Do you panic during exams? Learn to manage stress so that it does not block your brain skills. Healthy lifestyle, breathing, methodology ... Good practices that have proven their value.
How to cope with stress?
Let's say first that we should not dream: any test, exam or major competition inevitably generates a certain fear.
The goal is not to eliminate stress, but to prevent it from overwhelming you and not using your memory and reasoning ability when you need it most. It is about "management", ie the use of that energy in a positive way, for example, to make detailed and in-depth reviews.
Stress can "provoke" you, but it shouldn't bring you down.
Body, brain, emotions, thoughts: a potpourri that brings stress.
Specifically, stress passes through the body: it accelerates the heartbeat, makes you sweat, can induce headaches that interfere with the concentration and recovery of knowledge. These manifestations are not imaginary: they are caused by the secretion of a hormone in the hypothalamus, an important area of the brain that also regulates memory.
To act on stress, we can travel through the body. But not only. Because psychoaffective factors also play an important role in the occurrence of stress. Do you lack confidence? Do you have bad memories of a failed exam? Therefore, we can act on our thinking and also on cognitive mechanisms, in the way we learn and study.
It's up to you to identify where you like to choose the right stress weapon for you.
Sleep and a healthy lifestyle: stay fit.
The first useful weapon for everyone is sleep. During all exams and until the day before the exam, make sure you get enough sleep every night.
Avoid sleepless nights at all costs. On the one hand, lack of sleep weakens your ability to pay attention and memorize, and on the other hand, fatigue makes you more fragile. If you are tired, you worry more easily, mentally you are less strong in the face of difficulties.
Also, make sure you eat a balanced diet and drink a lot during exams and don't forget to oxygenate yourself.
Too much coffee.
Coffee and hot drinks in an uncontrollable and sometimes exaggerated way can be the cause of insomnia, anorexia, tachycardia, hypertension, drug addiction and anxiety, the first enemy of memory!
relaxation, breathing and cardiac coherence.
How to control stress?
Do you know how to relax? Sport is a great way to relieve stress. But you don't always have time to run, play tennis or swim.
Therefore, it can be helpful to learn to do small relaxation exercises. One of the simplest techniques is deep breathing. It involves a deep, conscious breath for a few moments, as you inflate your belly and turn your attention to the path of air in your body.
This allows, on the one hand, to oxygenate yourself and, above all, to focus on your body. Let go of your stressful thoughts, find your calm and be able to think again. If you are used to doing this at home, you can do it during the exam, if necessary.
How to breathe to relax?
Put both legs up, straighten your back;
Let the air enter you slowly and mentally follow the path;
Feel the air drop and let your belly swell;
Exhale slowly as you contract your stomach;
Do this two or three times in a row.
Cardiac coherence is a more sophisticated breathing technique that involves coordinating heart rate, respiration and blood flow. Because stress tends to speed up the heartbeat, we slow it down by breathing: inhaling lightly for 5 seconds and exhaling 5 seconds for 5 minutes, the heartbeat becomes regular. Its curve, which in normal times is quite chaotic, begins to oscillate a lot on a regular basis. .
Cardiac coherence causes a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol, an effect that can last for several hours. So it is a very effective method.
At exams, how to deal with stress?
The better you study, the better you will master the subject to pass the exam, which generally increases your confidence, as long as it is well organized. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting discouraged by your shortcomings and going crazy thinking about topics that might fall.
Therefore, to limit stress, apply these simple rules of organization:
- Make a review program to distribute the entire program in the time available.
- Rotate topics and take regular breaks to maintain good concentration and efficiency.
- Practice the exam exercises.
- On the eve of the exam, don't get tired. relax and prepare your work well.
Get rid of negative ideas.
Are you depressed and discouraged? Do you always think you won't succeed? Can you imagine losing your temper? If these negative thoughts cross your mind, you must first identify them. Then replace them with other thoughts.
Think about the concrete, good things you accomplished this year, good grades, a well-understood notion.
Self-confidence is nourished by the repetition of successful experiences, but above all it is built from the results of your evaluations, from your progress, from the exercises you can do, recording your progress. And he says, "I agree perfectly with these three chapters," "I have a perfect understanding of this notion," and so on.
Self-confidence is fueled by repeated experiences of success and small victories. So, when a depressing idea comes up, think quickly about the difficulties you went through.
In an examination there will always be an element of the unknown: the subject that falls, the examiner that will correct it, the ideas that you have or do not have. This can create stress.
Therefore, you should do your best to reduce the amount of uncertainty and unknowns you can act on:
- Train in advance to master the methods that will be used during the exam
- Practice the exercises at the right time: Simulate exams or practice time, because lack of time is a major source of stress during rehearsals
- For an oral, ask questions with friends to challenge yourself.
Due to this training, you acquire automatisms, you are less surprised, less destabilized by the circumstances of the exam.
You should also run away from friends, relatives, or students who transmit anxiety; If you have a group of downed friends, find an excuse to get rid of them. If your parents stress you out with their questions, tell them and take a step back.
When it comes to students who spread anxiety, don't be discouraged by them: sometimes a phrase you hear when exam day arrives can bring complete irrational fear.
Treat all voices like the wind and get away immediately without contaminating yourself. Focus on your work and apply what you learn.
Read calmly and not too fast!
Your heart beats fast. Good. What happens if you breathe two or three slow, deep breaths?
What is most important now? Read the whole subject calmly and carefully - otherwise, the stress risks taking you, making a mistake. Make sure you don't forget. If the ordeal is long, organize your time or apply the method you have tried before (which makes it safer): for example, 10 minutes to make a plan, 10 minutes for the first exercise, etc.
If the subject of the exam has several exercises, be smart; It may be helpful to do the simplest exercise first. So you earn points and you gain confidence, the stress disappears.
During major competitions, candidates often end up with a fear in their stomachs: “Imagine a small box that locks with a key. Open it and put the fear you analyzed. Then close the box and put the key in your pocket. Just tell yourself: my fear is in place, now I'm going to work! "
Here it is explained that fear is no longer a brake, but a source of energy that we can rely on as athletes in the initial blocks. You can then focus on rehearsals.
Time passes, the ordeal is over, your brain is crushed and maybe your moral is that you didn't have time to do everything or you didn't realize it.
Again, stress and emotions can keep you from being effective again. However, this is a critical step that generally allows you to earn valuable points in extremes. So, try to reread it once or even twice, each time pursuing a different goal: punctuation, spelling or consistency of the unit, checking the results. ... Don't forget to turn around.
The better you do it, the better you can handle this famous stress.