Have you ever studied so hard for an exam to enter an exam hall and go blank? You probably experienced exam anxiety, but do not worry, this is common in students and there are ways to counter it! Exam anxiety stems from putting too much pressure and expectation on oneself, though having expectations is not entirely bad, it can be suffocating sometimes. Hence, here are 8 relaxation techniques for students who have constant exam anxiety!
8 Relaxation Techniques for Exam Anxiety
1 – Focus on breathing
One of the most useful relaxation techniques for exam anxiety is to focus on breathing. When faced with exam anxiety, you might find yourself short of breath with an irregular fast-paced heartbeat. Focusing on your breathing for 2 to 3 minutes can help you to calm down from the anxiety. Being intentional with your breathing helps you to refocus on one thing and regulate your heart rate again. Remember that an exam is not a sprint but a marathon, do not rush yourself but take your time.
2 – Take short breaks in between study sessions
The exam period is always stressful as you find yourself scrambling to complete your revision, hence you can easily be caught up in studying for long hours without knowing. If you know you have the tendency to forgo the time, you should set a timer and give yourself a time out when you have studied for 1-2 hours. Otherwise, you can adopt the Pomodoro study technique.
Studying for long hours will only put more pressure on yourself, hence take a 10 to 15 minutes break every 1-2 hours to take your mind off studying. It is not efficient too if you are under an intense amount of stress when studying.
3 – Sweat it out
Exercising helps to pump up your endorphins which helps you to feel good. They are a good source of chemical reactions that will put you in a better mood and give you the motivation to carry on. If you don’t believe it, go break a sweat! Try running, doing yoga, or a HIIT exercise, chances are, you will feel better that you moved your body and got up to do something other than studying.
4 – Take breaks and do things that you enjoy
This relaxation technique is similar to point 2, except this break is longer. Take time out of your day to do something you enjoy or that puts you at ease. Perhaps you like to watch movies to unwind, read a book, or listen to music. Do those things and forget about studying when engaging in these activities.
Though I believe that some of us may feel even more stressed out when doing these activities, perhaps you can try taking short breaks. Shorter breaks may help you to feel less overwhelmed but let you rejuvenate too. Do what makes you comfortable and relaxed. It is important to remind yourself that it is okay to take a break!
5 – Listen to relaxation tapes
Take 10 to 15 minutes at the start of your day to listen to some soothing music and meditate. You can either lie down on your bed and close your eyes and empty your mind or sit on the floor. Another good idea is to take a walk in the park in the early morning and surround yourself with nature and greenery. Putting yourself in a relaxed environment in the morning can help you to start the day right.
6 – Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy uses plant extracts to promote health and well-being. Sometimes, it is called essential oil therapy. Perhaps you can engage yourself in aromatherapy and use essential oils to improve your health of the body, mind, and spirit. It can help to enhance both physical and emotional health. You can either use aromatherapy before you start your day or when you are studying whichever helps you to relax.
7 – Stretching
Similar to focusing on breathing, try stretching. As you stretch, focus on your muscles. Focus on relaxing your muscles and giving your muscles a good stretch. It could be all you need to feel rejuvenated and at ease.
8 – Treat yourself
Of course, you should reward yourself after studying so hard during finals. Do not neglect yourself and give yourself the break or day out that you deserve. Whether you feel confident or not after you step out of the exam hall, you should be proud of yourself that you gave your best. If you do not feel the best, remind yourself that it is not the end and there will always be ways and opportunities for you to improve and redeem yourself.
In a nutshell, exam anxiety can be detrimental as it affects the well-being of students. Give any of these 8 relaxation techniques a try! If you feel that you are unable to cope with the anxiety and stress, feel free to reach out to trusted adults. You are definitely not alone in this.