Coping with exam stress

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Stress can be useful, it can motivate us to push on and finish a job. However, sometimes dealing with stress (especially during exam season) can be a difficult thing to do. And, year on year the pressure on students to outperform previous generations increases, it’s clear that you’re under more pressure than ever before. Below are 7 top tips for coping with that; all too often overwhelming, exam stress.

  1. Breathe

Sounds obvious right? But setting aside a couple of minutes every day to practice mindfulness techniques such as breathing exercises, can help you calm down your body’s stress response and bring your attention back to the present moment. This can allow you time to rationally think through the anxieties you have, get rid of unhelpful thinking patterns and meet the upcoming exams head-on.

2. Eat, sleep and exercise well

Poor diet, minimal exercise, and lack of sleep can all contribute to increased symptoms of anxiety. For peak performance your body needs around 8/9 hours of sleep to be rested, enough slow-release carbs for a steady supply of energy, less caffeine and more water for hydration, and at least half an hour of exercise per day.

3. Bite-size chunks

Breaking down revision into small manageable “chunks” can prevent you feeling overwhelmed and allow you to feel motivated as you complete each chunk. Working within the realms of what time you have maximises your productivity without the risk of burning yourself out.

4.Don’t go it alone

The University College London state that “in 2004, a research paper published in Linguistics and Education saw that revising with peers is an effective study technique as it allows individuals to better absorb their own notes. Furthermore, the emotional benefits of social support tend to include a better sense of confidence and autonomy”. Get a study buddy or join a study group!

5. Take a step back from panic

Panicking before, during or even after an exam is common among students. If you experience it at any point, take a few deep breaths, count to ten, have a drink of water, and then go back to the problem at hand. Remember that if you have prepared well it’s likely that you have the answer to the problem, even if you can’t see it at first glance.

6. Don’t suffer in silence

Asking for help is never shameful. In the most extreme cases, it can help save a life. When struggling, talk to friends, family, or your tutor about how you are feeling. Alternatively, don’t be afraid to seek professional help and support.

7. You got this!

Look back at how far you have come and how much you have already achieved. Take on board the other tips and there should be no reason for you to worry. Therefore, when experiencing a negative thought, try to replace it with a positive one. For example, instead of thinking ‘If I don’t get at least a 7, it will be a disaster’, think ‘Whatever I get, I have done my best, I can be proud of myself.

If you are struggling counselling can help with anxiety and stress, there is no bad time to see a professional. Whether it be a doctor or counsellor. Here at Joints and Points, we offer a private physiotherapy and counselling service where we aim to see you within 48 hours of you contacting us.

If you need help or advice our physiotherapists, sports therapist and counsellors at J&P are here to help get you back to health. Contact us to book an appointment, free consultation or find out more.

Good luck in your upcoming exams! From the J&P Therapy Team x

0151 345 6823 – Office Number [email protected] – Office email