Whether school, work or a driving test, exams seem to be an unavoidable feather of life. If you have stress about exams, I help people reduce stress and anxiety at my London hypnotherapy practice. We will think about why you feel stress and think of ways to help you feel more in control and calm. Get in touch today to find out about sessions.
Tips to reduce stress about exams
Exam time may be a difficult not only for the person doing the exams but also for those around them. The pressure to do well in exams can sometimes contribute to feeling worried and stressed, increasing the chances of overreacting to situations and possible conflict between those we love. Of course feeling stress about exams is totally normal, but help is there to ensure you can relax more. In this article, I will give a few exam stress tips. For more help why not consider my London hypnotherapy for anxiety sessions.
School exams can be particularly stressful because young people may feel that if they mess up they will ruin their lives. The subject of exams and the future may come up in every day in every interaction with friends and family. It may feel like there is no escape from the pressure.
Here are some strategies to avoid flashpoints for a smoother time during exams.
Practise relaxation exercises daily. This can help reduce stress and worry, and help avoid overreacting. Even if you’re short of time, you can employ practices such as mindfulness while you go about your day, e.g. doing the washing up or taking out the rubbish.
Set time aside for fun and relaxation for yourself and your family. This can help foster positive feelings. Something as simple as just going for a walk is great way of improving mental health and wellbeing and boosting self-esteem, which can be particularly important at exam time. Stress about exams can be lowered by looking after your wellbeing more.
Step away and take time out from any situation that is escalating into conflict and come back to it when you’ve had a chance to cool down and think things through.
Communicate when you’re calm. If you have concerns, share them when you are feeling calm, rather than angry. Reduce stress by keeping things short and informal. If the person doesn’t want to talk, try to find alternative ways of communicating with them, such as leaving encouraging or positive notes for them. Work together to find possible solutions to issues. When people feel that they have been involved in the solution, they are more likely to follow through with it.
Listen and try to understand how the other person sees things and respect that they may need time and space. Everyone copes with stress differently and there may be differences between the way you and others deal with things.
Think in advance about potential flashpoints and how you might deal with them differently. Seek the support of others if you feel it is appropriate and necessary. Try to identify things that might exacerbate exam-related anxiety, for example, if drinking coffee or fizzy drinks raises agitation, beware they may led to short tempers and stress.
Focus on the positives which can easily be forgotten during stressful times. Think about the positives and remind your child of them too. You could give your child a list of things that make you proud about them, which they can keep close to them when they are revising.
Consider limiting phone an screen time, especially before bed. Smartphones in particular and social media stimulate the mind, so avoid when you really need relaxation and calm. At night maybe have your phone off but certainly ensure you won’t be disturbed by notifications. Think also of how to relax, so your have good quality sleep.
Don’t give yourself a hard time if things don’t go as planned. If you have not stuck to your exam timetable for revision or feel you are behind, don’t stress. Rather forgive yourself and really just accept that you are doing ok. We can lose sight of how much we already actually know. So focus on that rather than ruminating and telling yourself off what all you don’t know.
If you live with someone taking an important exam, just be supportive and don’t be scared to also ask for support yourself. Everyone experiences stress differently; if your partner is more relaxed about exam pressures than you are, that fine. Think about what you need to feel calm and relaxed.