You will never know your limits unless you push yourself to the maximum.
We all feel a sense of growing dread when it’s that time of the exams. Exams are a necessary evil, some argue, while others blatantly say they’re pointless, with conviction. Good or not, exams are a part of every student’s education life. And exams can be stressful! So let me talk about the reasons why exam stress is caused and how to deal with it.
Stress is of many types and is an inevitable consequence in life. Exams can cause a lot of stress and anxiety, taking their toll on our minds. The causes for exam stress could be,
- Low motivation
- Lack of preparation or planning
- High expectations from others
- Competition from peers
We come across the following physical problems during exams:
- Muscle tension
- Sleep difficulties
- Fast, shallow breathing
- Chest discomfort
- Change in appetite
80% of success is showing up.
We have heard by now all the tried and tested techniques to relieve exam stress, some of them work and some of them well don’t. They all talk about taking breaks, managing your time, studying ahead etc. Some even tell you to take naps and go for short walks.
We have seen, heard or tried most of these before. But now let us see some quirky and unconventional methods to beat exam stress.
- Listen to soothing music with no lyrics
Soothing music helps you concentrate better. Non-lyrical, monotonous music without bass or beat drops are perfect for this. The monotony sets in with your reading pace and it makes it easier to concentrate. This even helps you ignore other distractions, especially noisy ones.
- Get enough sleep
I cannot emphasize this enough. Sleep is such an important key to a hard worked day. A good night’s sleep not only relieves stress, but increases concentration power and helps you learn. It makes you active and keeps you fresh minded throughout the day.
- Make use of mobile apps
There are many apps today that help you with your studies – they teach you Math, they improve your vocabulary; they help you with complex equations and grammar. Some host videos for better understanding and many apps have descriptive explanations of different study topics. In addition, there are some mobile apps which can be used to improve concentration or relieve stress. I believe these apps will also prove very useful to relieve exam stress.
- Give your mind space
This might sound like voodoo or some psychological babble, but it’s actually true. Meditation helps you relax and rejuvenate your mind so when you start studying, it helps you focus and remember better. It prevents a common problem of suffocated breathing and panic attacks before exams.
- Eat dark chocolate
Dark chocolate has a number of benefits, its function as a stress buster is known to very few. Scientifically speaking, it has over 70% cocoa, which fights a hormone cortisol, due to which we experience exam stress. Normal chocolates can also work for this cause, they release endorphins, the happy hormones, and act as a natural stress buster.
Set your goals higher, the higher the better.
- Break free from distractions
How many times have we been distracted by our phone, by the telly or by other distractions? We wave it away saying it doesn’t waste a whole lot of time, but that is not the only consequence of distractions. Getting distracted constantly can make you forget things and force you to study repetitively. This not only wastes time but decreases your memory.
- Play with pets
Playing with your cat or dog or even goldfish is such a stress buster, I feel. Pets give you unconditional happiness, they make you laugh, make you smile and fill you with joy. Also, it is not a time waster as it doesn’t take long to spend time with your pets, just be there.
- Burst bubbles in bubble wrap
This is the quirkiest (weird in a way, I admit) technique. Bubble wrap has helped a good many generations in maintaining calm, release pressure and above all, while away time. But it’s true; it can help you relieve stress. So get hold of that bubble wrap, deemed useless in most households, and pop away; you’ll be popping your stress too, I guarantee.
- Talk it out
Sometimes you feel so stressed that you just want to vent it out. Same applies to exam stress. I suggest at times like these, go talk it out with someone you are comfortable with. It could be your parents, friends or even teachers. There are many schools and colleges which have their own counselling staff on board – they can help you better. You can also get help by taking online therapy. It’s always better to vent all the stress out instead of building it, which can lead to various other problems.
When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane take off against the wind, not with it.
You need to put all those negative feelings aside and concentrate on your learning goals. As long as exams are a part of our educational system, they are completely necessary and utterly important – they build your career and so your future depends on them too. A minimum level of seriousness and proper planning is a must. I hope you ace all your tests from now!