A balance of food types, increasing water intake, and higher levels of brain food, particularly fruit, fish and vegetables. One disaster area is found in eating patterns dominated by products full of sugar, such as soft drinks, ready meals, processed food and, surprisingly, low-fat items. Sugar causes an increase in delta, alpha, and theta brain waves that will alter your mind's ability to think clearly and sleep properly.
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