Why Everyone Studying for the EPPP Should Practice Anxiety Relief Strategies
While studying for the EPPP, staying healthy is vital to your success on the exam let alone your overall wellbeing. Chronic stress and anxiety can negatively affect your health by “causing symptoms from headaches, high blood pressure, and chest pain to heart palpitations, skin rashes, and loss of sleep” per the Association of Depression and Anxiety of America (ADAA).
Because caffeine is on the rise, sleep quality decreases, and stress increases during EPPP prep, those preparing for the EPPP are more susceptible to anxiety even if they do not already consider themselves anxious.
In short, anxiety is a mental health state which generally causes fear, worry, or tension. It has several triggers, per healthline.com, which are likely familiar to you if you’re studying for the EPPP.
Stress, per the ADAA, “is a response to a threat in a situation. Anxiety is a reaction to the stress.” This is one anxiety trigger you’re likely experiencing in your EPPP preparation, especially if your test date is approaching.
When preparing for an important exam, such as the EPPP, it’s common to drink an extra cup of coffee or two for those early morning and late night study sessions. While caffeine is okay in moderation, it can lead to anxiety.
- Skipping Meals
When you’re caught up in studying, it can be easy to pack study snacks and forget the meals that keep you energized and healthy. Skipping meals can make you more susceptible to anxiety.
So, how do you know if you’re experiencing anxiety?
Keep an eye out for these symptoms per healthline.org:
- Nervousness or tension
- Feelings of dread or panic
- Rapid breathing and heart rate
- Increased sweating
- Twitching muscles
- Difficulty concentration on something other than what you’re worried about
If you experience any of the above symptoms, there is a way to manage the anxiety you might be experiencing.
How to manage
Per the ADAA you can manage anxiety in the following ways:
- Take a break. Step away from your EPPP studies and allow your brain to rest by practicing relaxation techniques, mediating, taking a bath, or exercising.
- Stay healthy. The trifecta to maintain good health is eating well-balanced meals, exercising, and sleeping adequately each night.
- Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake.
- When you feel panic, take deep breaths. It can even help to count slowly to ten and repeat as needed.
- Laughter is indeed a great medicine. It releases endorphins and can ease pain.
- Stay positive. Replacing negative thoughts with positive ones can literally detoxify your brain.
- Ask for help. Tell your close friends and family how you’re feeling and let them know how they can help you. If your anxiety is persistent, seek professional help.
Ultimately, preparing for the EPPP can be an anxiety trigger for some. Therefore, it’s important to know how you might be triggered, what the symptoms are, and how to manage.