Has exam anxiety been making studying (and life) difficult for you for a few days? In this article, find out why this happens to you and how you can silence it once and for all.
Let’s start with a fundamental clarification: everyone experiences exam anxiety, even geeks 😉 It is a normal thing to hear when we are faced with an exam or a test. And indeed, in some ways, it is also very useful when we keep it “under control”; in fact it helps us to give our best, to access all the resource exhibitions.
It is a different matter when it makes our days difficult when it does not allow us to study well, when it makes us think “I leave it alone, I do not take the exam, it will be for the next session”.
So, in light of what we have said, the goal should not be to eliminate exam anxiety but to keep it under control so that it helps you to give your best without blocking yourself or making it unnecessarily difficult to study.
But how is it done? We’ll see it today 😉
Exam Anxiety: What It Is, How It Arises
The signs of exam anxiety are usually the same: in the previous days you can’t sleep, you suffer from stomach pain and at the crucial moment you get cold sweats, maybe nausea and suddenly you don’t remember anything of what you studied! All this fuss for fear of failing an exam? Actually no, it is something deeper, which arises in your beliefs.
Exam anxiety is a specific type of performance anxiety that you can “fall into” whenever you are faced with a situation in which you feel judged and tested.
In these situations, you have an enlarged perception of the real importance of what you face and this throws you into “panic”. In the case of an exam, it seems to you that not only your preparation is evaluated, but also your intelligence, and your skills in general.
You Take It Too Personally
In short, we take it personally and we fear that failing to pass the exam will affect the opinion that others have of us (“if I don’t pass this exam everyone will think I’m stupid”, “if I don’t make a good grade I will disappoint my parents a lot “,” if I don’t answer the questions I’ll make a bad impression on the teacher “).
In general, we base our self-esteem excessively on external recognition, which in this case is nothing more than passing the exam.
You understand that it is not so easy to live with this kind of anxiety and that is why there are techniques (we will see them shortly) that allow you to scale it and make it effective in your favor.
PLEASE NOTE. In some cases, this form of anxiety can be pathological and the best thing to do in this circumstance is to seek professional help to regain control of one’s emotions. If you are reading this article and feel you have a more severe form of anxiety than a simple “exam squeeze”, know that I cannot provide you with any medical or strictly scientific help, because I am not a doctor or a psychologist. In this case, I recommend that you contact one of the figures just mentioned with confidence to tackle the situation together and with more simplicity.
How Can You Create “Good Performance Anxiety”?
However, whether you have it in a light form or a little more pronounced, remember that anxiety does not have to go away but simply plays in our favor! The agitation felt in facing a test is not always a bad sign: if it is contained it means that we are in the right mood to face the challenge, attentive and reactive.
The problem arises when this emotion exceeds the limit and it is in this case that we have to learn to calm down a little because strong anxiety does nothing but inhibit our abilities, it deconcentrates and disorients us.
There are methods you can experiment with to calm down both physically and psychologically!
Relax Your Body
Palpitations, cold sweats, various ailments… we have already talked about it before and we agree that everything is normal and nothing serious, we can fix it!
So now let’s find out how to prevent some symptoms and “cure” others when they catch us off guard before an important moment.
You may have already heard of breathing techniques. There are many, one of the best known, for example, is diaphragmatic breathing (the one we do from the moment we are born, but which we then unlearn).
Today, however, I choose to talk to you about a different technique, which can be easily practiced in any situation and is intended to help you relax your nerves. I speak of the square breathing or breathing in the square if you prefer.
This technique consists in carrying out breathing in four phases, imagining that each of them constitutes the side of a square. The construction of each side takes about 4 seconds, like this:
- Start by inhaling for 4 seconds.
- Then stay 4 seconds in apnea.
- Then exhale for 4 seconds.
- Remain in apnea again for another 4 seconds.
So, we built our square! If you can’t do it, you can very well alternate a 4-second side with a 2-second side. The important thing is that you build at least four squares to start feeling relaxed.
By practicing this technique, you can feel free and relaxed before facing a demanding test. If you want to better understand how square breathing works, watch this video.
But know that this kind of technique takes a little practice before it really works, so if you are interested you can experiment with it a little every day until you feel the difference.
To Sum Up
Anxiety is not all bad, you just have to learn how to channel this energy correctly in order to boost your academic performance. However, you won’t be able to achieve that if you’re constantly under tons of academic work. As an option, you can get help from a pro essay writer as you focus on dealing with your anxiety and preparing for the exams.