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4 simple techniques to reduce exam stress

By Sarah Separovich on 24 March 2022NSWblogUKblogExam advice#StudySkillsWellbeing

Stress seems to be synonymous with studying. Whether you’re preparing for an exam, presenting a speech or completing an assignment, nerves can creep up and make you feel the pressure 🥵.

As we can see in Atomi’s Relaxation Rituals video (which you can watch right here) stress is a natural response, so feeling a bit of pressure is okay! But sometimes we need to use relaxation strategies to reduce the negative effects of stress. In this article, we’ve got 4 techniques to get you back to feeling cool, calm and collected.

GIF of Atomi's Relaxation Rituals lesson. Character breaths in and out practising deep breathing.

1. Deep breathing

It may seem simple, but focusing on your breathing is a great way to reduce your stress levels. As many of us will already know, a common side effect of stress is panicked breathing—by reversing this and taking slow, controlled breaths, you can calm yourself down pretty quickly.

Breathing exercises don’t take a lot of time out of your day but can make a big difference when you’re feeling stressed or nervous.

Try it! Take a deep breath in for 5 seconds, hold it for 5 seconds, and then breath out for 5 seconds. Repeat for at least 1 minute.

GIF of Atomi's Relaxation Rituals lesson. Character tenses and relaxes hand muscles.

2. Progressive muscle relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation involves tensing and relaxing different muscle groups. Doing this releases tension from your muscles and relieves stress.

Try it! Tense a muscle group as much as possible for 10 seconds, then release. Work your way up your body and feel yourself physically letting go of all of that stress.

GIF of Atomi's Relaxation Rituals lesson. Character practices meditation.

3. Meditation and mindfulness

This is one we’ve all heard of before, but have you ever tried practising it? Meditation and mindfulness are great ways to relieve stress and anxiety. By focusing your mind on something outside of your schoolwork, you can find mental clarity and calmness. Meditation can look different for each person, so just have a go!

Try it! Focus your attention on something like your breath or body, picturing a pleasant scene or listening to a guided meditation. No matter what it is, you’ll find yourself feeling a whole lot more zen 🧘.

GIF of Atomi's Relaxation Rituals lesson. Character exercises by stretching, using a foam roller and walking.

4. Movement

It’s as simple as that. Getting up and moving your body can help to release stress. This can be any form of physical exercise, including slow and light forms of movement like stretching, using a foam roller or going for a walk.

Try it! Take a step away from your desk, even if only for a few minutes. This can give your mind and body the break it needs to settle down and release some tension.


Remember

Taking care of your health and wellbeing is always important. We need a clear mind to be able to focus on what’s in front of us, so whether you’re taking a study break now, going into a busy time of the year or preparing for an exam, having strategies in place to alleviate stress is essential.


For more tips to help you stay productive and look after yourself, check out Atomi’s Study Skills lessons or follow us on Instagram. See you there 👋.



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