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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Stress Management - Are You Stressing Out Over Your Exams?

By Kenneth Masters
Examination stress is a state of mind whereby you feel overwhelmed or confused and you may be unable to recall information which you have learned. Below we will examine various methods of mastering examination stress.
Pausing for scheduled breaks from studying is equally as important as studying hard. You ought to plan on taking a break for a minimum of fifteen minutes for each 90 to 120 minutes of studying. Go for a rapid walk around the block, jog to the park and back or have a cup of tea as you chat with someone about a totally unrelated subject. You need to make certain that these breaks are active, because lying on the sofa or watching a little television do not rejuvenate you or clear your brain.
Drugs such as caffeine, contained in coffee, black tea and energy drinks, together with tobacco, cocaine, speed, sleeping pills or tranquilizers, will last but a short period of time and there are after-effects with which you will have to deal that will be more difficult than the exam stress with which you started. These drugs will not help at all and you will be well-advised to take regular breaks and get an appropriate amount of sleep and exercise instead.
Making use of guided imagery can be beneficial as well. Imagine meeting a future you who is simply taking the exam and see it in your mind's eye as occurring just the way that you would have it to be.
Imagine yourself as perfectly calm, answering all the questions quickly and easily. The next time, think of the scene again but this time imagine that you are standing directly behind the future you.
Then strike up a dialogue with the future you and make some inquiries, such as the following:
What did you do to prepare for the exam? What was your attitude and what beliefs regarding yourself did you have? What resources did you identify that you could draw from? Is there any advice that you can give me? And make any other inquiries for which you would like to have answers. Next, imagine stepping into the boots of your future self and looking through your eyes and imagine the situation taking place just as you would like to see it occur.
Now, prior to returning to the present point in time, instruct your future self to transfer all of the resources, attitudes and other benefits you need directly to you and absorb them. Now travel back in time to view all of the steps that you will take in preparing for the exam as you seek out your future self.
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