Exam stress affects the most students in various ways. It is important to manage this stress & find little ways of helping to reduce the risk of burnout. Sometimes, dealing with stress (especially during exam season) is a very difficult thing to do. With an estimated 20-50% annual increase of university students seeking help for studies-related mental health issues, it’s clear that we all are under more pressure than ever before.
For some students, exams can be a breeze; revision is second thing to them & they could ace an exam with their eyes closed. But in this world all people were not same right! For some other students sweaty palms & heart palpitations are just a part of the territory. It seems that nothing is more impossible than sitting down & revising. Here are some easy tips that can help to deal with stress and make sure you can get through exam season.
1. Breathe and stretch as you study
Breathing techniques is one of the quickest & easiest ways to relieve tension in the body & calm the mind. Take deep, slow breaths the body undergoes a relaxation response: the heart rate slows, muscles relax and blood pressure drops. Try at least for 5 minutes of ventral breathing focusing on filling the air in the stomach area or breathe in for a count of seven, hold your breath for seven seconds, breath out for about 7 seconds.
Stretching the body will also help you to relieve muscle tension, increase circulation and focus your brain. Enroll in a gentle yoga class for a guided stretching session, then practice the techniques at home. It is important to take a little break from sitting at your desk. Not only will it keep you relaxed or alert also help you to sleep better for all which leads to more effective studying & exam performance.
2. Cut out Distractions
Social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. are not only hugely distracting when you’re supposed to be working, but studies have shown they can make us feel stressed or experience ‘FOMO’ (fear of missing out) if we spend too long browsing them. Completely avoiding the social media, if only for 1 hours, will aid your focus & prevent you from getting lost in any negative thought.
3. Improve your exam time management
It is also common for students to worry about time management in exams. If you are concerned about running out of time at the end & leaving your questions incomplete or rushing through questions or finishing the exam too early then practice will definitely help with this. When practicing your mock exam questions, be strict with yourself over timings so that you don’t run over the amount you’re allowed in the exam. With all this practice, by the time you reach your exam, you’ll be a pro with timings & have a good idea of what kinds of questions to expect on the day.
4. Exercise and eat healthily
Exercise gets your blood flowing & pumps your heart. It’s a proven stress-buster as it fills your brain with endorphins, which are basically happy hormones. So, once you stop working out, you can feel a lot more alert than you had been earlier. Sometimes the idea of exercising during times of high stress feels like the last thing you want to do, but we guarantee you will feel better afterwards. Eating the right foods during stressful times is also important for mental health.
5. Talk it out
When you’re feeling upset or anxious about your studies and exams, the pressure can feel overwhelming. The best way to get a handle on the situation is to talk to your yourself. If it’s all getting too much at your desk, take time out to call your best friend or parent and talk out your exam stresses. You’ll feel so much relax just for voicing your worries & will come off the phone with newfound focus & determination. There is no replacement for face-to-face human contact, though. If studying alone is turning you into a ball of stress, find a friend to be your study buddy or join a university study group.
6. Don’t always listen to others
As the old saying goes:“comparison is the thief of joy”. However, it is helpful to discuss the topics with fellow students or repeatedly to revise together but never try to compare other peoples’ revision to your own. Listening to other people talk about what they’ve learnt will only stress you out & may make you feel like you aren’t progressing as well as them. If they themselves are stressed this can rub off on to you & other people’s stress is not what you need right now.
7. Music sooths the soul
According to me music is the best solution to relief from the stress. Whenever you feel upset or can’t decide what to do next just listen yourself. Just close your eyes and play your favorite song. After some time you relax or fresh. Even science has shown how certain types of music has powerful effects on animals and plants. This also holds true for human beings. Many studies show that psychological states such as anxiety, depression, nervousness are strongly affected by forms of music. So, whenever you are in stress just listen yourself.
8. Pray and Meditate to calm nerves
Prayer is the best method of bringing exam-time nerves that are running wild back under rein will not be for everybody. If you are religious, spiritual, or a person of faith, prayer has been shown to be quite effective in boosting feelings of calm & peace. Even I also do prayer during my exam-time. If prayer is not for you don’t’ worry ! Meditation is also create similar states of mind that can decrease anxiety & nervousness. Some research suggests that the prayer has a stronger correlation to lowering feelings of anxiety than non-religious meditation. Other research reports both prayer or meditation having similar results. All in all, if you are nervous it may be good to slow down, collect your thoughts & say a prayer.
9. Make bedtime a priority
This one isn’t going to be easy since you are a student and all, but going to bed at roughly the same time every night is a fail-safe way to improve the quality of your sleep. A bedtime routine is also advised so that the body knows it is about to relax. Turn off all electronic devices at least for half an hour before sleeping & don’t try to study from your bed, as you will begin to associate it with negative emotions such as stress.
10. Believe in yourself
When being constantly faced with many challenges, we often forget to look back at how far we have come and how much we have already achieved. Given that you have prepared well, there should be no reason for you to worry. When you experience a negative thought, try to replace it with a positive one. For example, instead of thinking, “I am a failure”, think ‘Whatever I get, “I will be proud of myself” & value how much I have already achieved’.
You can do this. You can do whatever you want to just believe in yourself! I hope this tips will help you to deal with exam pressure. Don’t take stress too much on yourself & All the best for your exam!