As a student, you’re likely no stranger to stress. Exams can be a major source of anxiety, and if not managed properly, that stress can lead to some pretty negative consequences. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back.
Researchers identify several exam stress management tips for students that can help reduce stress and pass an exam successfully!
Here are some exam stress management techniques that 100% work:
1. Get Organized
One of the best ways to combat exam stress is to get organized. Having a plan and knowing what to do can help you feel more in control and less overwhelmed. If your “workspace” in your mind is cluttered, you will have a harder time preparing for the exam. It is because having a lot of things around you will distract your brain.
So make a to-do list of all the things you need to study, then break it down into smaller, more manageable tasks. You can even schedule when you’re going to study each topic, so you don’t have to worry about fitting it all in.
2. Take Breaks
It’s important to take breaks when you’re studying for exams to give your mind a pause and keep yourself from getting too stressed out. So after you’ve been working on a task for a certain amount of time, take a 5-10 minute break to do something else. Get up and stretch, grab a snack, sing, read something for leisure, or just take a few deep breaths.
Did you know that singing can actually relieve tension and make you happier? It, in turn, helps to reduce the effects of stress. For example, one study showed that those who sang in a choir had better emotional well-being and immunity than those who didn’t sing at all.
Besides, you can read something at your leisure. According to one research, reading for pleasure is one of the best ways to reduce stress. Just six minutes of reading can reduce stress levels by more than two-thirds.
3. Create a Positive Study Environment
Your study environment can have a big impact on your stress levels. So try to create a space that’s conducive to concentration and focus. For example, make sure it’s well-lit and free of distractions like TVs and phones. And if you can, play some calming music to help you relax while you work.
Still, reducing smartphone usage is the most important step to creating a positive study environment. Too much mobile phone usage doesn’t just stress you out; it also hurts your mental health, according to studies. So try to limit your screen time as much as possible, especially when you’re trying to study.
Not to mention, you should tidy up your desk and bedroom. If your workspace is cluttered, it’ll be harder to focus on studying for the exam. It happens because our brains can’t handle too many stimuli at once – it gets overwhelmed and has trouble thinking clearly. In addition, too much physical clutter leads to stressors that make it difficult to think critically.
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4. Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep when you’re studying for exams is important, as it can help improve your focus and concentration. So make sure you get 7-8 hours of sleep each night and stick to a regular sleep schedule as much as possible.
Staying up all night to study is not only tiring, but it’s also unproductive. Research has shown us that our stress levels increase when we don’t get enough sleep. The two-way relationship between stress and sleep means that not only can stress make it harder to fall asleep, but bad sleep begets more stress.
Exercise is a great way to combat stress, so make sure you get some physical activity daily. Research has shown that high-intensity aerobic exercise has positive effects on well-being. It is likely because exercise increases levels of endorphins – neurotransmitters that are associated with positive feelings.
Endorphins not only relieve pain, but they also act as natural antidepressants. So if you’re feeling stressed out, a quick run or workout can help to improve your mood and reduce your stress levels.
Even just a 30-minute walk can help alleviate tension and is a great technique for exam stress management!
6. Eat Healthily
What you eat can also impact your stress levels. So make sure you’re eating healthy foods that will give you energy and help you focus. And try to avoid caffeine and sugary snacks, as they can make you feel more jittery and anxious.
Did you know that when you eat sugary foods, your stress levels rise? It’s true! When you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol – a hormone designed to help manage it. But here’s the kicker: cortisol also affects blood sugar levels. So the more sugar you consume, the greater your stress will be.
Still, if you can’t live without sweets, try dark chocolate. Studies have demonstrated that consuming a little bit of dark chocolate daily can help lower stress hormone levels. However, it is important to note that the chocolate should be dark (containing 70% cocoa or more).
7. Connect With Friends and Family
Spending time with loved ones can help reduce stress and improve your mood. So make sure you’re staying connected with your friends and family, even if it’s just through text or social media.
One study shows that social support is linked to better mental health outcomes. So if you’re feeling stressed about exams, talking to your loved ones can help you feel better.
8. Use Positive Affirmations
When you’re feeling stressed, it’s easy to get caught up in negative thinking. But if you can reframe your thoughts and focus on positive affirmations, it can help reduce stress and improve your mood.
Some examples of positive affirmations include:
– I am capable of doing this
– I am well-prepared for this exam
– I will do my best, and that is all that matters
Focusing on positive affirmations can help to increase your self-confidence and reduce stress. So the next time you feel overwhelmed, try repeating positive affirmations to yourself.
By following these exam stress management techniques, you can help reduce your stress levels and make studying for exams a lot more manageable. Just remember to be patient with yourself and take things one step at a time. Good luck!