Relaxation techniques (presence of mind)

Relaxation for Stress

Student life can be very stressful and pressured. Whatever your personal circumstances, along with the excitement and opportunities offered by student life you also face many demanding and challenging situations, new responsibilities and a great deal of change.

You will probably be trying to balance your time between studies and social activities and maybe the demands of child care and family life too. There may be difficulties with accommodation, with the practicalities of looking after yourself and, almost certainly, there are going to be financial worries, work deadlines and exams to cope with as well. It is not surprising therefore that so many people end up feeling tired, anxious and stressed.

Whilst a certain amount of stress and tension is a useful motivator in the short term, chronic stress can creep up almost unnoticed as we become more and more accustomed to being tired all the time, irritable and less able to cope with the everyday demands of a busy life.

Is this you?

* persistent tiredness; exhaustion

* deliberate avoidance of things that need doing

* bodily tension, leading to headaches, migraines, upset stomach

* sleep problems; either can’t sleep or sleeping too much

* loss of appetite or increased eating of ‘comfort foods’

* too much to do; no motivation to get started

* mind in a whirl; can’t think straight, concentrate or work effectively

* feeling under pressure; no time; often in a panic

Sometimes these symptoms can indicate a medical problem, and it is worth checking this out with your GP, but if you are looking for ways to manage your stress levels it is worth considering some of the things you can do.

It is unfortunately true that when we are at our most stressed it is also difficult to imagine finding the time and energy to do something about it. However it really is worth the relatively small amount of effort it takes to learn some relaxation techniques. Relaxation is a ‘transferable skill’ which will not only serve you well in exams, presentations or interviews but also at the dentist or in any other stressful setting, or as a way of helping you to get to sleep.

The exercises themselves are deceptively simple but they do work. As you begin to achieve a relaxed physical and mental state, your heart rate will slow and the amount of adrenalin released into the bloodstream will decrease.

There are many approaches to stress reduction through relaxation and no one method is right for everyone or in every setting. You may prefer to relax in a hot bath or to meditate, do yoga, tai chi or to swim. Here we are suggesting some physical relaxation techniques, some of which you can do in a public place without anyone guessing!

Quick, on-the-spot relaxation:

1. Sit up and back in your chair so that you feel firmly rooted, legs slightly apart, feet flat on the floor.

2. Drop your shoulders while you take a deep breath, letting it out slowly. Close your eyes if it helps. Keep focused on your breathing and breathe in slowly to the count of four - hold to the count of four - breathe out to the count of four - pause to the count of four. Repeat in an even, comfortable rhythm. It can help to imagine yourself relaxing more each time you breathe in and the tensions flowing away with every out breath.

3. Now slowly tense, hold and release the main muscle groups, working up through your body. Start with toes and feet; tense as much as possible, hold and release. Move on to calf muscles, thighs, bottom, stomach and upper body in the same way, paying particular attention to the upper back and shoulders, where we hold a lot of tension. Then work on your arms and hands. Finally, if you can (some places are just too public), screw up the muscles of your face and neck and release.

4. After this, gently massage your neck and upper spine, then return to focusing on slow breathing and check back through your body for any remaining tension.

5. Finally, check your seating position, drop your shoulders again and place your hands comfortably on your upper legs and concentrate on the sensation of warmth as it flows out through your hands.

Learning to relax in this way can be invaluable if you get anxious in public places and need to sit somewhere to compose yourself - or for exam panic when it is well worth the 5 minutes to put your pen down and completely clear the scrambled thoughts from your brain!

Deep relaxation, lying down:

This is a slower version of the previous relaxation technique to practice at home at the end of the day. You might like to play some relaxing music to help clear your mind.

Lie somewhere comfortable with a small pillow under your head and another under your knees. Focus on your breathing as before and slowly and deliberately repeat the sequence of tensing, holding and relaxing the muscle groups starting with the feet and working up through the body. You can now concentrate more fully on the tension in your neck and head. Lift your head up a little and stretch the neck muscles, holding them in tension before letting your head slowly back onto the pillow. Massage your face gently with fingertips, smoothing out the tension from the small muscles around the eyes and forehead.

When you have completed this routine your whole body should feel heavy and relaxed. You may feel drowsy, allow yourself to rest quietly for a while.

Relaxing the Mind:

Are you still disturbed by worries and intrusive thoughts? If so you may like to find a way to also relax your mind. There are several techniques for clearing the mind and, again, no one method will suit all people.

Some people benefit from developing an image of a familiar place which is associated with safety or tranquillity which they can call to mind when unwanted thoughts intrude.

Another technique known to be useful is to allow any troublesome thoughts to be present in your mind without fighting them. Be aware of their presence, then deliberately switch your attention back to awareness of your relaxed physical state; check for any tension which has re-occured. Now return to thinking about the things that are worrying you and visualise them as a picture on a page, then gradually fade or reduce that image in your mind to a small dot. You may need to repeat the process several times; you are aiming to learn to remain relaxed even though there are also stressful factors in your life. Doing relaxation exercises once won’t make you ‘fit’: learning to relax takes time and practice!

Exam Tips

i. Revision tips

Develop a timetable to monitor your progress. Make sure you allocate adequate time for fun and relaxation as well.

While revising a subject, practise writing. This would be an actual simulation of the examination itself. Plan your revision and complete it in time. This will give you a sense of achievement and build your confidence.

While revising, vary subjects and their difficulty so you don't get bored or disheartened. Set realistic targets of what you can achieve in the time available.

Spend as much time on recall as on reading. Practise by writing answers as you would do in the exam. This will help you remember the important points when you answer each paper.

Practise writing answers under exam conditions. Take three hour tests, without a break in between, preferably at the same time as that of the exam. This will help your body clock adjust to the examination time and conditions.

ii. Time out

To prevent mental fatigue, take a short break as soon as you notice your mind is losing concentration. Stick to activities that do not break your study continuum during these breaks. Avoid television and loud music. You will then be able to come back to your revision refreshed.

It is important to relax. Your mind and body perform at their best only if you get adequate rest.

iii. Maintain a regular sleep pattern

A regular seven hours of sleep is mandatory for the body to function well. Also, sleep at a regular time; don't alter your sleeping cycle.

It is not important whether you study late or get up early, as long as you get into the habit of being most alert at the same time as that of the exam.

Try and stop working an hour before bedtime. You will find it helpful to do some muscular relaxation, which is particularly effective in relieving stress.

iv. What to eat

Food rich in vitamins and proteins, such as green leafy vegetables and fresh fruits, are a must.

The nutrients will help your brain stay sharp. Avoid food with high fat content.

Don't drink too much coffee, tea or fizzy drinks. Caffeine will keep you up and reduce the clarity of your thinking.

v. NO distractions

Keep all unimportant issues at bay.

Right now, the board examinations should be your only focus. Stay away from distractions that could cause loss of concentration or unwanted anxiety. Stick to activities that do not break your study continuum.

vi. The power of positive thinking

Spend time with people who have a positive effect. It will rub off on you.

Avoid negative thoughts, such as 'Everyone else seems better organised, while I'm struggling.' Challenge such thoughts with positive thinking; for example, 'I have done well in exams before.'

vii. Practise relaxation techniques

Practise deep breathing, meditation and yoga as forms of relaxation. They help your body relax and reduce stress. Alternately, take a brisk walk in fresh air after your day's revision is over.

If you believe in God, pray before you start studying. Prayer will help you increase confidence reduce your stress as well.

Relaxation Tips for Reading

.Early morning got yoha
.dont un nessasary speak
.concentrate our will power
.read well for spelling

Extensive reading is used to obtain a general understanding of a subject and includes reading longer texts for pleasure, as well as business books. Use extensive reading skills to improve your general knowledge of business procedures. Do not worry if you understand each word.

Examples of Extensive Reading

  • The latest marketing strategy book
  • A novel you read before going to bed
  • Magazine articles that interest you

Intensive reading

Intensive reading is used on shorter texts in order to extract specific information. It includes very close accurate reading for detail. Use intensive reading skills to grasp the details of a specific situation. In this case, it is important that you understand each word, number or fact.

Examples of Intensive Reading

  • A bookkeeping report
  • An insurance claim
  • A contract

Here are four different kinds of reading.

  • Skimming - running the eyes over quickly, to get the gist
  • Scanning - looking for a particular piece of information
  • Extensive reading - longer texts for pleasure and needing global understanding
  • Intensive reading - shorter texts, extracting specific information, accurate reading for detail.


Using these descriptions, how would you read the following? Match the different types of reading with the categories below. Decide which one requires you to skim or to scan the text. Which one needs detailed Intensive reading? What type of text do you read Extensively - for pleasure?

India TOP 10 Colleges

Top 10 Arts Colleges
1. Loyola College, Chennai
2.Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi
3. St.Stephen's College, Delhi
4. St. Xavier's College, Mumbai
5. St. Xavier's College, Kolkata
6. Christ College, Bangalore
7. Presidency College, Kolkata
8. Madras Christian College, Chennai
7. Fergusson College, Pune
9. Stella Maris College ,Chennai
10. Fergusson College, Pune

TOP 10 Science colleges

1.Loyola College, Chennai
2.St.Stephen's College,Delhi
3.St.Xaviers College, Kokkata
4.St.Xaviers College, Mumbai
5.Presidency College,Kolkata
6.Presidency College, Chennai
7.Madras Christian College, Chennai
8.Fergusson College, Pune,
9.St.Xavier's College, Ahmedabad
10.St.Josephs College, Bangalore

Top 10 Commerce Colleges

1.Shri Ram College Of Commerce, Delhi
2.St.Xavier's College, Kolkata
3.Loyola College, Chennai
4.Christ College, Bangalore
5.Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi
6.Symbosis Society's College of Arts and Commerce, Pune
7.St.Josephs College of Commerce, Bangalore
8.Stella Maris College, Chennai
9.Hansraj College, Delhi
10.Shri Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics,Mumbai

Top 10 Law Colleges

1.National Law School of India University, Bangalore
2.National Academy of Legal Studies and Research University, Hyderabad
3.Faculty of Law, University of Delhi,Delhi
4.National Law Institute University, Bhopal
5.ILS Law College,Pune
6.Symbosis Society's Law College, Pune
7.National Law Institute University, Jodhpur
8.The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata
9.Amity Law School,Delhi
10.Government Law College, Mumbai

Top 10 Medical colleges

1.All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS),Delhi
2.Christian Medical College, Vellore
3.Armed Forces Medical College, Pune
4.JIPMER, Puduchery
5.Maulana Azad Medical College, Delhi
6.Madras Medical College, Chennai
7.Grant Medical College,Mumbai
8.Seth GS Medical College, Mumbai
9.Kasturba Medical College, Mumbai
10.lady Hardinge Medical College,Delhi

Top 10 Engineering Colleges

1. IIT, Delhi
2. IIT,Kharagpur
3. IIT, Kanpur
4 IIT, Madras
5 IIT, Bombay
6 IIT,Roorkee
7. Birla Institute of Technology & Sciences, Pilani
8. Institute of Technology, BHU, Varanasi
9. IIT, Guwahati
10.Vellore Institute of Technology,Vellore


  • Expense. Community colleges usually are a bargain compared to four year schools. If you're planning to transfer, you can take your core classes at a community college and save money on your bachelor's degree.
  • Quality instructors. Of course, there are good teachers and bad teachers everywhere. But many instructors who teach at community colleges often are more focused on teaching than college professors. Community college jobs are highly competitive, which leads to quality teaching.
  • A degree in two years. Four years can be an awfully long time.
  • Great for nontraditional students. Community colleges often are much more geared to the needs of nontraditional students than four year colleges.
  • A good transition from high school. If you don't feel prepared to go to a four year college after high school, or you didn't do well enough to get into a school of your choice, a community college can be a great transition. Remedial classes are available to help students prepare, and if you prove yourself with a high GPA at a community college, acceptance to a four year school will be much easier.
  • Close to home. If you're not ready to leave home or can't afford to do so, look at nearby community colleges.
  • Classes may be more career oriented. If a four year college isn't right for you, look for associate degrees from community colleges and technical colleges that will help you advance your career.
  • Opportunities for high school students. In some school districts, students have the option to take classes at a community college to fulfill both high school and college credits.


  • You don't get a bachelor's degree. A bachelor's degree is a prerequisite for many jobs and career choices. Should this be the case? Maybe not, but it is.
  • Less college atmosphere. Some community colleges are more fun and lively than others. However, these schools are geared to the needs of commuter students, so you won't find the vibrant and fun community life that comes with living on a college campus.
  • Less interaction among students. It's harder to get to know your fellow students on a community college campus than at a four year school.
  • Transferring credits can be a nightmare. Sometimes it's easy to transfer your community college course credits to a four year school. Often it's not. If you plan to transfer to a four year school (or are considering this), be sure to find yourself a good advisor! The trick is to take classes that you know will transfer easily.
  • Fewer campus resources. At a community college, you're less likely to have an excellent college library, student center, and other perks.
  • Too much "home"? For some recent high school graduates, commuting from home can be an advantage. For others, this sucks. If you're ready to leave, maybe you should.

Related articles:

Narrowing your college search

Poor reasons to choose a college

Online college courses

study for help

Take advantage of the unique opportunities at OSSM. You will never find more support for your learning than what you will have here.

Ask your instructor when you don’t understand something.

Ask other faculty members even if you do not have them for a class.

Our community is small enough we know who you are and are willing to help if we can.

Go to each of your instructor’s offices when you do not have a class even if you do not have a question just to get to know them better.

Take advantage of the instructors being in the dorm in the evenings (we get bored if no one asks questions).

Talk with your academic advisor regularly (but more than once each semester).