How to Stay Calm While Studying for Exams
It’s no secret that exams can be stressful. The reality is that we’re all bound to experience some anxiety when preparing for tests. However, there is a limit, and studying shouldn’t be a nerve-racking experience. Too much stress can have a negative impact in vital areas such as memory and concentration.
When you’re anxious, your thoughts start racing, which leads to more “blank” moments come writing time. It’s for the same reason that feelings of discouragement and frustration can arise, leaving you unmotivated to continue. So, what can you do to keep stress at bay while studying?
Fortunately, there are many effective solutions. Here are some tried-and-true ways to stay calm, focused and ready.
A balanced diet with ample nutrients is key to minimising stress. Research shows that poor eating habits can contribute to frazzled nerves, as the brain depends on certain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to function correctly. Be sure to incorporate the following foods into your diet - and don’t forget to drink plenty of water:
Antioxidants - beans, berries, nuts and vegetables
Vitamin B - avocado and almonds
Probiotics - pickles, sauerkraut and kefir
Magnesium - spinach and Swiss chard
Zinc - beef, cashews and eggs
There’s a limit to how much information your brain can absorb at once, beyond which your ability to focus diminishes. Aim to take a break every ninety minutes or so during study sessions. What you do in your breaks is also important. The right activity will leave you calm, refreshed and ready to get back to your books.
It can be as simple as stretching or heading out for a walk. Another approach is to use breaks as incentives to reach specific goals. For example, you can allow yourself to play now online casino games after a full hour of studying.
Your attention is often affected by the surrounding environment. A chaotic, noisy or messy setting can put your mind in a similar state of disarray. Aside from avoiding distractions like your phone, you can optimise your study space by:
Adding inspirational pictures or quotes
Keeping it clean and organised
Placing some plants
Increasing natural light
Listening to ambient music
Sitting upright at a desk
The night before is an all-too-common time to start studying. Of course, it’s also the least productive. You will only feel more overwhelmed and unable to retain information.
Instead, create a study plan as soon as you know your test dates and do your best to stick to it. By preparing in advance, you will not only be confident and relaxed, but you’ll also ensure that you get enough rest. A sufficient amount of sleep is crucial to cognition, concentration and mood, which are all valuable commodities when writing an exam.
If your efforts to stay calm don’t bring the expected results, consider what else might be causing your anxiety. This way, you can determine the sources of your stress and explore appropriate solutions. With that said, remember to stay positive and always believe in yourself.
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