Exams: How to Pass Them Without Going Insane?
When a study year is approaching to the end, learners become nervous. This is the most stressful time ever because exams are coming. It’s hard to find a student that stays rock-solid during this period. As you know, a fear of failure converges a failure more than anything else. When you are stressed, you cannot think clearly and your mind is occupied with worries, not information you need to pass writing essay exams.
However, some practices will help you reduce stress and decrease anxiety. Let’s discuss some of them.
Paying attention to the moment you are in is necessary to develop an adequate attitude to reality, engage with your environment and current situation, and improve your self-reflection skills. This practice should become a part of your daily routine. Try catching yourself in a moment especially when heavy thoughts and negative feelings are possessing your mind.
Mindfulness is an integral part of yoga. This practice improves your memory, self-awareness, emotional state, and mood. Keeping yourself mindful can help you control emotions and negative feelings like anger and anxiety. If you have time and capacity to visit a yoga class, just do that. If not, practice mindfulness on your own, this is still effective.
To boost your mindfulness skills, you can try some stretching (just be careful and don’t overdo with that). Stretch your body gently and pay attention to your feelings. What is happening when you stretch? How the muscles transfer the energy? Track the movement of your muscles and mind your breathing when you do. Your breath should be deep, calm, and steady. If you lose the focus and your thoughts start wondering, address them back to your body.
Another practice connected with yoga is breathing. The exercises can be as easy as noticing how the air enters and exits your lungs. Pay attention to your belly that rises and falls when you take a breath or simply track the breath going in and out of your nose.
Again, if your attention starts wondering, just bring it back to your breathing. You can breathe with your mouth or nose, just make sure to do that calmly and steadily. Try counting every breath you take and see how long can you do that before your mind starts wondering again. Then bring it back and continue counting. Don’t get frustrated if your mind starts wondering again and again – noticing that and bringing it back is a part of the practice. Make longer breaths to relax your mind and body.
When you are stressed and need to calm down fast, try a breathing technique described below. It will help you calm down, decrease the heart rate, and get focused. Here is what you need to do:
- Breathe out through your mouth
- Take a deep breath through your nose and count to four while the air enters your nostrils
- Keep your breath for seven counts
- Breathe out with your mouth for eight counts
- Repeat four-eight times
Find a quiet place, sit in a comfortable position, and stay still for as long as you like. Meditation can be as short or long as you want it to be. You may close your eyes if this helps you to get more focused. However, this is not a must, so you can keep them open. Just try not to move your gaze around the room.
When meditating, just observe your mind flowing and try not to follow any particular thought. Just let them pass you by. If you feel that one or another thought takes you away too far, try to get back to an observing position.
Mantras are small repeating phrases you can speak aloud or in your head over and over again. This might be something simple like “I am here”. You can choose any phrase you like – long or short. Combine mantras with breathing techniques for a better effect. Mantras teach your mind to stay focused on something particular and stop wondering around. When your mind will get used to such a condition, all the meditation and mindfulness practices will become easier.
As you can see, these yoga-related practices are simple and don’t require any special skills. You can practice breathing and mindfulness techniques wherever you are – at home, on your way to a university, or during a walk in a park. Don’t forget about them when the exam comes – a breathing exercise will help you focus and feel less overwhelmed. Slow down your mind and bring your thoughts to order. This way, you will show better results during a test! Stay calm and good luck with your exams!