Stress is the body’s natural response to a challenge. Going off to college means having to live on your own for the first time, probably some considerable distance from home, you have to make new friends and, on top of that, the academic expectations have increased dramatically. It’s safe to say that you’re facing a challenge.
It comes as no surprise that anxiety is the biggest mental health concern among college students. At least you can console yourself with the fact you’re not alone. But if you’re reading this article you’ve probably had enough and you’re looking for ways to cope with what you’re feeling.
Well, without further ado, here’s what you need to know.
How Does Stress Work?
Even though stress is perceived as something bad, it’s actually meant to sharpen your mind and reflexes so you can escape dangerous situations. You may have heard of the flight or fight response. Your body releases stress hormones like adrenaline, norepinephrine, and cortisol which results in slowed digestion, accelerated heart rate and breathing, tunnel vision and dilation of the pupils. Everything you need to run from something big and scary.
Unfortunately, if exams make you feel the same way and you start experiencing symptoms associated with anxiety several weeks before they start, this is going to take its toll on your health.
So, What Can You Do to Calm Your Nerves Before an Exam?
You might be thinking:” Thank you for explaining to me how stress works but what can I do to stop feeling like I’m going to have a heart attack before an exam?”.
The first thing you could do is take advantage of the counseling services provided by your university or college. If you’re not quite ready to do that there are CBD oil topical treatments that can help you relax while you study or to sleep better the night before.
The most effective strategies you can use are:
Start studying well before the exam
They’ll be less pressure and you’ll have time to just read through the courses in the beginning, then go over them and look up things you don’t understand, afterward you just highlight the important parts and try to write them down in your own words. The next step would be to write a summary that you can go over every day or every few days. By the time you have to take the exams, you’ll have familiarized yourself with the material and you’ll feel way more relaxed.
Override the negative thought
If you start thinking “I’m not good enough”, “I will fail”, “What’s the point?” tell yourself that these thoughts are counterproductive. It doesn’t help you one bit to start mentally punishing yourself mentally. You should replace them with “I’m going to do my best and with every exam, I will gain more experience and perfect my learning strategies”, “This is just my anxiety speaking and this doesn’t help me stay motivated” and “Everyone goes through this, this is normal, it doesn’t mean I’m deficient in some way, it’s just stress”.