For students, pre-exam anxiety is exceedingly common. You may be familiar with the sweaty palms, racing heart, and feelings of nervousness that can accompany a big test, whether it’s in third period math class or the ACT. No one likes to feel anxious, and it can even have negative effects on physical health. Not to mention, you’re likely to perform better on an exam if you’re calm, cool, and collected. If you like to be careful about what you put into your body (which you probably should be), you’ll be relieved to know that there are plenty of natural remedies for pre-test anxiety. So skip the pills and add some of these bits of advice to your routine next test day:
1. Breathing Exercise
Begin with closing your eyes, then pull in three long, distinct breaths with a pause in between each. Your exhales should be just as deep and evenly paced as the inhales. This exercise is often an underestimated relaxation technique, but it has scientific basis.Panic causes a disruption in breathing, but this method purposefully expands your chest, thus relaxingthe muscles and encouraging them to function normally. It’s a quick, easy thing you can do as often as you need throughout the day.
2. Actual Exercise
If you have the time or space to do so, participating in aerobic exercise (i.e. cardio) is a great way to release pent-up energy. Exercise releases endorphins, which is your brain’s version of a painkiller, producing an overall good feeling. Many people who exercise regularly feel healthier and have better self-esteem. Just like with the breathing exercise, this physical activity forces you to focus on physical attributes instead of your mental state. In essence, it provides a healthy distraction!
3. Herbal Remedies
Popping pills for anxiety may not be the answer you’re looking for, but there are plenty of other substances out there that are good for body and mind. Some natural remedies to look for are chamomile, green tea, lemon, and lavender. These can be consumed in tea, found in different lotions or bath products, or even utilized as essential oils. Herbals such as these have been used for centuries to help reduce stress.
4. Psychology Techniques
You don’t even need to visit a therapist’s couch to take advantage of some of their methods. Try verbalizing your anxiety out loud to yourself. Consider what your feelings are about it, its exact source, and try visualizing the bigger picture. It can be helpful to explore rational responses to specific points of anxiety so you can break up the stress into smaller bits. You can even try scenic visualization by imagining yourself in a peaceful place and focusing on tangible details like touch and smell.
With the school season coming to a close soon massage therapy before a test can help ease that anxiety. As simple a 30 min massage before the test according to some of our test taking client is the thing that help ease their racing minds.
You may have a hard time sleeping on the day before a test, but getting adequate sleep the night before is definitely important. It’s best for your brain, and will help keep your anxiety level down. Fight the fatigue!