Tips from HCFI to cope with exam-related stress
Remember to not compete with others and focus on your strengths instead
While some amount of anxiety is helpful, it should not lead to health issues. Unrealistic expectations can cause restlessness, irritability, sadness, anxiety, and even forgetfulness. Parents should remember to not impose their expectations on children or compare them with others.
Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Immediate Past National President Indian Medical Association (IMA), said, "At the outset, let me wish all those taking the board examinations all the best. Although exams play a part in determining your future career choices, they are not the only gateway to do so. Success in life does not depend on your performance in an exam but on how you cope with the challenges and come out of them. It is natural to feel nervous, but you should be able to talk about it with someone you feel comfortable. Speak to your parents, friends or teachers and get their advice. If you feel overwhelmed by studying for a long duration, it is a good idea to take a small break. This will help you feel refreshed and approach subjects better."
Avoid any last-minute revisions. Also, once an examination is over, remember to not discuss the question paper at length. Worrying about what has already been done may hamper preparation for the next subject.
Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Vice President of CMAAO, said, "The brain is not a machine and needs to unwind and refuel to function better. To do so, you must get adequate sleep and rest during the exams. Sleep deprivation can bring in several health repercussions, especially when coupled with stress. The brain needs time to assimilate the information you have gathered during the day, and it is important to give it that much time."
At the time of exam the mind should be in a parasympathetic state and not the sympathetic state. Taker a few deeps breaths just before taking the exam.
Some other tips from HCFI.
· Avoid junk food as it can slow you down, apart from making it difficult for you to concentrate. Eat plenty of green vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole grains. Snack on dry fruits and nuts.
· Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
· Avoid caffeine as it can leave you feeling dehydrated. You could try drinking coconut water, lassi or green tea instead.
· Meditate and try some relaxing Yoga to avoid stress.
· Doing some deep breathing exercises can induce relaxation.
· De-clutter your study space. An organized table can motivate you to study better.
· Make connections between concepts and use mnemonics to remember things.
Dr K K Aggarwal