Exam Stress

Its‘Exam Time’ of the year again.  Everyone gets stressed during this time with the pressure to do well. So is there a way to combat the anxiety? To increase your concentration?To increase interest in studies?To deal with the weight of expectations of your parents, teachers and yourself? Luckily, yes. Here are some tips to help you calm your nerves, increase concentration and help you achieve your goal.

Pre-Exam Studying:

1.    Sleep well. Without physical and mental rest, memory and concentration are not strong. A tired mind will not focus or retain information well.

2.    Try and wake up at sunrise, and do a few rounds of Surya Namaskar followed by simple breathing exercises like NadiShodhanPranayama and Ujjai breathing. This way, stress is eliminated from your body and mind and energy levels rise.

3.    Use Meditation as a study tool. Practice any simple meditation for a few minutes just before you start your studies. It helps you relax, learn fast, and retain longer, without getting distracted.

4.    Once you are ready to start, sit down and start studying. No excuses, no postponement.

5.    Plan your time: Draw a revision timetable schedule and include some time for periodic relaxation breaks. Listen to music, talk to friends or family, dance to your favourite tune for 30 minutes or take a walk for 10 to 15 minutes. Then get back to studies. This helps internalise what you have studied and also increases concentration.

6.    Eat right: fresh, light, homemade vegetarian food will help to increase your ability to concentrate and increase energy levels. Stale, packaged, salty, oily, or sweet food will make you dull.

7.    Some friends encourage you, others call you a nerd. Keep your goals clear in your mind and don't let others push your buttons. It is your life and your results.

During exams:

1.    Before you enter the exam hall, relax. Don’t stress yourself more by overloading your brain. You don't have to study any more at that time.

2.    If you feel tense during an exam, take deep long breaths. Observe your breath going in and out and feel your calmness and balance return.

3.    Don't under-estimate the power of prayer. Prayer also helps your mind to focus,   concentrate and defuse anxiety.

Sri SriRavishankar, founder of the Art of Living, says "Encourage children to be more energetic through proper food, physical exercise. Reduce the load on their heads. Parents and peers should not exert pressure on children. When children do yoga, meditation, play creative and co-operative games, not competitive games, their energy levels go up. “

So study hard and stay calm.

More info and techniques at www.artofliving.org

Shreya Chugh, Director, Youth Empowerment Program, The Art of Living