Believe me, I am not the most chilled out of people! I get stressed at the drop of a hat!
I remember feeling REALLY stressed out during my GCSEs and A-Levels, but now that I am older and wiser I have picked up a few tips in life that can help reduce stress levels, particularly around difficult times!
1. Get Physically Active!
There are many benefits to keeping fit and there are a number of ways exercising can reduce your stress levels.
- It releases endorphins that make you feel great! Physical activity bumps up the production of your feel-good neurotransmitters!
- It's meditation in motion!
- It puts helps improve your mood!
It can also help improve your brain power.
Recent studies have shown if you are facing a difficult problem, taking 20 minutes exercise and returning to the problem later can help you solve it!
2. Eat Right
Eating healthier foods (especially a good breakfast) helps fuel your body the right way! A petrol car can't run on diesel and a well functioning body is not created on a diet of crisps and booze!
3. Sleep Well
Do the above and you should be sleeping better! Make sure you get between 7 and 9 hours of good, solid sleep. You may be mentally tired from revising and exams but if you don't exercise and eat right you won't be physically tired enough to get a proper regenerative night's sleep.
4. Ditch The Caffeine After 1pm!
Maybe you're exercising and eating right but not getting a good night's sleep. Believe me, I've been there! I've totally stopped drinking caffeine after 1pm and I couldn't believe how much better I am sleeping! To substitute I always have decaff after lunchtime. It's gross, but it at least tricks my body into thinking I'm still enjoying a coffee!
5. Don't Compare Yourself!
There's always one mate at school who shows off about the revision they have done (or claim they haven't done because they're SOOOOO clever) then comes out of the exam talking about how they've nailed it. There's always a few people in the exam room that put their pens down an hour before the end of the exam or those who work right up to the maximum amount of time. DON'T focus on them! Only focus on what you're doing. If you really think you've done enough in an exam then that's fine. If you think you should do more, do more! Don't worry about any one else, just focus on what you're doing! Only YOU know how much revision you should do and only YOU know when you have given 100% and when you haven't!
6. Give up smoking and excessive boozing!
These are NOT good substitutes for eating well and exercising. Plus smoking is really bad for you and you shouldn't be doing it anyway!!
7. Feeling Panicked?
Find a quiet place and focus on your breathing. You'll be amazed how this calms you down! Every time I get tense or feel REALLY stressed I find a quiet spot and close my eyes and try a little bit of (very beginner!) meditation.
The way to do it is this:
Close your eyes, breathe in very deeply and slowly through your nose and exhale through your mouth very slowly.
As you exhale, imagine yourself letting go of all your stress as a big black cloud that slowly disappears. It really works!
I hope these tips help you if you have exam stress and don't worry, life finds away of falling into place!
If you give it everything you've got you can be proud of yourself whatever results you get!