It is late in the noon and you’ve just returned after finishing an exam. You are famished, weary and in need of sleep. In addition to this, you find yourself worrying about the next paper — what you need to study, which chapters to revise, which diagrams to practise and you end up feeling overwhelmed. If you relate to this, then you need to pause and relax.
It is common to feel pressured during the exam season. While the pressure may help some students stay focused, it becomes a source of stress for many. Worrying over the results of your previous paper will only affect your well-being — which in turn may affect your potential to perform well in the next exam. Therefore, remember to find your balance and make time to take a break to boost your productivity.
You may have heard this a thousand times — a good night’s sleep can do miracles to your mind and body, especially during exams. An uninterrupted sleep of at least six to eight hours can help you focus, revise, memorise and understand concepts much better.
Studies show that students who sleep better enjoy improved grades, mood and health. You are more likely to feel frustrated and exhausted when you don’t get your daily quota of sleep. A good night’s sleep can heal your physical and mental fatigue. So, the next time you decide to sacrifice your sleep for studying a night before your finals, think twice — for it may do more harm than good.
Did you give up your morning walk or yoga session because you need more time to study? Well, think again!
Several studies have shown that an exercise routine can help you prepare better for your next paper. When you exercise, your brain releases hormones like serotonin, dopamine and nor-epinephrine that boost your mood and improve your cognitive function — helping you focus longer. Find an activity that you love and get your friend, sibling or cousin to tag along and keep you motivated.
The benefits of eating healthy during exams (and even otherwise) are well known. If you want to sustain the long exam hours, you must nourish your body with the right food that energises you and improves your alertness. Therefore, consume more fruits and vegetables, specifically those rich in Vitamin C — like kiwi, guava, oranges, etc. to feel calmer before exams.
Do you often crave munching something excessively salty or sweet — like potato chips or chocolate bars? You may think they make you feel better but in reality, they only add to the stress, making you feel sluggish and jittery.
Instead, snack better during exams with healthier alternatives like:
In addition to this, make sure you fulfil your daily essential water intake of 1.5 litres. If you find plain water boring, try adding fresh-cut fruits or veggies such as mint, lemon or cucumber to flavour up your water!
We all know the joy that singing along to our favourite song brings — it is a scientifically backed fact! Research suggests that singing can lift your mood and help you relax, as the act releases endorphins — a happy hormone that is known to relieve stress. So, queue your favourite artist’s playlist and sing!
One of the best ways to improve your learning is to reboot your mind. Take a moment to pause and feel relaxed and rejuvenated. During exams, you are constantly processing information and trying to understand new concepts which in turn can make you stressed and confused. Therefore, it helps to slow down a little — step out into your balcony or go on a walk and let your mind wander for a while. You could even sit still and breathe deeply for 5 to 10 minutes to feel calm. Remember to nurture positive thoughts and remain confident about potential. You need to learn how to overcome exam fear as this helps with relaxing better.
How do you relax during exams? Tell us in the comments below.
1. Why are exams so stressful for students?
The fear of failure in examinations, peer pressure and more are some of the reasons why students feel so stressed during exams. An attempt to embrace the process of exams helps cope with negative stress.
2. How can regular relaxation improve learning?
Regular relaxation improves learner concentration, due to elimination of stress. After relaxing, you will be more attentive and productive, leading to improved learning.
3. Do students need more time to relax before an exam?
A student needs to relax enough to not feel stressed. If you are constantly being strict to yourself or lashing at others, it’s time you relax.
4. How does stress affect your performance in exams?
Stress affects student performance in examinations in various ways such as distorting working memory, slow retrieval of information from your memory or rash decisions too. If you feel stressed, step back, take a minute and gain control of your stress.
5. How can you relax before an exam?
Explore simple activities to relax such as pretending to be a feather floating through the air for about ten seconds. Sound sleep of 6 to 8 hours before an exam helps relax before the exam.
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