Preparing yourself for an exam: Beating stress

It’s that time of the year, kids are worried and parents are worried even more. With sleepless nights and the constant pressure of coming first stresses students out.  Our brains are wired to take some stress, but incessant stress is a deterrent in growth. The first thing to do when preparing for any exam to calm down. Acknowledge that an exam is important, but it isn’t the end of the world. We lay too much focus on retaining information rather than understanding it. Spending considerable time understanding a concept will help reduce the stress to a great degree.  When we are stressed, our brains tend to release a high amount of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol will affect our normal thinking processes. This will affect our performance during the exam. So de-stressing is important for improving productivity as it helps in absorbing more information. Below are a few tricks to de-stress yourself during this exam season.

Plan your time accordingly and appreciate your efforts

As a parent, it is understandable that you want your child to make the most of every waking minute, but know that that’s neither practical nor healthy. Create a time table to accommodate a child’s interests.  Once you make an achievable timetable and start following it, you will start feeling more relieved. A time table with effective time management ensures the right amount of rest and activity. A personal study plan can reassure you that the portions will be covered and thus you will feel less stressed. It helps the child become more productive and stay motivated throughout the study leave. Also, you could give them a treat when you accomplish the tasks which you assigned for yourself.

Drink, Eat and avoid!

It is very important to have healthy food during preparation time. Food must include items with a lot of Vitamin C as it has the ability to reduce cortisol and blood pressure. Since the human body doesn’t produce vitamin C, it is necessary to include it in the diet. For example, guava, strawberry, orange, papaya, etc. are a few fruits and vegetables rich with vitamin C. Also, staying hydrated can reduce the stress level to a large extent. Drinking tea and eating dark chocolate will effectively help in reducing stress. However, coffee which contains caffeine is a stimulant. It increases the stress level rather than bringing it down. It is advisable to avoid coffee although it feels like it keeps you awake. Try drinking herbal tea or hot chocolate instead.

Say no Distractions

Distractions are common, if it isn’t social media, it is a game on the phone, if it isn’t that its something else. It is impossible to not be distracted, but the idea is to come back to our ‘task at hand’ quickly. Mobile phones, especially social media can have a big negative impact on during the exam time. Make sure to switch off all the notifications. Switching your phone off or putting it on airplane mode might also work during these times. There are several apps that can help you control your mobile usage.

Breathe fresh air 

Exercise is key when it comes to boosting productivity. The release of happy hormones are essential to ace an exam!  Exercising or sweating out reduces the stress level too. Physical activities help in better blood circulation which makes one more active and energetic. Physical activities can be anything from playing on the ground to hitting the gym. Yoga or meditation can also reduce the stress level as you will feel more at peace after a meditation.

Revise with mock tests

Revising is as important as studying. Revising gives a sort of reassurance which reduces stress. It is also important not to overdo it. Mock tests can help in evaluating what areas need improving on. Mock tests boost confidence in attending an exam

Along with all the mentioned tips, it is very vital to get enough rest too. Don’t forget to include 7-10 hours of sleep in the routine. We usually get stressed because of the fear of failing, lack of preparation, pressure from family, difficulty to study, etc. Sometimes all we need might be someone to talk to. Never hold up the pressure and stress as it might have a bad impact on the future. Talk to a dear friend or a family member and also, never hesitate to seek medical assistance or counseling in case you feel very stressed up or tired. Deal with exam stress with courage and come out with flying colors!

Understand that an exam is just an evaluation of how much you’ve learned. Don’t attach your self worth to how well you do. It isn’t the end of the world.

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