Possibly one of the first major stresses in our lives are GCSE exams and the run up to them. There is great pressure for young people to perform and do the very best they can. This pressure can be so overwhelming and can cause a lot of distress and worry, panic and anxiety. These symptoms will most likely be short term and when exams are all over with, there will be a great sense of relief, and symptoms vanish.
Exam stress is absolutely normal but can interfere with our performance because symptoms are so overwhelming. Stress can be unpleasant and sometimes help us to perform better, but only if you turn it into positive energy.
- Often symptoms are emotional, worrying, unable to concentrate, becoming so overwhelmed with work, and fear of failure. Flower remedies may help. Bach flower essences are extracts from flowers which have a positive effect on emotional imbalances and mood swings. Negative emotions are not suppressed but turned into the opposite positive emotional state. For example, fear of failure into self-confidence or impatience into calmness and tranquility.
- When people are under stress and struggling to cope and concentrate, this is when they may neglect there physical needs. They may not have time to exercise or not feel like it, may increase consumption of high sugar foods, alcohol and caffeine, watching a lot of tv and not getting enough sleep. Its essential to have highly nutritious meals and healthy snacks while studying and also taking breaks, with gentle exercise. Getting a good nights sleep is also very important to re-energise and process all your daily thoughts.
Also, remember to drink lots of water – brain cells work better hydrated.
- Supporting the adrenals – the adrenal glands are two small endocrine glands that are found just above the kidneys. Despite being small, they are vitally important to health and well-being – they help the body to respond to stress, help maintain the body’s energy, regulate the immune system and help keep blood sugar, fluid levels and blood pressure within a healthy range. To maintain ideal functioning, the adrenals, like all body’s organs, require an optimum amounts of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids to stay healthy.
Through stressful periods, these supplements should be considered taking,
- Vitamin B complex,
- Vitamin C,
- Omega 3 Fish oils,
Also, adaptogenic herbs may help the body to restore balance during stress,
- Siberian ginseng is said to sharpen mental alertness and help cope,
- Ashwaganda is a strengthening tonic for nourishing the nervous and immune system, reducing stress and boosting immunity.
- Rhodiola is a fast-acting plant which has anti-stress, anti-fatigue and mood-enhancing properties
There are a number of herbs that may help to combat stress and anxiety naturally. These include, passiflora, avena sativa, lemon balm, chamomile, valerian and holy basil. Some can work together in complexes or on their own, please pop in store for more advice.
L-theanine, a fast acting amino acid, found in green tea, has been found to increase levels of a chemical in the brain called GABA, in turn triggering relaxation. Other than improving the mood L-theanine can increase alertness levels. Can also work great with lemon balm.
- Immune system boost.
When a person experiences stress, the effect may be to produce an under or over vigilant immune system, with the result that the person becomes unwell. People who are, for example, studying for exams, may notice they suffer coughs and colds more often than when they are not going through a stressful time.
An over vigilant immune system is one that not only keeps unwanted bacteria and viruses out of the body, but it also destroys beneficial bacteria and may even start to attack the body itself. This is when a probiotic specially designed to build the immune system, may help, such as Optibac-for daily immunity.
An under vigilant immune system occurs when the body is no longer keeping unwanted bacteria and viruses out, with the result that disease may take hold and the person becomes unwell. Again a good general probiotic may help, but they are lots of other products available for specific issues caused by a compromised immune system.
If you would like further advice or more information please call into Appleseeds.