Yoga To Cope With Exam Nerves and Stress
Yoga for Exam Stress & Anxiety
Most people have taken tests or examinations in their life, at one point or another. Hence, you should know that feeling you have right before starting your examination, most especially if you crammed and are not too confident in your preparation.
Good thing is that yoga can help you cope with any feeling of anxiety or tension that might build up in anticipation for this exam.
Body Movement to Release Tension
Wonder why athletes or any form of competitors prefer to move around or engage in mild physical activities prior to competition? They are doing this to naturally relieve the tension off their bodies while also conditioning the body for the intense competition ahead. The same can be said during an examination, with the only difference being that your activity is more on the mental side.
It is important to release that tension off your body to avoid anxiety or tension from affecting your mental performance. Suggested simple body movement techniques include jogging, walking, or simple stretching. This will effectively keep both your mind and body calm.
Anxiety is known as an emotional state wherein an individual feels fearful, worrisome, or apprehensive. This is often caused by the uncertainty of an upcoming event where one feels threatened. Students who are about to take an exam or test feels an increasing level of anxiety because they cannot predict what questions might appear on the questionnaire. This is closely associated with their desire to earn a high mark and the level of uncertainty brings about anxiety. Hence, they feel the strong desire to escape the situation and yet they are confronted by it.
The breathing exercises and meditation of yoga are truly helpful in such cases. This will not only help you combat anxiety, but it enriches your mental capacity such that you are able to produce sharper mind and increase mental clarity. Those are essential qualities you need when about to embark on a test.
There are two types of breathing exercises recommended in yoga for those who want to overcome anxiety and stress. Rhythmic breathing is one of them. What makes rhythmic breathing quite effective is due to its dual effect: physical and psychological.
On the physical effect of performing rhythmic breathing, you are basically facilitating in normalizing the body’s natural rhythm that is disturbed when an individual feels anxious about a certain situation. Also, it increases oxygen supply and boosts circulation such that your senses become alive and perform more efficiently.
On the psychological or mental aspect, it enables your mind to stay calm despite pressure. Plus, it boosts your level of self-confidence and makes you better able to concentrate. Proper concentration is key in ensuring that you remember all the essential information you need to perform well during the test.
Yoga Deep Breathing Techniques
Deep and Shallow Breathing
Deep breathing has always been one of the most popular breathing exercises in yoga and for obvious reasons. When you feel tensed, deep and shallow breathing helps to release any tension build up on your body. Thus, it is really helpful when you are about to take an exam and you feel an increasing level of stress.
It is a very powerful breathing technique when done properly. Therefore, you need to find a comfortable position to get you started. Make sure that your back is straight and that the rest of your body feels relaxed before you start. Breathe in through your nose and do this fully such that your stomach rises slightly. Then, exhale through your mouth in a full motion such that air is emptied off your lungs. You can do as many repetition of this exercise as possible until you feel relieved.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
The progressive muscle
relaxation technique involves a pattern of tensing and relaxing
specific muscle areas of your body. Yogis recommend this as an
effective form of relaxation, which could therefore be an important
strategy for anyone preparing for an exam.
To perform progressive muscle relaxation, start with one foot. Use your hands to squeeze around your foot, making it tense. Hold it for a few seconds before releasing to provide relaxation. Perform the exact same process using your other foot. Then, you can perform this on individual muscle groups and working your way upwards for total body relaxation.
Noah Levine "Mindfulness Meditation"
This is a deeper form of meditation, which is truly beneficial for anyone trying to prepare for an upcoming examination. When you perform this, you will basically “zone out” all other external elements by focusing on a specific thought or object. As a result, you are not distracted by noises or activities from the outside but become more acquainted with internal sensations. This form of meditation helps in increasing your ability for concentration and being able to block out unnecessary thoughts or ideas.
Guided Imagery and Visualization
This is a technique often recommended for individuals having difficulty meditating. Focusing and gaining that internal connection with your spiritual body is indeed a lot easier said than done. Hence, you can think of an image or place that has a calming effect on you. Then, imagine yourself being there instead of where you are currently at. The calming effect you associate with that particular place or thought will produce the same effect on you as you meditate.
Tai Chi 24-form
Performing Tai Chi
Tai Chi is generally an ancient form of Chinese martial art, which is based on the principles of yin and yang. But throughout the years, it has evolved from a form of self-defense into an exercise performed to improve health and bring about relaxation. The yin and yang principle can be credited much for that since it emphasizes the need to stay in peaceful harmony with nature.
Like yoga, native beliefs in Chinese medicine refer to diseases as a result of disturbances in energy flow or life force. Therefore, Tai Chi involves mental exercise and meditation in order to bring about focus and increase mental strength. In addition to meditation and mental exercise, Tai Chi involves a series of smooth movements that are performed in one continuous motion. For this reason, Tai Chi might be a good form of yoga to practice in preparation for an upcoming exam so your mind stays sharp and focused.