How to Relieve Senior Exhibition Stress

(Photo courtesy of Brenda Hernandez) Zurich Simon, senior, working in the OHS library, stressing over his senior ex revisions.
(Photo courtesy of Brenda Hernandez) Zurich Simon, senior, working in the OHS library, stressing over his senior ex revisions.

To all the seniors, have you been stressing out to much over senior ex?

It is okay –  take it easy!

There is only one more deadline, and for most of us all that stress is gone because most of the senior ex writing, which was causing stress, was done last year. But to all the seniors who are still stressing, here are some tips on how to overcome that stress:

Don’t look at senior ex as a problem and as a task that you need to get over with, but see it as an opportunity to help you become a better writer, a better critical thinker and better problem solver.

Refute the negative thoughts such as “I won’t pass, I’m going to fail, my senior ex is crap” starting from now on. That does not help you at all.

Let your mind flow freely from all the negative thoughts, remember it is up to you who decides what will happen with your senior ex paper.

Many of us procrastinate, and for most of us we work better under pressure.  For example, Alexander Clark-Romero says he works better under pressure, and that’s why he does his homework and senior ex essays in the morning before school. For some of us procrastination can be a problem. Procrastination tends to cause lots of pressure and pile up stress, and often lead you to an unaccomplished piece of writing. The faster you work on something, the more your thoughts don’t process fully.

You may procrastinate because you get distracted, and that’s one of the reasons why you end up finishing your work late. If you’re one of those seniors who get distracted while trying to focus, go to a quiet room free from distractions and noise. Put your cellphone, iPod, etc. away, and if you are a Facebook addict then discipline yourself and say, “I won’t log in until I finish my revisions/researching/writing.”

If the self-discipline doesn’t work, then consider thinking about the consequences if you don’t complete your task. What will happen if you procrastinate? What will happen if you get the work done too fast? What will happen if you stay up all night? What will happen if you don’t pass senior ex?

If your mind is piling up thoughts, and you’re worrying about how to approach your paper, give you mind a little rest, take naps, listen to music, walk around, etc.

While writing or revising your paper, drink some tea if that helps, or other decaffeinated drinks to relax and calm you. Do not drink or eat caffeine because coffee, soda, and sugar can cause too much anxiety and nervousness, which can lead you to worrying too much on your senior ex paper.

Bring yourself back into balance by breathing in deeply and out. It helps activate your relaxation response. According to the Franklin Institute, you can consciously control your breathing. If you catch yourself breathing too fast, heart skipping beats, and panicking the night before an eight a.m. deadline, stop yourself from everything and just breathe.

Many of us don’t like breathing techniques because we’re so lazy and think that they never work. According to the stress management and counseling center in NY, the Rapid Relaxation breathing is very effective and fast. You take a deep breath, deeper than normal, and hold it in until you notice a little discomfort. At the same, time squeeze your thumb and first finger together, as if you were doing the ‘ok’ sign, for six or seven seconds. Then exhale slowly through your mouth, release the pressure in your fingers, and allow all your tension to drain out. Repeat these deep breaths three times for more relaxation.

After you’ve completed everything you had to complete, writing, revising, or researching, treat yourself. Listen to music, and let the music shift to your brain, into the Parasympathetic symphony, the nervous system that promotes relaxation. Eat a meal, and refill your energy, or go for a jog to calm your muscles after. Most of all get enough sleep to rest your mind after everything you’ve worked on.

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