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How can we reduce stress of exams?

Take charge of your emotions

Stress is often born of the fear of the unknown, the feeling that one does not control its future. But if you can not predict your end result, you still master all the preparation time. It is therefore important to know the schedule of the exam / competition as well as the details of the events. This will allow you to establish a schedule of your months of revisions , in order to devote the necessary time to each event.

You can also create a detailed program for each week – especially to vary the subjects, to integrate the breaks – but while keeping some flexibilityto spend more time, if needed, on those where you have the most trouble. This will prevent you from deadlock or always postpone. Above all it will give you the feeling that you have put all the chances on your side to succeed.

Connect to the good waves

“If you’re told not to look at the pink elephant, what do you see? A pink elephant. The brain does not take into account the negation contained in the statement. Similarly, if you are asked not to worry about the selection rate, what do you remember? The selection rate. We must pay a lot of attention to the messages that we send ourselves perpetually “ , explains Jézahel Davy, specialist in personal development and author of the book Taming his stress (Studyrama Grandes écoles, see box).

Fortunately, as much as we are sensitive to negative thoughts (fear of failure, eviction, discouragement …), so we are also positive thoughts! A music that gives you fishing, a smell that you particularly like, memories of success, a quote that boosts you … So many little things that will be a kind of happiness box in which to draw as soon as you need it.

Take care of yourself

No, you are not just a thinking head! Revisions also solicit your body, which is why it is important to take care of it. First element to fight: fatigue, a true accelerator of stress . So you have to make sure you get enough sleep. And there is not necessarily to go to sleep every night at 21h but to find the right pace, even if you sleep less at night and compensate by a nap during the day if it suits you better.

Taking care of your body is also feeding it properly. Bet on foods that bring you vitamins and slow sugars, rather than fast food that will weigh on your digestion. Finally, go out, oxygenate yourself, and get moving! Footing, swimming, tennis, basketball, cycling: opt for the sport that gives you the greatest pleasure. And if you’re not very sporty, get a 20-30 minute walk a day. A great way to recharge your batteries, to let off steam by thinking of something else, to avoid insomnia …

Breathe in breathe out

Breathing is obviously an indispensable act for our survival. Moreover, most of the time, we do it without realizing it. Breathing is also essential for the proper functioning of our brain since it alone absorbs 20% of our total oxygen consumption. Finally breathing is a good way to fight stress, provided you adopt abdominal (belly) breathing, deeper and longer than chest breathing .

To get there, put yourself at ease, with your back firmly propped on your chair or lying on your back, place your hands on each side of your stomach, and imagine that your belly is a balloon that inflates and deflates, even to exaggerate the movement. Get used to breathing at all times. And when you feel that stress is gaining you, force yourself to inhale and exhale deeply by closing your eyes for several minutes before resuming your activity.

Do not sulk your pleasure

Even in times of revisions, you have the right – maybe even the duty – to relax and do good. It has been shown, for example, that laughter has soothing power on the body, and that a minute of laughter would be equivalent to 45 minutes of relaxation. Whether in front of the show of a comedian, a TV series or with friends, let go!

Give yourself also moments for activities that make you happy: music, dance, cooking, video games, take a bath with his novel or his favorite magazine … provided of course not to abuse. This will allow you to leave your skin for a few moments, reminding you that your life does not stop at the preparation of such an examination or competition, and will help you to relativize.

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