Examination stress and anxiety are familiar foes for students across the globe, manifesting as sleepless nights, racing thoughts, and the overwhelming pressure to perform. As exams loom on the horizon, the quest for success can often take a toll on the mental health resulting in emotional turmoil. In this blog, we aim to arm students with strategies and insights designed to deal with exam stress and anxiety.
The following are some of the tips & techniques students can use to reduce their examination stress and anxiety:
- Big picture thinking: Big picture thinking, in the context of reducing or dealing with examination stress, involves focusing on the broader perspective and long-term objectives beyond the immediate challenges of exams. The idea is to consider exams as just one of many steps in their educational or life journey, rather than as defining moments that determine their entire future. This technique helps in some of the following manner:
- Helps in contextualizing the exams within a larger framework of goals, aspirations, and experiences. By understanding that life is made up of various aspects and opportunities, the pressure and significance placed on a single exam can decrease.
- Aids in prioritizing efforts and managing time effectively. It allows individuals to allocate their energy not just to immediate tasks like studying for an upcoming exam, but also to activities that contribute to overall well-being and long-term success.
- Offers a healthier perspective on success and failure. Recognizing that one’s path is not solely defined by exam outcomes can reduce fear of failure and the stress associated with it.
- Focusing on long-term goals can motivate individuals to engage in consistent, sustained effort rather than last-minute cramming.
- Karmayogi thinking: Karmayogi thinking, inspired by the principles laid out in the Bhagavad Gita, emphasizes performing one’s duty (karma) without attachment to the outcomes. This philosophy can be incredibly beneficial in managing examination stress. By adopting the mindset of a Karmayogi, students focus on the process of studying and learning with dedication and discipline, rather than being consumed by the anxiety of results. This approach encourages students to put forth their best effort, understand their subjects deeply, and engage with their studies as a form of self-improvement and growth, rather than merely a means to achieve grades or accolades. The detachment from the outcome helps in reducing the pressure and fear of failure, as the emphasis is on the action (studying) rather than the result (exams). This shift in perspective can lead to a more balanced, calm, and focused approach to exams, ultimately reducing stress and enhancing performance.
- Spiritual thinking: Knowing that we are a part of infinite consciousness, as per Upanishads, an ancient collection of Indian philosophical texts, can provide a profound sense of inner peace and confidence. The Upanishads teach that your core identity is not tied to your physical form (the body) or your mental activities (the mind), but is instead part of a vast, unchanging, and infinite consciousness. Each one of us has access to the infinite intelligence. This belief can help us gain tremendous confidence during examination time and help manage stress and anxiety.
Check out my related blog on the effects of examination stress.