De-stressing while prepping: Tips for test anxiety

By: Staff Writer

It’s Midterm season, and we can all feel it. The break calls our name. Before we can think of what Santa will be stuffing in the stockings and travel plans…or just lazy plans, there is one thing we must all face. We cannot nor should not go into our final exams unprepared, but we will help you with some de-stressing techniques to keep from being overwhelmed. Remember, always keep your mental and emotional health a priority.

5 Tips to Prep for Finals

1. Give yourself time-

He that lives upon Hope, dies fasting…    Lost time is never found again- Ben Franklin 

Image result for calendar planning

Procrastination is the motto for many, but logically, it will do little to help with so many classes and so much content. Scholastic recommends setting aside at least 20 minutes of studying per day in the several weeks/month leading up. Cover content that is more confusing allowing yourself more time to get clarification from teachers.

2. Get physical! Endorphins to the rescue! 

An empty bag will not stand upright.- Ben Franklin

Image result for free stock image working outStress wrecks havoc on your body according to an article by Psychology Today. It produces adrenalin that raises your heart rate and blood pressure often leading to increased levels of anxiety. Adrenalin combines with cortisol when prepping for high stakes tests be they a final or the SAT/ACT, which may help you remember immediate situations, such as the action of studying, but actually affects your ability to retain information that needs to be later recalled. This may be why you have read the same page six times and cannot remember one thing on it.

One way to combat this issue is exercise. Harvard Health reports that exercise decreases your levels of adrenalin and cortisol. It also produces endorphins, which is a natural pain reliever and stress reducer. They tell your brain to RELAX and feel happy.

3. SLEEP!! It’s vital for memory retention. 

Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.– Ben Franklin

Image result for free stock image sleeping

Of course, this goes in hand with pacing yourself so you’re not pulling a last-minute all-nighter. Sleep’s effect on the brain is like the Goldilocks story. Too little or too much will affect memory and stress levels. Harvard Health recommended about seven hours of sleep per day.

Being sleep-deprived increases your blood pressure restricting your blood vessel’s ability to allow good flow to your brain. It also causes a chemical called beta amyloid to be deposited on your brain. Both of these affect your memory and thinking abilities. Countless studies have been done to validate this issue. The less sleep–the less your brain’s ability to reset and higher blood pressure. No good.

4. Breathing techniques proven

Reading makes a full Man, Meditation a profound Man..- Ben Franklin

Remember that the fight or flight effect that kicks in when you’re stressed causes higher blood pressure, muscle tension, and other issues. Deep breathing techniques have the opposite effect. When practiced, they help tell your brain and body to become calm again, and just a few minutes can have a great impact.

Here is one of countless videos of techniques:

5. Study somewhere else.

Diligence overcomes Difficulties- Ben Franklin

Re-energize with new study scenes. Trade the bedroom desk for a cozy couch at the public library. Use this time to take a short walking break where the TV in another room won’t distract you. Study in group sessions with study partners who will help keep you focused and motivated.  Here are some of the best kept secrets in study nooks at CHS!

We wish you the best in all of your studying endeavors. The secret to that score you want may be in science behind stress. Treat your body well!

Source for Franklin quotes and more great ones: Poor Richard’s Almanac 

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