Does exam stress affect your grades? Exam seasons have always been nerve-racking. Every student faces some degree of exam stress that can cause anxiety and hinder preparation and revision. A calm and peaceful mind is a must for all students to maximise their productivity. Scientifically, physical activity has a proven record of combating stress. Several exercises directly reduce stress hormones and stimulate the levels of endorphins that elevate one’s mood. Here are ten quick research-backed tips to beat the exam stress in 10 minutes. Whether you are preparing for CBSE Class 10 Board Exams, Class 12 Board Exams, NEET 2022, or JEE MAIN 2022.
these 10 activities will help you beat the exam stress in 10 minutes.
1) Take a stroll or 10-minute yoga
A short walk for about 10 minutes can benefit you by lowering your stress levels. A light stroll gives you time to think. You can make your mind wander to the things you love and take a break from studying for a short while. You can also take a companion, a friend, or a family member along to talk and lighten your mood.
Students who do not like the idea of short walks can opt for some high-intensity aerobic exercise. Research suggests that physical exercise such as aerobics positively affects psychological well-being. Students who stay active while studying during exam seasons feel less anxiety and stress. It is better to incorporate tiny goals and maintain consistency to keep your mood elevated.
2) Take deep breaths
Science has proven the efficacy of controlled breathing therapy. Taking deep breaths reduces the stress hormone cortisol level in the body. Here is how to carry out deep breathing exercises for your benefit:
- Stand up straight but slightly bend your knees.
- Try to bend forward from the waist, and your arms hang down towards the floor.
- Inhale slowly while returning to your original standing position. This way, your head will be the last part that straightens.
- Next, you will have to exhale slowly while returning to the bent position.
- Repeat the steps 5 to 6 times, and you will feel the positivity grow.
3) Get yourself some vitamin C
Nothing is more refreshing than some dose of vitamin C. Ascorbic acid or vitamin C helps bring down the blood pressure and cortisol level, both of which are signs of high stress. Students can beat the exam stress with a dash of Vitamin C.
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin as the human body doesn’t produce it, and it has to be taken via diet. Students can choose their favourite source from the following list of Vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables:
4) Declutter your desk
It is always better to look for the cause of stress than worry about the same. Often students miss out, but their surrounding environment adds to their exam stress. A common cause is heaps of clutter around your workspace. The study table is heavily laden with books, and study materials scattered haphazardly create stress on the mind and reduce your concentration on preparing for the exam. They bombard your brain with too many distractions, impair your thinking ability, and lead to stress.
So, begin by organising your desk and finding time to settle your room. Keep only the most essential items on the desk, including a writing pad, pen/pencil holder, and the book you are currently studying. Put away as much clutter as you can, including snacks, staplers, and anything that isn’t required. You must develop a practice of putting away items in your drawers after use. Decluttering your desk will declutter your mind.
5) Try aromatherapy
Aromatherapy profoundly impacts your nervous system and has the power to stimulate positive emotions and bring back good memories. They bring down high blood pressures, heart rates, and temperatures and have a soothing effect on an individual. Thus, students can use aromatherapy as an instant activity to beat exam stress. The following scents help relieve stress:
- Ylang ylang
- Clary sage
6) Have some dark chocolate
Research confirms that eating dark chocolate is an effective way to reduce perceived stress. If you develop a habit of eating a small amount of dark chocolate, you can easily combat stress levels. However, it is a must that chocolate has more cocoa and less sugar because the higher your sugar intake spikes, the more stressed you will feel.
Also, it is not wise to overeat as dark chocolate is a calorie-dense food. Students must not consume more than 40g to 60g a day.
7) Write down the matters that are causing worry
Penning down your fears and worries can help reduce your anxiety. Follow this practice before your exam and improve your grades. Students can take a few moments to write about their worries/fears just before they take an exam, and research has proven that it will help them perform better as it reduces exam stress. The results of an experimental study on students affirm that when they complete a brief expressive writing assignment just before taking a test, it improves their exam scores.
So, if you are appearing for the upcoming NEET 2022 or JEE MAIN 2022, where students often feel stressed due to exam pressure, try this quick trick and boost your grades.
Click here to learn more about how to handle stress while preparing for entrance exams such as NEET 2022, JEE MAIN 2022, and others.
8) Write down things that you are grateful about
Brainstorm and write about things that you are thankful for in your life. Positive thinking is an immediate cure to exam stress.
Everyone has dozens of things that they feel grateful for. It could be your loving family or a true friend, or maybe you are grateful that you successfully passed your previous exam.
Writing down all you are thankful for will improve your health and give you positive energy. Expressing gratitude lowers your high blood pressure due to exam stress and improves your immunity.
So, if you feel a sudden pressure, take a break from studying and write down three things you are most grateful about.
9) Think of a happy memory
Stress is a game of hormones running in your body. A positive hormone can take over the stress hormones and help develop a sense of well-being. They also allow your brain to function at peak capacity. Serotonin is one such hormone that promotes positivity. The key to stimulating the production of serotonin is to have positive thoughts.
So, students can think about some happy memories that bring a smile and stimulate positive hormones. This happy memory could be anything — your happy place, favourite sport, the times you won, your favourite childhood memory, some funny incident, and so on.
Board exam stress? Here are ten ways to handle it.
10) Repeat positive affirmations
Making positive affirmations is one of the most powerful, quick, and simplest ways to beat exam stress and calm yourself down. Research confirms that positive affirmations help reduce exam stress by lowering adrenaline levels.
Students can repeat the following positive affirmations whenever they feel exam stress hovering over their minds. If possible, repeat them out loud to yourself:
- I am focused.
- I am continuing to work hard.
- I am enjoying the challenge of taking an exam.
- I am enjoying the learning process.
- I love studying this topic.
- I am motivated.
- I will perform the best in the exam.
FAQs about 10 activities to beat the exam stress
What is exam stress?
The feeling of tension and worry that arises from exam-taking situations is termed exam stress. Although it is normal to feel some stress about upcoming exams, tests, or presentations, things get alarming when the stress hinders your preparation and brings down productivity. While a small amount of stress stimulates you to work harder, high stress can lower your performance and keep you from giving your best.
Does exam stress affect mental health?
High amounts of exam stress in students is a serious issue as it affects their mental well-being. Exam stress can cause different mental illnesses, such as anxiety, depression, panic attacks, self-harming, low self-esteem, and suicidal thoughts. If a student has some pre-existing mental health condition, exam stress can worsen the case.
What foods can reduce exam stress in students?
The following foods can help students combat exam stress. Including them in the diet can boost mental performance:
Pear is a rich source of essential minerals, especially vitamin C content that lowers exam stress.
Cherries help manage and regulate your sleep-wake cycle.
Milk is rich in vitamin B12, and it is good for the healthy functioning of the brain.
Bananas help the brain produce serotonin that stabilises your mood.
How can I relax before an exam?
The following habits will help you feel relaxed during exams:
Have a thorough preparation of all the subjects as far in advance as possible.
Get a sound sleep ahead of time.
Develop a habit of eating healthy food and incorporate food items that help combat stress hormones.
Do not fret. Stop studying an hour before the exam and relax.
Improve your self-talk and make positive affirmations
What are the best ways to handle stress in the long run?
Students can completely push aside stress from their lives with the following stress-reduction tips:
Practise yoga for at least 20 minutes each day in the morning.
Adopt guided meditation as it helps divert your attention from everyday stress.
Opt for a healthy diet and maintain regular physical activity.
Limit your screen time, and you will save yourself from stressing out.
Get social and have healthy relations with others.
How can I stay motivated during the exam preparation time?
Staying motivated while studying is the ultimate requirement to ensure good exam preparation. Students must keep the following points in mind to stay motivated:
It is important to break the task down into small manageable chunks.
Students must keep their end goal in mind.
Developing a routine is a must but stay wise and realistic while framing one.
Adopt different study approaches to break the monotony.
Follow your interests and do not let your studying take over your life.
What are the causes of exam stress?
Every individual has a different set of factors that cause exam stress. Here are some of the most common causes of exam stress that students often face:
- Inadequate preparation or procrastinating preparation for the last minute.
- High expectations of parents or oneself.
- Pressure from family members or teachers.
- A feeling of competition with others that isn’t healthy
- The fear of failing due to lack of preparation or feeling less prepared.
- Lack of confidence in one’s own abilities.