Education & Career Trends: July 17
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS
Excerpts are taken from an article published on makeuseof.com.
A new study published in Frontiers in Psychology suggests that technology can effectively help individuals manage stress, particularly in academic settings. The study also highlights the need to avoid overload and practice patience when dealing with stress.
While students adopt coping strategies to deal with stress, many of the traditionally accepted coping strategies often fall short when it comes to effective stress management.
Students often do not use the ‘traditional’ health services (e.g., discussion groups, psychological consultations) available to them within universities due to the stigma associated with mental difficulties, or the inaccessibility of these services with regard to their cost or waiting time, or lack of awareness of the existence of the service.
When it comes to real, functional improvements to how one copes with stress, the study found that the participants were generally optimistic about using technology, like portable biofeedback devices (including sensor-loaded wearables), to record their physiological and psychological data — which could gather more accurate, objective, and real-time data compared to subjective self-report measures.
However, it’s important to note that although technology has the capability to generate detailed reports, it doesn’t automatically imply that utilising it is the most appropriate course of action.
In order to leverage technology for effective academic stress management, here are four pieces of advice for students:
1. Understand that technology is just one tool among many
- Technology is one tool in the stress management arsenal.
- Students should not overlook other methods that work for them, such as stress management workshops, psychological counselling, physical exercise, or conversations with family and friends.
2. Identify and focus on resources that help your specific needs
- Identify reliable stress management resources, focus on those that specifically address individual needs, and avoid information overload.
3. Set up a time and create a suitable environment
- Take precautions that will allow you to fully focus and experience the benefits of stress reduction.
- Committing to an environment conducive to stress reduction will enhance your ability to cope with academic stress.
4. Be patient and persistent
- Similar to any change, using technology for stress management requires time and adjustment.
- Also, grant yourself the opportunity to explore various tools and techniques, adapting your use of technology based on what suits you best.
Here are four suggestions for educational institutions and policymakers looking to integrate technology to help students deal with stress:
- Create a centralised online platform that offers comprehensive information about students’ academic journeys and maintains their well-being. This tailored platform would alleviate students’ stress levels by providing personalised guidance and support.
- Customise these platforms to align with students’ unique academic profiles, including their faculties or course curricula. Traditional stress management programmes provided by universities frequently overlook individual backgrounds and experiences.
- Acknowledge the intricate nature of students’ mental health concerns. Co-design the platform’s content and functionality in collaboration with the students themselves. This can help understand their specific needs and promote adherence to stress management programmes. Co-designing also allows for regular evaluation and adaptation of the content to effectively contribute to students’ well-being and stress reduction.
- Digital mental health platforms can offer the opportunity to accurately measure and manage academic stress. By taking physiological and psychological aspects into account and providing students with personalised resources for stress management, institutions and individuals can help students beat academic stress.
Have you checked out yesterday’s blog yet?
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article mentioned above are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)