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Dealing with exam stress

It’s the time of year when many students are preparing for, and sitting, exams and that adds an extra burden on teenagers who may already be stressed about relationships, the future, the state of the planet – all the things young people tend to be concerned over.

Stress affects how we feel
We can all feel the pressure of work and exams (even parents!) and may experience symptoms such as butterflies, sweaty palms, increased heart rates and difficulty sleeping. You may also see a change in moods and behaviour, loss of appetite or even headache and stomach pains, but these sorts of reactions to pressure are only natural.

In fact, a little pressure can have a positive affect because it can focus the mind on the important task at hand. However, when pressure and anxiety start to overwhelm, they have a negative impact on what the sufferer can achieve, no matter how much preparation or ability they have. They can then start on a cycle that leads to not achieving our full potential.

When you find anxiety or stress becomes too much to handle the important thing is to regain the right state of mind to regain a calmer state and feel like you’re back in control. This in turn builds confidence and helps you perform to your fullest abilities.

How can we cope with exam stress?
When you’re about to embark on a period of exams there are some things you can do to help look after yourself and feel better about dealing with what’s ahead.

* Eat well and don’t skip meals to ensure your brain has the fuel it needs to do its best.
* Try to carve out time for exercise; exercise creates endorphins that help deal with anxiety and give you better quality sleep.
* Aim for balance. Take some time out to do activities other than revise; it could just be watching some TV or meeting a friend but try to ensure some perspective by doing other things, possibly as a reward for a period of hard work.
* Getting plenty of quality sleep is incredibly important during exam time. Unfortunately, it can be the hardest to achieve and an area where you may benefit from additional support.

Why sleep helps us to cope with stress
Normal living and working tends to fill up what I call our “anxiety bucket” and I believe that at the end of each day quality sleep enables us to empty it by allowing the brain to create a conscious narrative out of it that rationalises your life. A problem often seems better when you “sleep on it”. However, if this doesn’t happen then becomes more and more difficult to deal with an overflow of stress.

The Yellow Couch
Hypnotherapy is a therapeutic technique, a form of neuro-linguistic programming that makes use of your mind’s most receptive level of awareness to help you to process negative thoughts and overcome them.
The Yellow Couch is a professional, results-focused hypnotherapy service for introducing a more positive way of thinking to the subconscious mind. We help clients with a range of issues including anxiety, confidence, public speaking, phobias, professional development, and quitting smoking.
With the support of hypnotherapy, I help patients to regain those healthy sleep patterns, which in turn allows them to rationalise what’s happening in their lives, creating a calmer, healthier and more positive mindset.

Contact The Yellow Couch now and we can explore how to help you live your life to its full potential.