Are you one of the many people struggling with exam stress? Does the thought of sitting in front of those mysterious questions make your heart race and your body start to sweat? Relax! You can conquer those fears and exam stress by using some simple stress reduction strategies.
• Remember the simple art of breathing. Take several slow breaths in and let your mind focus on releasing the tension with the existing breath. It's a simple concept, but one that is quickly forgotten when panic about tests occurs.
• Think positive thoughts. The best way to psych yourself out of doing well is to make yourself panic through negative self talk. Focus on the positives. Convince yourself that you can do this. Also, remind yourself that it is not the end of the world as you know it if you don't get a 100% on the test.
• Take time to exercise. A great way to improve brain function is to improve blood flow to that part of your body. Exercise is a fabulous way to do this. Exercise also helps to relieve emotional stress by elevating levels of endorphins in your body.
• Don't over study. It is tempting to try to cram studying into every spare moment of life when you are experiencing exam anxiety. You want to make sure that you have covered all of the bases and know the material by heart. The problem with this is that if you don't give your brain a break, then the process of moving information form the short-term memory to the long-term memory can be impacted. If your brain is tired, it will not function as well. Give yourself the brain power you need by scheduling study time in shorter sessions. Plan ahead of time so that you know you have specific time laid out to study.
Coping with exam stress can help you to be more successful in your academic career. Don't forget to give yourself the breaks you need to keep your mental health in a positive place. Burnout will not help you to do well on your exams.