That time of year has come, exam dates are looming, assignment deadlines are nearing. What do we do? How do we cope? What is this feeling?
Either your first school year is ending, or your second or even your final. Maybe after this, your decisions will shape the path you’re on. Maybe, this is your last summer before your life moves on into university, a different setting or a new job. Just remember it is an amazing achievement to get to where you are right now. Up until this point, you probably had many different things going on in your life, at some points you just wanted to give up due to the crippling effect of fear or the mental block which prevents you from moving forward. But, that’s okay, it happens, its life.
What do we do when that crippling bout of fear paralyzes us?
We believe in ourselves even at this tough time, because we got this far and we can do it.
Fear: noun: fear; plural noun: fears
An unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm.
verb: fear; 3rd person present: fears; past tense: feared; past participle: feared; gerund or present participle: fearing
Be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or harmful.
If fear is involved with a potential danger or threat, how do we find exams, assignments terrifying? Why do we fear them even though they’re not harmful or threatening?
Fear is seen in all animals, from humans to rats to monkeys. It’s a natural feeling so don’t feel as if you’re the target. Research has shown it is a natural feeling.
Maybe we see these exams, assignments, and deadlines as a threat? The end result will lead up to a new beginning, a new beginning that is dependent on your final marks.
What to do when your fear wishes to consume you: one can easily say ignore it, but we all know that is not the case.
As a final year psychology student, I’ve spent three long years filled with exams and assignments, lab reports and most recently I’ve handed in my dissertation. Within the few weeks that have just passed, I felt overwhelmed and on the verge of giving up. But I didn’t, I pushed through and handed my dissertation in with a total of 6075 words. What was the topic? Emotional recovery. It’s ironic really, me writing about emotions when somedays I can’t even control mine. But I have learned some key aspects on how to maintain your emotional recovery, thus, improving mental health.
Being able to contain your emotions is a strenuous task and can drain every bit of energy you have. But it is vital to maintaining good mental health and wellbeing. Preceding negative emotions and cognitions can affect your performance on a task. This is not a new revelation, research has shown the detrimental effects on task performance, many esteemed fellows have shown the negative cognitions remain even after time has passed. How do we control this? Is it safe to say to just ignore the negativity, is this easy? Personally, it is quite frankly the most daunting process. Sometimes our negative emotions tend to get the better of us.
When it comes to exams and assignments, I’ve learned its best to maintain the positive thoughts. Surround yourself with positive people and around positive situations.
Keep yourself well fed and well hydrated. — Yoga helps!
Take a break, don’t try and attempt to finish a large chunk when you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, that’s no good for you.
Make sure your study area is tidy.
Try and distance yourself from technology (we all know what a huge distraction it is!!)
Take some ME time! It’s important!!
When it comes to the big day and your mind goes blank and you have no reason why this has happened because you knew all the research, this is a panic attack.
Don’t let succumb to the panic attack, take a deep breath and maybe have a sip of water. If your exam is based on a series of questions (written or multiple choice) and not an essay then move on to the next question. Don’t dwell on it as you may loose time. Conversely, if it is an essay exam, PLAN BEFOREHAND!! Teachers stress this as if you do forget the direction of your essay you can always refer back to your plan or if you have a really amazing point in mid-sentence, quickly jot it down in your plan and continue on your essay from the point you left off.
**Remember some examinations rooms allow you to take in a clear water bottle with you, keep your brain hydrated!
Wishing you all great success in these tiring tasks, you can do it!! Believe it and you can achieve it!!
**make sure your school allows water bottles in the examination room.
This post was kindly written by Husna for Study Break Down’s #HappyHealthyStudy series.