Being a little bit stressed in exams is ok!

In the fast-paced modern world, stress often carries a negative connotation, conjuring images of exhaustion, anxiety, and burnout.

However, emerging research suggests that not all stress is created equal. In fact, moderate stress might just be the key to unlocking hidden benefits for both our brains and our bodies.

In 2013, a groundbreaking study conducted by Kaufer and Kirby shed light on the intriguing relationship between moderate stress and brain function. The researchers exposed lab rats to short bursts of moderate stress over a period of time. Initially, the stress seemed to have little impact on the rats’ cognitive abilities. However, after repeated exposure, something remarkable occurred – their brains began to develop new neural connections, ultimately enhancing their performance on memory tests.

This phenomenon isn’t limited to rodents; Kaufer and Kirby believe it applies to humans as well. Moderate stress, they argue, serves as a catalyst for the proliferation of nerve cells in our brains. Put simply, when faced with challenges, our brains respond by adapting and growing. Rather than viewing stress as a purely negative force, we can reframe it as a mechanism that prompts our brains to rise to the occasion and become stronger in the process.

So when you first tackle your CIPS studies or any learning, you have to create new neural pathways, and this moderate stress about the exam helps you create them.

Moreover, a 2012 American study further supports the notion that moderate stress can yield unexpected benefits. Rats subjected to various stressors exhibited an increase in infection-fighting white blood cells in their bloodstream. This biological response is an evolutionary adaptation designed to enhance survival – when faced with potential danger, our bodies prioritise defences against infections to ensure our well-being.

These findings align with the research and insights of psychologist Kelly McGonigal, who emphasizes the concept of “stress resilience.” In her renowned TED Talk and book, “The Upside of Stress,” McGonigal challenges the conventional wisdom that stress is inherently harmful. Instead, she argues that viewing stress as a positive force can lead to better outcomes, both mentally and physically. By embracing stress and adopting a mindset that values resilience, individuals can harness its potential for growth and transformation. So think about this if you are stressed about your exams!

Of course, it’s important to note that not all stress is beneficial. Chronic, prolonged stress can have detrimental effects on health and well-being, leading to increased risk of various illnesses and conditions. However, when experienced in moderation, stress can serve as a catalyst for adaptation and resilience.

So, how can we leverage the power of moderate stress in our daily lives?

One approach is to reframe our mindset and perceptions about stress. Rather than viewing it as something to be avoided at all costs, we can see it as an opportunity for growth and learning.

Additionally, incorporating stress-reduction techniques such as mindfulness, exercise, and social support can help mitigate the negative effects of stress while still allowing for its beneficial aspects to unfold. Find yourself a study buddy, and make sure you do some deep breathing and walking if you can.

Honestly working on my mindset for stress has been a game changer for me, so I hope you find this interesting and useful

Level 3 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M2 & M3
6
15th Jan, 29th Jan, 5th Feb, 19th Feb, 26th Feb, 4th Mar
May 2024
M4
3
15th Apr, 22nd Apr, 29th Apr
July 2024
M5
3
3rd June, 10th June, 24th June
Nov 2024
M1
3
7th Oct, 21st Oct, 4th November
Mar 2025
M2&M3
6
13th Jan, 20th Jan, 27th Jan, 10th Feb, 24th Feb, 3rd March
May 2025
M4
3
7th Apr, 14th Apr, 28th Apr
July 2025
M5
3
2nd June, 16th June, 30th June

Level 6 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M2 & M5
5
25th Jan, 1st Feb, 8th Feb, 22nd Feb, 29th Feb
May 2024
M4 & M7
4
18th April, 25th April, 2nd May, 9th May
July 2024
M3 & M8
5
30th May, 13th June,20th June, 27th June, 4th July
November 2024
M1
3
10th Oct, 24th Oct, 7th Nov
Mar 2025
M2 & M5
5
30th Jan, 6th Feb, 13th Feb, 27th Feb, 6th Mar
May 2025
M4 & M7
4
3rd April, 10th April, 1st May, 8th May
July 2025
M3 & M8
5
5th June, 12th June, 19th June, 26th June, 3rd July

Level 5 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M5, M15 & M9
4
31st Jan, 7th Feb, 21st Feb, 28th Feb, 6th March
May 2024
M3 & M8
4
10th April, 17th April, 24th April, 1st May
July 2024
M4
3
5th June, 12th June, 26th June
November 2024
M1 & M2
5
9th Oct, 16th Oct, 23rd Oct, 30th Oct, 6th Nov
Mar 2025
M15, M5, M9
5
29th Jan, 5th Feb, 12th Feb, 26th Feb, 5th March
May 2025
M3 & M8
4
9th April, 16th April, 30th April, 7th June
July 2025
M4
3
4th June, 18th June, 2nd July

Level 4 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M3, M5, M7
6
23rd Jan, 30th Jan, 6th Feb, 20th Feb, 27th Feb, 5th March
May 2024
M4 & M6
4
9th April, 16th April, 23rd April, 30th April
July 2024
M8
3
4th June, 18th June, 2nd July
November 2024
M1 & M2
5
8th Oct, 15th Oct, 22nd Oct, 29th Oct, 5th Nov
March 2025
M3, M5, M7
5
29th Jan, 5th Feb, 12th Feb, 26th Feb, 5th March
May 2025
M4 & M6
4
8th April, 15th April, 29th April, 6th June
July 2025
M8
3
10th June, 24th June, 8th July