Relieve Stress before Exams
by Vishal P. Rao
More than expectations from self, it is parental expectations that are often the primary cause of stress before exams. Many times one is able to come to terms with ones own ability and settle for doing the best and leave the rest to powers that be. Parents, on the other hand always seem to expect their children to perform a lot better, usually beyond what they are capable of.
Stress before exams can be broadly defined as the feeling of anxiety about performance in exams. History of unrealistic parental expectations adds to the stress that a student is already experiencing. You can use the following tips to relieve stress that you may be going through due to upcomingexams.
* Prepare a timetable that takes into account sufficient time for fun and relaxation.
* Practice writing when you are revising a topic. This will stand you in good stead in the examination itself.
* Plan revisions and complete them within the time you have allotted to each revision. This will help in boosting your confidence. Make sure that you set achievable targets.
* Depend upon recall as much as you do on reading. Practice writing as you would do in the examination. Better still, take tests on your own and allot the same time that you expect when you appear for examination.
* Do not let you mind stray into negative thoughts. Make positive affirmations to yourself: ‘I can do it.’ ‘I am good at it.’ ‘I am methodical and organized.’ “I have to do it come what may.’
* As you read ask questions to yourself. As you go along try summarizing for easy recall. These are active learning techniques that help in the long run.
* Prevent fatigue. Take a break as soon as you feel tired. Avoid television and music during these breaks as they are liable to tempt you to extend listening and watching.
* Learn breathing exercises to prevent mental fatigue. Sit in a comfortable position and breathe in deeply, pause and then breathe out slowly. Pause again and repeat.
* Allow adequate time for sleeping. Stick to a sleeping pattern that you are comfortable with.
* Do not overeat as it is liable to induce drowsiness. Eat healthy foods and avoid fatty meals. Fresh fruit and vegetable salad is best to keep you alert.
* Avoid coffee and caffeinated drinks. These may keep you awake but hamper clarity of thought.
The thing to remember in order to effectively relieve stress before exams is that relaxation is as important as hard work. It is important that you peak at the time you actually appear for the examination and not before. This is possible only if you work hard but also if you allow adequate time for fun and relaxation.
Many students are frightened of exams because they know they have not put in the required effort before exams. However, other times it is irrational exam fear that causes stress. Most schools have a counseling service that can lend useful support to get over exam fear. If extreme fear is causing stress and you have sensations like sweating, panic attacks, memory losses and experience difficulty in breathing it is better to consult a doctor.
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