Stress is nothing but the difference between reality and expectations. As the gap increases, the stress also intensifies. However, stress is not a bad thing at all. Some amount of stress is essential to enhance your performance and to excel in life; it becomes bad only when it starts affecting your performance negatively. A bad stress is also called distress. Every normal individual suffers from stress. Its duration, which may range from one minute to many hours or even weeks and months, varies as alleviating it totally depends on your stress management skills. Stress management is essential to reduce its negative effects and enhance the positive ones on your performance.
The Central Superior Service (CSS) is, undoubtedly, an exam of nerves as passing through it requires exhaustive preparations made with full concentration and that can be done only by following a hectic study schedule. It takes many months, even years, to fully prepare oneself for the exam. In spite of such strenuous efforts, majority of students — more than 95 percent — could not succeed. They either do not appear in the exam or fail the written or the viva voce part. While studying and preparing for the CSS written exam, and later in interview, the students do experience a lot of stress. Therefore, it is inevitable for them to know how the skills to manage stress for enhancing their performance in terms of better study and preparation. This is the only panacea for earning good marks in the written exam as well as the interview.
A number of causes can be cited for this stress. For example, an unbalanced apportionment of time between study and family, strained relationship with friends, tight study schedule, studying too much, etc. Likewise, weather, noise and other types of pollution may also cause stress. Then there are physical causes of stress like poor diet, lack of exercise, etc.
There is another form of stress that is more disturbing and perplexing because it is a self-generated stress which has various forms like thinking to be perfectionist always, a desire to please everyone in the family, impose pressure on oneself to excel in life, inability to accept criticism, etc.
The driving forces behind stress include time pressure, financial constraints, too much load of study, and poor interpersonal relationships. At the same time, there are forces such as good and pleasant home life and satisfaction, etc. that reduce stress.
Stress causes severe problems and has its negative impact on one’s performance in a field. Moreover, it upsets digestive system, increases heartbeat, leads to migraines, headaches and fatigue.
In view of the negative effects of excessive and prolonged stress, it is important to manage it if one wants to improve one’s performance.
First and foremost thing is that you must assess your own potential i.e., whether you find yourself suitable for CSS exam or not? In this regard, you can benefit from institutions which are engaged in the process of guiding students and preparing them for CSS exam such as World Times Academy. You can also consult their teachers as they better know the potential of their pupils.
Second, once you decide to go for CSS, you must foster harmony between study and family matters so that family issues do not divide your attention during your preparations. You should avoid too much interaction with family members during this time, and keep away from trivial family issues.
Third, normally providing for financial resources to prepare for CSS exam after graduation or master’s degree is somewhat difficult for low income, and in some cases, middle income families. Handy sums of money are required to purchase books and newspapers, paying fees, etc. You should manage within the available resources.
Fourth, you must avoid smoking. The students may think that smoking provides relaxation despite the fact that it is injurious to health and leads to stress and other diseases. It is a waste of financial resources as well.
Fifth, you must get used to morning walk and light exercises as it will have a soothing impact on your body as well as mind. This relaxation is essential to enhance your retention power.
You should also exercise regularly. It is also to be noted that sometimes it’s better to be alone in a quiet place. Last but not least, getting enough sleep is also important. Do take a nap when feeling tired or bored.
In a nutshell, the CSS aspirants must learn the ways and techniques to manage stress, and to remain active in the pursuit of your goal i.e. success in CSS exam.
The writer is a graduate in Taxation Policy & Management from Keio University Japan and has certification in International Economics and Law & Economics from Faculty of Economics Keio University, Japan.