Studying for exams can deplete you physically and emotionally. In combination with a hectic schedule, pressing deadlines, and everyday chores, exam stress can considerably lower your productivity, inhibit your ability to concentrate and memorize your material, and deepen your anxiety. But if you avail yourself of some simple recommendations provided below, chances are you’ll manage to avoid the negative consequences stress might entail.
Not only can physical activity help you take your mind off tedious and mind-numbing tasks, but also alleviate anxiety and fight stress. Sedentary behavior, to the contrary, may worsen the symptoms of common mental disorders, lower your mood, and decrease productivity levels. Needless to say, this is the last thing you need when you studying for your exams. So, make it your rule to take short breaks between your study sessions and do some gently exercises. You can jog a little or just go for a walk around your campus. If exercising is not your cup of tea, try stretching or some gentler physical activities.
Listen to the Right Music
You know how great it can be to listen to music. That sense of warm and tranquility you experience when you put your favorite record on can come in particularly handy when you feel stressed out and weary of long hours of effective study. Still, rock or heavy metal music isn’t something you’ll want to opt for if you want to soothe your anxiety and calm down. Scientists recommend going for relaxing and calming music when you have a hard time cramming for exams. The best bet would be classical music with its inherent charm and regularity. Mozart, Chopin Beethoven, or Bach… You can choose any composition that suits your moods or seems more pleasing to your ear. Put aside your projects for a little while and dive into the world of mellifluous sounds. After all, you can always pay people to write essays for you and help you relieve the academic burden.
Limit Your Screen Time
It’s not a secret that your phone can be a great source of distraction that gets in the way of effective knowledge assimilation and your overall productivity. So, if you want to ace that exam (or at least get a passing grade for it), you’ll want to set reasonable limits for your device usage. Make sure to disable the annoying notifications not to succumb to the temptation to check that message or new video in your feed. The notorious iPhone addiction may provoke anxiety, listlessness, and even severe depression in users. So, not to fall victim to gadgets, which are supposed to help you not harm you, make sure to cut down on your phone time. And it’s important that you do this across all devices, including your iPad, laptop, and even good old PC. The point is to avoid distractions caused by gadgets and create a comfortable environment conducive to productive and uninterrupted learning. You also would be well-advised to stay clear of using digital notepads. Instead, opt for tried-and-tested pen and paper note-taking.
Even if you lag behind academically or fail to catch up on the missed study material, it’s not a good reason to be hard on yourself and pull five all-nighters in a row. You should still take respites from your studies to recharge your brain and body. Something as simple as patting your cat, watching your golden fish in the aquarium, reading a couple of pages from your favorite book, giving yourself a relaxing bath, or eating some ice-cream can actually work miracles. Aromatherapy can also go a long way in boosting your mood and dispelling gloomy thoughts. It’s also effective in reducing stress and improving sleep. Meditation, yoga, and other mindfulness practices are also worth trying if you want to combat stress faster and more effectively.
Cut Down on Caffeine
Much has been said about the harm of caffeine on people suffering from chronic fatigue and anxiety. And even though you might be a completely healthy person, you definitely want to refrain from using excessive caffeine around exam time. Too much caffeine can worsen your anxiety and provoke agitated depression. What’s more, overconsumption is the surest way to disrupt your sleep routine. Also, note that caffeine is found not only in coffee, but also tea, chocolate, and energy drinks. Consider replacing your favorite caffeinated drinks by their decaffeinated counterparts and herbal teas. Remember the well-meaning advice – everything in moderation – and be guided by it!