When it comes to exam time, many young people inevitably see their stress levels starting to increase. Sophrology exercises can help both parents and students to beat exam stress, improve memory, focus, recuperation and optimise their best chances for success.
Today at BeSophro, we have decided to give you some very simple and easy-to-follow Sophrology exercises to drastically reduce exam anxiety so you can stay on top of your game.
1) Visualise success to beat exam anxiety
Start by finding a comfortable position and scan your body from head to toe, noticing any tensions. Pay attention to your breath and invite relaxation to different parts of your body and lower your heart rate. Once you feel more relaxed, imagine yourself very calm on the day of your exam sitting in the exam hall. Picture the environment around you during your exams and visualise that everything goes well and you feel calm and reassured. See yourself being able to use all the knowledge you have and your mind is very clear; imagine that you answer all the questions one after the other in as much detail as possible, peacefully.
Then, imagine that you receive the results and feel the joy of finding out that you passed! Or that you received exactly the grade you wanted, or even better. Visualise that success and how proud you feel and just relax. Inhale this incredible sensation of success slowly, and when you exhale, let this success journey through your entire body, boosting your energy levels and enhancing your confidence. Don’t be shy to visualise and programme your brain for success.
2) Breathing exercises to beat exam stress and improve your mental health
Simple breathing techniques that you can do anytime and anywhere (including on the day of your exams) can really help you when stress becomes intense and you feel anxious. You can simply imagine you’re breathing through a little straw. Inhale as normal, and exhale very slowly “through the straw” for as long as you can. A long exhale will instantly calm your body and mind, as well as your nervous system. Each time you stop to take a deep breath, you will find that this exercise will work even better when it comes to your exams.
Another exercise you can practice is letting a positive word come to your mind when you breathe in, such as ‘calm’, ‘relax’ or ‘focus’ and let the word travel through your body when you exhale. It’s very useful and extremely helpful. Once you feel calmer, it will be easier to focus and keep going.
3) Don’t forget the importance of recuperation
Finally, students, don’t forget to take time for recuperation, especially if you have several exams back to back. You can use the tense and release exercise in order to release all muscular and emotional tensions before they build up.
The tension and release exercise is very helpful and works effectively by either tensing your whole body at once or successively tensing different parts of your body like so:
- Breathe in and tense your muscles,
- Hold your breath and retain the tension for a few seconds,
- Release everything and breathe out!
Do this exercise as many times as you need.
And of course, before any exam and during revision, take some time for regular breaks and notice how you are sleeping. Sleep resets your brain: it improves your memory, helps you to be aware of your thoughts and organises your knowledge. You feel more focused and full of energy after a good night’s rest.
For more information on Sophrology and how it can help you to manage stress and anxiety, make you feel more confident and be empowered to reach your goals, please explore our website, blog and online courses.