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Ways to bust that stress

Dance and try out yoga to stay focussed and calm during exam time reports Suzanne Hughe

education Updated: Feb 23, 2011 09:47 IST
Suzanne Hughe

If you’re looking for ways to ease exam related stress, a dance or yoga session might just do the trick. Several creative outlets are available for students to relieve stress. Relieving stress through positive channels has taken on special significance considering the cut-throat academic competition existing today. People must pause to think about ways in which students can perform well can without being overcome by pressure.

Around examination season, counsellors are at their busiest providing personalised pro-active solutions for both students and parents. Such advice comprises tips on time management, setting study schedules and dealing with stress.

“We provide individual and specific solutions for specific requirements and/or problems of the child or parent. Different students relax or release stress in different ways. Some may like to take breaks to listen to music, others to take a walk or to exercise,” says a CBSE counsellor who does not wish to be named.

Another place one can approach is Delhi’s Life Skills Education, School Health and Community Wellness Programme, which specialises in counselling students to cope with pressure and enhance their study skills.

Dr Jitendra Nagpal, programme director, Expressions India, says, “Students face pressure because of exams, but more because of parental expectations and peer pressure. The most important advice is to lead a stable and healthy lifestyle by monitoring dietary habits, sleep patterns, hygiene, fitness etc and to increase parent-child interaction, which creates a conducive environment at home. This goes a long way in helping the student.”

Dance it all away
Apart from being counselled, students can search for stress busting alternatives in activities that relax or energise them. One can pursue dance therapy, which allows one to express oneself and gain confidence. “We conduct child-oriented productions that include movement activities so that the child is comfortable with his/her body, and not just focused on the performance aspect of the dance,” says Tripura Kashyap, projects coordinator, Bhoomika Creative Dance Centre, where a teacher programme promotes integrating dance into the curriculum.

Another institute, the Kanhai Institute of Performing Arts, has formulated an exercise module just for students who need a break from routine stress. The institute holds weekly classes that feature a unique combination of hip-hop dance followed by yoga and meditation.

“With pressures mounting on students every day as exams edge closer, we decided to hold special classes just for them. The module ensures they exert pressure on the right muscles, stretch correctly, and make them fit, energised and relaxed,” says Madhav, chief operating officer, Kanhai Institute of Performing Arts.

“Dance is a passionate activity. It allows you to express yourself all through the year, and helps you keep going despite parental and peer pressure. It breaks the shell of exam stress and energises and relaxes you,” says Raghav Kumar, a student of Class 12 at The Indian School, and a participant of Kanhai's classes.

“Whether you are dancing or doing yoga, the stress of having to get good marks or getting admission into a good college is relieved. You can just forget everything and relax,” says Sargam Sharma, a student of commerce, Banyan Tree School.

“I believe this class is very good for students. I have never felt that education was as important as fitness,” adds her mother, Pinky Sharma.

Who can help
. Kanhai Institute of Performing Arts holds classes in Defence Colony, Vasant Kunj, Noida and Gurgaon. Ph:
. For counselling related to exams, call the CBSE helpline at: 011 - 22236110/11/12/13 or log on to :
. The Life Skills Education, School Health and Community Wellness Program, Delhi. Ph: 9818399006,
9312269669, 9810435544, 9818599800, 9910173330