10 tips on coping with exam stress

10 tips on coping with exam stress


Sometimes all you need is a hug from the right person …

and all your stress will melt away.

For many secondary school and university students, May marks the beginning of a stressful time as exams begin. A racing heart, stomach cramps, headaches, migraines, forgetfulness, trouble sleeping, feeling irritable or tearful, loss of appetite or over eating are all symptoms of stress.  High levels of stress and anxiety before or during an exam can also reduce exam performance.  In addition to being prepared, the following can help to combat exam stress.

1. Eat Well

Sugar may give an instant energy hit, but eventually it will make you more anxious. Avoid cereals, biscuits, sweets and chocolate.  Instead eat lean protein like chicken, fish or eggs with carbohydrates that release their energy slowly, like oats, brown rice, quinoa and plenty of green vegetables.  Pulses like chickpeas and lentils are great for vegetarians (and others too) as they contain both protein and slow release carbs.  If you are so nervous before an exam that you can’t eat, don’t worry, you can catch up later, however make sure that you drink plenty of water.

2. Drink Water

Your brain cells work better when you are hydrated. Avoid fizzy and energy drinks which are high in sugar and caffeine which can make you feel jittery.

3. Avoid Caffeine, Nicotine & Alcohol

All of which stimulate the central nervous system and heightens emotions, creating even greater anxiety. Additionally alcohol also makes you forgetful.

4. Gentle Exercise

This increases blood flow to the brain and helps reduce anxiety.  Gentle exercise such as walking the dog, going for a bike ride, or a swim or yoga is best and will help reduce physical tension that can cause aches and pains and release natural feel-good brain chemicals.

5. Sleep

Get 8 hours a night to improve concentration. Spend some time unwinding before you go to bed by avoiding all screens 1 hour before ( this includes TV, computers, tablets and phones). A hot bath will help you switch off and a few drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow will help you sleep.

6. Supplements

Stress depletes the body of stress-busting vitamins C and B Complex. Use a good-quality supplement such as Nature’s Sunshine’s ‘NutriCalm’ http://sammill.eu.nspshop.com/nutri-calm_(90)_key_product which combines the two and also contains chamomile to calm the nervous system.  An adaptogen such as Siberian Ginseng http://sammill.eu.nspshop.com/siberian_ginseng_(100) can help maintain balance during stressful times.

7. Rescue Remedy

Place 4 drops of Dr Bach’s 5 Flower Rescue Remedy under the tongue 4 times daily, to help relax, focus and calm the mind, or try Elm if you are feeling overwhelmed.

8. Think Positively

Avoiding reinforcing fears with negative thoughts.  Thinking positively can change paralysing stress into motivating stress.

9. Deep Breathing

Is a powerful way to reduce stress.  Practice diaphragmatic breathing by taking deep breaths, expanding your belly as you inhale, rather than shallow breaths from the upper chest.

10. Endocrine Boost

This powerful Kinesiology technique pinpoints where stress is effecting the glandular system and uses nutritional, physical and emotional solutions to remove stress and re-balance the body. Click here to find your nearest Kinesiology practitioner to book your endocrine boost with http://www.balancedwellness.co.uk/clinics/