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Identifying and Handling Stress During Legal Exams

The stress of a law school, or any challenging academic program, can reach extreme levels.  Many students are able to lean on friends, family, and university staff.  Some students, however, have difficulty either realizing the level of stress they are experiencing or acknowledging that they need help.  Others, while they do know that they need help, are unsure where to find effective help.   Rana Walker, M.ED, a therapist with over 18 years of experience, shares insight into how students can handle stress.

Find My Law Tutor.  What are some tell-tale signs that students tend to show when they are stressed? 

Rana Walker.   Symptoms can be physical, emotional, and behavioral.  Physical manifestations include an increase in heart rate and an increase in the blood supply to the heart and brain.  Breathing becomes labored and produces a hormone called cortisol that allows us to deal with stress effectively. However, if stress continues for too long it can have deleterious long term effects such as headaches, upset stomach, chest pain, high blood pressure, problems sleeping, heart palpitations, heart attacks, cancer, and autoimmune diseases.

Emotional responses to stress include, but are not limited to, worry, anxiety, sadness, anger, forgetfulness, and loss of concentration, fear and exhaustion.

Behavioral symptoms in students include over-eating or eating too little, irritability, crying excessively, isolating self socially, and self-medicating with drugs and/or alcohol.

 

FMLT.  What are a few tips for helping students reduce and manage stress?

Walker. 

  1. Between the hours of 10PM and 2AM  the body repairs itself and the liver detoxifies itself.  The body has to be at rest for this to happen successfully.  Also, you can maintain your weight better when you get adequate sleep because without it cortisol develops in the body and will actually promote weight gain.

 

  1. Nothing makes the body happier than when it is moving and sweating.  When you exercise, your body releases toxins while keeping your entire system functioning at its highest level and simultaneously releases endorphins that serve to create a sense of calm in your world.

 

  1. Eat balanced meals containing protein (meat or vegetarian options) as well as leafy green vegetables and fruit, as well as a sufficient amount of water.   Doing so will keep the brain functioning optimally, alleviate brain fog, dramatically increase energy levels, and elevate your mood.

 

  1. Meditation has been proven to reduce stress, improve mood, strengthen brain activity, and normalize breathing.  It is a great tool for students to use to relax  before major tests, presentations and other potentially anxiety producing activities.

 

  1. Visit a therapist or psychologist at the university’s student center to express your feelings, thoughts and challenges to assist you in successfully navigating law school and life.

 

  1. Laugh often. Laughter is great for your abs and has been proven to have medicinal properties resulting in enhancing your overall sense of wellbeing.

 

About Rana Walker, M.Ed.

Rana Walker is the President & Founder of Diamond Cutter, LLC., a wellness company dedicated to enhancing mind, body and spirit. She is an experienced mental health therapist and wellness coach with over 18 years of experience.   Ms.  Walker received her B.S. in Psychology from Howard University and later obtained a M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology from Temple University.  She has lectured and facilitated workshops domestically and abroad.

In addition, Ms. Walker  has been featured in a number of national publications for her fitness, wellness coaching and business acumen.  She has credits in television health segments, locally, nationally and internationally, including health coach for Discovery Health Channel’s six program mini-series, entitled “Health Cops: Sentenced to Health”, which premiered in 2002.  She starred as one of two life coaches on Season 1 of NBC’s groundbreaking program, “Starting Over” which aired daily and garnered an Emmy Award for her role as life coach.

To contact Ms. Walker visit her website at www.diamondcutterllc.com .  Additional contact information:   215-880-7611, rana_walker@yahoo.com,  Twitter:  @theRanaWalker,  Facebook listed as Rana Walker.

 

 

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