Doctoral Thesis Writing: Dealing with Stress – Ten Tips to Help you reduce it

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Doctoral Thesis Writing: Dealing with Stress – Ten Tips to Help you reduce it

Thesis writing is one of the most intensive academic undertakings you will accomplish in life. From finding the research topic, writing a research proposal, formulating a thesis, doing research, compiling your paper, editing and proofreading, there’s a lot of work that goes into your paper. You have to wake up at crazy hours to write, and the project consumes every aspect of your life for months.  It is no wonder many MA students complain about thesis stress, and many fail to complete their projects. If you plan to start your thesis or you are in the process of writing it, this article will help you deal with the stress that comes with the task.

Make Adjustments In Your Life

It is important to appreciate that your dissertation will take a lot of your time. To avoid stress when you start, make adjustments in your life and accommodate the project in your daily routine. This may include sacrificing some hours of your social life and committing them to write your paper.

Stay Organized

If you want to maintain sanity during this stressful period, you have to organize every aspect of your life. An orderly lifestyle is the easiest way to avoid losing your mind when researching and writing. Make sure you have a serene and organized workspace and gather all necessary materials before you start.

Create a To-do List Daily

You have to create a to-do list every day before getting started in the project. These mini-goals help you stay focused and avoid panic along the way. You will not jump from one section to the other but rather follow your to-do list to complete the project systematically.

Get Constant Feedback

Much of the stress you experience when writing a dissertation arises from the fear that you won’t ace the project. By regularly consulting with your supervisor and getting feedback, you array such fears and reduce stress.

Take Breaks

Sometimes you just have to walk away from the paper and get some fresh air. During such breaks, do things you love to reduce stress and reinvigorate your brain. ‘


Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is crucial for enhanced productivity but more importantly, for reducing stress. The National Institute of Health (NIH) highlights stress as one of the dangers of sleep deprivation and this is one reason to get more than 7 hours of sleep even when the thesis deadline looms.

Eat Healthily

It is easy to get hooked to junk food and fizzy drinks when under pressure writing your dissertation. These foods irritate and cause stress, and you have to avoid them at all costs. You need to eat healthy energy-giving foods.

Family and friends are a Godsend

Keep your family and friends close as they will always inspire and motivate you when things get tough. They help you avoid stress and keep going.

Break Down Your Paper

Don’t attempt to complete an entire chapter in one sitting and instead, break down every section into small sections which you can complete easily.

Exercise and Keep Fit

You should incorporate exercise into your thesis writing project to ensure your body and mind function optimally and to avert stress. A jog around the block can lower stress levels instantly as will other exercises.

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Stacey Chillemi

I am on a mission to transform the health of millions worldwide. Check out my website at I am a popular and recognizable health and lifestyle reporter and expert, columnist and health host. Author of The Complete Guide to Natural Healing and Natural Remedies for Common Conditions, along with 20 other published books. I am the founder of The Complete Herbal Guide and a recognized health and natural remedies expert, with over 20 years in practice as a Health Coach. I write for the Huffington Post, Huff Post, Thrive Global and Medium (Owned by Arianna Huffington). I have been a guest on the Dr. Oz Show, local news, and numerous radio shows. My focus is on natural healing, herbal remedies, alternative methods, self-motivation, food for medicine, nutrition, fitness, natural beauty remedies and the power of positive thinking.