How to Deal with Academic Pressure

Academic stress and pressure are common among students, whether it is due to trying to keep up with peers, maintain the reputation of your institution, or satisfy parental expectations. And although it could be the catalyst you need to reach new heights, excessive academic stress can also be the thing that sends you spiraling into academic burnout and motivation loss. A student is more likely to lose interest in academics and find it more difficult to rekindle their passion the more academic stress they suffer.

Fortunately, there are a few strategies that can help students reduce their stress while studying. Relaxing and resetting stress build-up can be as simple as getting a good night’s sleep and we’ve included more of these strategies that can assist you to reduce academic stress.

Table of Contents

Why is stress harmful to learning?

A spike in stress is never a good thing. It is the buildup of a student’s entire lifetime’s worth of academic stress stacked into one bubble that is about to burst. Even the smallest incident could trigger an eruption of the student’s suppressed emotions, struggles, and inner thoughts. What’s even riskier is if the youngster barely recognizes that an outburst is coming and starts it in the wrong place. This could result in numerous misunderstandings, strained relationships, and statements the student will never be able to retract.

Or, even worse, the student decides to burst their own bubble because no one else ever does and it is suffocating them. These are only a few instances of how unchecked stress buildup can be harmful.

What are some causes of academic pressure?

Many different elements, which can differ from person to person, can contribute to the development of academic stress. However, there are a few typical reasons why students experience academic stress, including the following:

• Expectations from parents

Parents frequently want their kids to succeed not for their own benefit but for their treasured kids’ future. However, there are times when parents’ expectations are simply too great for one student to meet, which results in higher stress levels on the part of the student.

• Upholding school reputation

Students frequently have to maintain the recommended average when they enroll in a top school. In order for these schools to maintain their reputation, they frequently push their students to achieve that target. While encouraging others to strive for excellence may be a benefit, this may also become a major source of academic pressure.

• Lack of time management skills

Some students may endure academic stress for reasons that are not always their fault. In certain cases, the root reason is primarily internal. Poor time management can frequently result in a lack of downtime, cramming, and a stifling environment, all of which unavoidably contribute to academic pressure and stress.

What are some ways to deal with academic pressure?

While there is little we can do to stop the outside factors that contribute to academic strain, we can improve how we handle it and grow more tolerant of it. Here are some strategies for reducing academic stress:

1. Take your breaks and get enough rest

It is advised to take breaks occasionally when studying, working out, or doing any other activity that takes a lot of time. This will offer you space to relax and stop feeling rushed, as well as alleviate some of the physical exhaustion you are currently experiencing. One of the things you can do to help reduce academic stress is to take a break from academic activities. It gives you a little period of freedom from the constraints of school and a chance to relax.

In relation to taking breaks, you should also never take for granted getting a good night’s sleep. You need at least eight hours of sleep to perform well and at your peak potential. You can recover physically from spending the entire day in a classroom by sleeping.  Sleeping for a sufficient quantity of time also aids in maintaining your motivation to work for your goals and carry on, which is crucial when attempting to complete your schoolwork.

2. Eat healthily and hydrate yourself

As you may have already realized, one of the things you need to do to help alleviate academic stress is to take care of yourself. And eating healthily and drinking enough liquids are some of the best approaches to taking care of your body. Getting your recommended daily intake of nutrients not only helps you avoid micronutrient deficiencies but also gives you the energy you need to get through the day. Your body needs a certain quantity and diversity of nutrients to maintain daily function, and the only way to get these nutrients is through eating balanced meals every day. Not to add that eating well and healthfully feels terrific.

3. Take deep breaths

Have you ever been in a tense situation and someone advised you to take a few slow, deep breaths? After doing so, did you immediately feel more at ease than before? The same is true while attempting to find relief from academic pressure. Breathing deeply and slowly helps your body maintain healthy oxygen levels and eases tension in your muscles. Additionally, your brain receives the necessary amount of oxygen, allowing it to function more sensibly than it would if you were hyperventilating. When you feel your academic stress beginning to overwhelm you, taking a few slow, deep breaths can help you calm down and stop being as affected.

4. Try calming techniques

For thousands of years, yoga and meditation have been a practice that has demonstrated its value in a variety of ways. Reducing academic stress can be done by one of these strategies. Yoga promotes mental clarity so that you may consider the reasons for and solutions for academic stress, just like deep, steady breathing does. Additionally, yoga encourages flexibility and proper posture. 

5. Listen to your music

Your preferred type of music can often work wonders to lift your spirits and reduce stress and worry. Good music has frequently been associated with escapism, so if your goal is to unwind and ignore the factors contributing to your academic stress, listening to music can frequently help you do this. Nevertheless, some musical subgenres encourage the expression of particular sensations, such as the release of repressed anger in heavy metal or the sensation of surrealism in lo-fi. Avoid genres that encourage even more melancholy and unfavorable feelings because they frequently make you feel more stressed.

6. Clean your work area

A tidy workspace is a comfortable workspace. Nobody wants an unorganized, cluttered workspace. This will simply serve to remind you of the deadlines, exams, and other anxieties that are soon to come. To help yourself remember that you are in charge of what you are doing and that stressors do not influence it, take some time to organize your workstation. You’ll experience less strain and stress over your academics as you keep in mind that you are in charge of your own actions and the more organized your workspace is.

7. Positive thoughts go a long way

The earlier advice would not be effective unless you had a positive outlook, which is the focus of this suggestion. Try to have a positive approach and see things from a new perspective. It can take some time to complete, but once you realize that this is all one big struggle for you to overcome, it will all have been worthwhile. If you do not consider the typical stressors to be stressors, there won’t be any academic stress. You may counteract the effects of academic stress and perceive it as a challenge that can help you achieve greater heights by altering your perspective and adopting a positive mental attitude.

8. Confide in someone

The final piece of suggestion we can provide you is to talk to someone about it if you want to reduce academic stress. Talking to someone and letting all your tension out for them to listen is helpful. This gives you the chance to hear your issues for yourself and get a response or assurance from another person. You can express your concerns to loved ones, peers, teachers, tutors, or even licensed psychologists, and you’ll start to feel a lot better. Or you could jot your thoughts down in a journal and share them with your loved ones. Anything you can do to communicate and express your worry to others will significantly help to lessen academic stress.


Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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