Seven tips to beat exam stress

Exams are approaching, and many students will now be in the deepest depths of a library trying to absorb information via osmosis.  However, many students end up generating more heat than light. Here are some tips to help you stay happy and productive during this revision season.

1) Get some sleep

If you go to bed feeling anxious, you’ll find it harder to fall asleep. Avoid starting a new chapter of your revision book late in the day. It’ll still be there in the morning when your mind is fresh.

2) Don’t avoid topics you dislike

If a particular subject is causing issues, don’t dwell for too long on it, but don’t forget about it completely. Changing your study environment or talking it through with someone can work wonders.

3) Fuel yourself effectively

Snacking on junk food while revising is all too easy, but won’t do you any good. Brain foods like blueberries, avocados and salmon genuinely aid memory functions. Don’t be tempted to overdo the caffeine or drugs that claim to enhance performance – the downsides outweigh any supposed benefits.

4) Flex your mind and body

Any form of exercise is beneficial during exam time. Yoga is particularly good at stimulating your brain to produce chemicals to control calmness. Deep, slow breathing techniques can aid relaxation and a few daily minutes of mindfulness can stop you feeling overwhelmed.

5) Avoid negative vibes 

Avoid being a sounding board for moans from your friends – a ‘who’s more stressed?’ contest will do neither of you any good. Tune your TV to a comedy series rather than a news bulletin about impending World War 3. 

6) Schedule in a treat

Have something other than a single-track focus on exam day. Book in a break away with friends that you can start looking forward to. Research things to see and plan some activities to take your mind off the task at hand.

7) Embrace the stress

If you weren’t nervous during exam time, you wouldn’t be human. It’s not about not being stressed, it’s about how you channel your energies to achieve the results you deserve. Exams only count for a tiny fraction of your life, so don’t forget about the rest of it.

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