25 Tips to Beat Exam Stress

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It is that time of the year again and for some an extremely stressful time for both learner/student and parents. That pressure to deliver can be unbearable. We will provide 25 tips to beat the exam stress and it is based on Daniel Wong’s article, July 2019) https://www.daniel-wong.com › 2018/09/10 › beat-exam-stress

1. Clear Your Room & Desk
  1. “A cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind”?
    It turns out it’s not just something your mother says to get you to clean your room. It’s scientifically correct.
2. Read something for Leisure

It’s proven that reading for pleasure can reduce stress by up to 68%. Reading relaxes your body by lowering your heart rate and easing the tension in your muscles.

3. Reduce your sugar intake

Research shows that when you’re stressed, your adrenal glands release cortisol – a stress hormone – to manage it. But cortisol also affects your blood sugar level. So, the more your sugar intake spikes, the more stressed you’ll feel.

Don’t

+ Skip breakfast.
+ Eat sugary cereals or candy.
+ Drink sugary drinks.

Do

+ Eat a high-protein breakfast. + Include eggs, peanut butter, oats or nuts.
+ Eat 4 to 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
+ Eat more fish, e.g. salmon, trout.

4. Reduce your mobile phone usage
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Research shows that overuse of mobile phones not only causes stress but can also have a negative impact on your mental health.
So it’s time to get smart about your smartphone. Here are a few things you could try:
+Check your social media feeds just once or twice a day.
+Turn off all notifications.
+Put your phone on airplane mode, or better still, switch it off after 9pm.

5. Think of a happy memory
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Research suggests that the natural chemical, serotonin, creates a sense of well-being and helps your brain to function at peak capacity.

6. Get some sunlight every day

Another way to increase your serotonin levels is to increase your exposure to sunlight. Anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes of sunlight per day will help to keep your serotonin levels in the healthy range.

7. Sing your heart out

Researchers have discovered that singing can soothe your tension and elevate your spirits. This reduces the effects of stress. When you sing, you release endorphins, which are associated with feelings of pleasure.

8. Learn and apply time management techniques
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A study involving students revealed that those who had been taught time management techniques showed lower levels of exam-related anxiety than those who had not. Managing your time well helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed, so you’ll be less stressed.

9. Write down the things you’re worried about
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It’s been proven that if you take a few moments to write about your fears just before you take an exam, it will help to reduce your anxiety and improve your grades. Simply writing about your worries before an exam can boost your grades – so do this before your next exam!

10. Listen to quiet, calming music

The comforting power of music is well established, which makes music an effective stress management tool. Listening to music has a relaxing effect on our minds and bodies, slowing our pulse, lowering our blood pressure, and decreasing our levels of stress hormones.

11. Don’t multitask

Multitasking is bad for your health.[11] It increases your heart rate and blood pressure, and causes stress. Doing several tasks at once may seem like an efficient use of your time, but multitasking actually wastes time and reduces the quality of your work.

12. Get enough sleep

Studying long hours is tiring. When it cuts into your usual hours of sleep, research shows us that stress levels will increase. Stress and sleep have a two-way relationship. Stress can make it more difficult to fall asleep. It can even lead to sleep disorders. At the same time, getting a good night’s sleep reduces the effects of stress.

13. Use positive affirmations

Repeating positive affirmations is a powerful way to calm yourself down and banish those exam butterflies. In fact, research has shown that positive affirmations can help reduce exam stress by reducing adrenalin levels.
Here are some positive affirmations you can try the next time you feel those stress levels rising. Repeat them out loud to yourself several times a day:

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  • I’m becoming more focused.
  • I’m continuing to work hard.
  • I’m getting better at taking exams.
  • I’m enjoying the process of learning.
  • I’m going to perform well on this exam.
  • Learning is meaningful and fun.
  • I’m developing self-discipline.
  • I love the challenge of taking exams.
14. Be kind to yourself
be kind to yourself image

It’s easy to become anxious when all you can focus on is the fear of failing the exam. Stress weaves its way into your life when you’re too hard on yourself. So ease up and give yourself a break. It’s time to practise self-compassion. Research indicates that self-compassion reduces your stress levels and improves your sense of well-being.

15. Exercise regularly
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Research has shown that high-intensity aerobic exercise has positive effects on well-being. It’s time to get moving! This doesn’t mean that you have to start training for a marathon, but it does mean that you need to introduce some regular exercise into your life.

16. Stretching Exercise

Everyone knows you should stretch to improve your flexibility, but did you also know that stretching is proven to reduce tension and blood pressure too?

17. Practise Mindfulness

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is scientifically proven to be an effective treatment for reducing stress. Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of your mind and body.

18. Take a short walk
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If mindfulness isn’t something that comes naturally to you, it turns out that taking a walk has similar beneficial effects on your stress levels. Walking gives you time to think, as well as time to get away from studying for a short while.

19. Do deep breathing exercises
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Science has proven that deep breathing reduces your cortisol levels.

20. Try Aromatherapy

Research has shown that aromatherapy has the power to evoke emotions and memories and can impact your body through your nervous system. Various studies have shown that SOME aromatherapy oils can lower your blood pressure, heart rate, and even skin temperature, as well as soothe anxiety by calming the nervous system.

21. Get enough vitamin C

Studies indicate that vitamin C (ascorbic acid) helps to reduce blood pressure and cortisol, which are both signs of stress. The human body doesn’t produce vitamin C, so it’s vital that you consume plenty of it in your diet.

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22. Drink tea

A study has found that black tea has health benefits linked to stress relief. Other teas that anecdotally aid stress relief are peppermint tea because it’s a natural muscle relaxant; chamomile tea, which helps insomnia and reduces irritability; and lemon balm tea, which reduces cortisol and improves sleep.

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23. Eat dark chocolate

Research has shown that eating a small amount of dark chocolate every day reduces stress hormone levels. This is great news for chocolate lovers! But remember, the chocolate must be dark (with 70% or more cocoa).

24. Write down 3 things you’re thankful for

I’m sure you’re grateful for many things in your life. Studies have found that expressing gratitude can lower your blood pressure, improve your sleep and boost your immune system.

Do you sometimes feel as if you’re not good enough? Do you think that you’ll never be able to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself? Set realistic goals instead of trying to achieve the impossible.

25. Focus on Progress, not Perfection
  • Celebrate small and big successes.
  • Make sure you take time out from studying to do things you enjoy.
  • Invest in the relationships that matter the most to you.
  • Find ways to contribute at home and at school, because this will shift your focus toward the needs of others.
  • Learn to use words like “acceptable” and “good”, because if you always aim for “perfection”, you may not even make progress.

Balanced Healing can offer support for the entire family through nutritional planning, supplementation for concentration & focus, supportive therapy for anxiety and ADD/HD and much more.

Our discussion continues tomorrow when we will provide coping tips for parents during exam time.

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ANTIBIOTIC AWARENESS

With all the hype about ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE and SUPERBUGS, Let’s take a look at Antibiotic usage, what they treat, why are we creating superbugs and resistance. Here are some natural alternatives.

As an integrative healthcare practitioner, I would have to say that we can generally avoid most antibiotic scripts today through having a healthy lifestyle, where our immune system is maintained in a healthy balance not allowing the opportunistic bacteria to invade and cause harm. Having said this there is a place for antibiotics when absolutely necessary.

WHEN IS IT APPROPRIATE TO USE ANTIBIOTICS?

Two major types of GERMS can make people sick: bacteria and viruses. They can cause diseases with similar symptoms, but they multiply and spread illness differently:

BACTERIA - are living organisms existing as single cells. Bacteria are everywhere and most don't cause any harm, and in some cases are beneficial. But some bacteria are harmful and cause illness by invading the body, multiplying, and interfering with normal body processes.��

Antibiotics work against bacteria because they kill these living organisms by stopping their growth and reproduction.

VIRUSES, on the other hand, are not alive. Viruses grow and reproduce only after they've invaded other living cells. The body's immune system can fight off some viruses before they cause illness, but others (like the common cold & Flu) must simply run their course.

"ANTIBIOTICS DO NOT WORK AGAINST VIRUSES"

ANTIBIOTIC OVERUSE?

Unfortunately, it seems that antibiotics are prescribed for just about anything and this leads to antibiotic overuse. Antibiotics are one of the great advances in medicine. But through overprescribing and incorrect use this has led to resistant bacteria (bacteria that are harder to treat).
Some bacteria that were once very responsive to antibiotics have become more and more resistant, causing more serious infections, which are harder to treat.

WHY ARE ANTIBIOTICS OVERPRESCRIBED?

Doctors prescribe antibiotics for different reasons. Sometimes they prescribe them when they're not sure if an illness is caused by bacteria or a virus or are waiting for test results. So, some patients might expect a prescription for an antibiotic and even ask their doctor for it.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN ANTIBIOTICS ARE OVERUSED?

For example, STREP THROAT is a bacterial infection, but most sore throats are due to viruses, allergies, or other things that antibiotics cannot treat. But many people with a sore throat will go to a health care provider expecting, and getting a prescription for antibiotics that they do not need.

Taking antibiotics for colds and other viral illnesses doesn't work — and it can create bacteria that are harder to kill.
Taking antibiotics too often or for the wrong reasons can change bacteria so much that antibiotics don't work against them. This is called bacterial resistance or antibiotic resistance. Some bacteria are now resistant to even the most powerful antibiotics available.

Read more about KEY FACTS @ https://zurl.co/omHQ

“SUPERBUGS”

Superbugs" is a term used to describe strains of bacteria that are resistant to the majority of antibiotics commonly used today. Resistant bacteria that cause pneumonia, urinary tract infections and skin infections are just a few of the dangers we now face.
Antibiotic resistance is a naturally occurring phenomenon that can be slowed, but not stopped. Over time, bacteria adapt to the drugs that are designed to kill them and change to ensure their survival. This makes previously standard treatments for bacterial infections less effective, and in some cases, ineffective.
Without urgent action, we are heading for a post-antibiotic era, in which common infections and minor injuries can once again kill.

EVERYONE CAN PLAY A ROLE TO PREVENT & CONTROL

Read more about how individuals, policymakers, Healthcare professionals, Healthcare Industry and Agriculture sector can play there role.

RISKS TAKING ANTIBIOTICS

Antibiotics are not all good however as they kill both good (gut bacteria) and bad bacteria. According to NHS, 1-IN-10 people experience side effects that harm the digestive system after taking antibiotics. Around 1-IN-15 people are allergic to various types of antibiotics, penicillin being foremost.

7 BEST NATURAL ANTIBIOTICS:

These include Garlic, Ginger, Honey, Echinacea, Golden Seal, Clove and Oregano.

RISKS OF NATURAL PRODUCTS:
Just because something is labelled natural, it is not necessarily safe. The amounts and concentrations of active ingredients vary among brands of supplements.
+ Read the labels carefully.
+ A person should also inform their healthcare provider if they plan to take these supplements.

While natural antibiotics may present opportunities, they also carry risks. Natural antibiotics traditionally used for centuries may contribute to the lifesaving drugs of tomorrow.

PLAY YOUR ROLE IN PREVENTING ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE & SUPERBUGS!

Read full article @ https://zurl.co/omHQ
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INSULIN RESISTANCE & DIABETES

As promised we continue our discussion around diabetes but this week we will focus on Insulin resistance which may be one of the key drivers of many — if not most — of today’s chronic diseases.

SO HOW SHOULD IT WORK?

Insulin is an important hormone that controls many bodily processes and challenges with this hormone are at the heart of many modern health conditions.
Insulin resistance, in which your cells stop responding to insulin, is incredibly common.
Simple lifestyle measures can dramatically improve this condition.
Insulin is an essential hormone that controls your blood sugar levels.
Insulin is made in your pancreas and helps move sugar from your blood into your cells for storage. When your pancreas senses high blood sugar, it makes more insulin to overcome the resistance and reduce your blood sugar.

INSULIN:

+ Regulates glucose balance in the body
+ Controls fat metabolism
+ Signals for the processes that move glucose into the cells for energy purposes
+ Causes any excess glucose to be stored in adipose tissue as fat
+ Suppresses glucagons & growth hormones, which regulate the burning of fat (stored fats)

INSULIN RESISTANCE is when cells in your muscles, fat, and liver don't respond well to insulin and can't use glucose from your blood for energy. ... Over time, your blood sugar levels go up. Insulin resistance syndrome includes a group of problems like obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.

Prediabetes is the condition of having abnormal levels of glucose, or sugar molecules, in the blood; insulin resistance refers to the mechanism by which one develops that condition.

They're not two different conditions; they're cause and effect — insulin resistance is a prediabetes state
Insulin resistance might develop into type 2 diabetes.
Insulin resistance, prediabetes, and Type 2 diabetes can be managed, and in many cases reversed, by the right lifestyle changes. Medication may also be prescribed.

BALANCED HEALING is able to assist you in improving this condition with simple lifestyle measures, nutritional advice and natural supplementation. PREVENTING INSULIN RESISTANCE may be among the most powerful ways to live a longer, healthier life.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM INSULIN RESISTANT?

Raised insulin and blood sugar levels are key symptoms of insulin resistance. Other symptoms include excess belly fat, high blood triglycerides, and low HDL (good) cholesterol levels.

THE EFFECTS OF INSULIN RESISTANCE:
+ extreme thirst or hunger.
+ feeling hungry even after a meal.
+ increased or frequent urination.
+ tingling sensations in hands or feet.
+ feeling more tired than usual.
+ frequent infections.
+ evidence in blood work.

Classic signs and symptoms that suggest you've moved from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes include:

+ Increased thirst.
+ Frequent urination.
+ Fatigue.
+ Blurred vision.

Read more about INSULIN SENSITIVITY VS RESISTANCE & RELATED CONDITIONS @ https://zurl.co/Um6g

RELATIONSHIP TO HEART HEALTH:
Insulin resistance is linked to various ailments, including heart disease, NAFLD (Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease), PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome), Alzheimer's disease, and cancer.

NATURAL SCIENCE-BACKED WAYS TO BOOST YOUR INSULIN SENSITIVITY.
+ A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP
+ EXERCISE MORE
+ REDUCE STRESS
+ CONTROL YOUR WEIGHT
+ EAT MORE SOLUBLE FIBRE
+ ADD MORE COLOURFUL FRUIT & VEGETABLES TO YOUR DIET
+ ADD HERBS & SPICES TO YOUR COOKING
+ ADD A PINCH OF CINNAMON
+ DRINK GREEN TEA
+ TRY APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
+ CUT DOWN ON CARBS
+ AVOID TRANSFATS
+ REDUCE YOUR INTAKE OF ADDED SUGARS

TRY A SUPPLEMENT
Chromium, berberine and magnesium supplements are linked to increased insulin sensitivity. Resveratrol appears to increase insulin sensitivity, particularly among people with type 2 diabetes.

As with all supplements, there is a risk they may interact with your current medication. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER before commencing any other natural treatments.
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DIABETES TYPES & MYTHS

November is an action-packed month with many focal points within Healthcare namely – DIABETES, ANTIBIOTIC AWARENESS AND “MOVEMBER” – Campaign focusing on Male Cancers & mental health. So stay tuned for our weekly articles.

During week one we’ll touch base on the different types of Diabetes and some myth busters & natural ways to manage the disease process. Week 2 will focus on Insulin Resistance the pre-cursor to type 2 Diabetes and my personal favourite on how to manage lifestyle and supplementation.
Diabetes Types

Diabetes mellitus, commonly known as diabetes, is a metabolic disease that causes high blood sugar. The hormone insulin moves sugar from the blood into your cells to be stored or used for energy. With diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t effectively use the insulin it does make. Ideally, there should be a balance between blood sugar and insulin in the body.

+TYPE 1 DIABETES is an autoimmune disease. The immune system attacks and destroys cells in the pancreas, where insulin is made. It’s unclear what causes this attack. About 10% of people with diabetes have this type. This type of diabetes is chronic and long term.
+TYPE 2 DIABETES occurs when your body becomes resistant to insulin, and sugar builds up in your blood.
+PREDIABETES occurs when your blood sugar is higher than normal, but it’s not high enough for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.
+GESTATIONAL DIABETES is high blood sugar during pregnancy. Insulin-blocking hormones produced by the placenta cause this type of diabetes.

Diabetes is a complicated disease. If you have diabetes or know anyone who has it, you may have questions about the disease.
There are many popular myths about diabetes and its management. Here are some facts you should know about diabetes.

DIABETES MYTHS

MYTH: No one in my family has diabetes, so I won’t get the disease.
MYTH: I will likely develop diabetes because I am overweight.
MYTH: I eat a lot of sugar, so I am worried I’ll get diabetes.
MYTH: I was told I have diabetes, so now I’ll have to eat a special diet.
MYTH: I have diabetes, so I can never eat sweets.
MYTH: My doctor put me on insulin. This means I am not doing a good job managing my blood sugar.
MYTH: It is not safe to exercise with diabetes.
MYTH: I have borderline diabetes, so I don’t need to worry.
MYTH: I can stop taking diabetes medicines once my blood sugar is under control.

For the facts read article @ https://zurl.co/jOAd

NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS FOR SUPPORTING TYPE 2 DIABETES:

+ BERBERINE
+ CURCUMIN
+ GINSENG
+ FENUGREEK
+ PSYLLIUM
+ CINNAMON
+ ALOE VERA
+ BITTER MELON
+ MILK THISTLE
+ HOLY BASIL

While many of these supplements show promise, IT IS WISE TO CONSULT WITH YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER before commencing as Herbal supplements have side effects and can interfere with other medications.

Work with your health care provider or BALANCED HEALING to develop a meal plan that works best for you and that you will be able to follow consistently over time. A healthy and balanced meal plan with a healthy lifestyle will help you manage diabetes.
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