mindfulness for exams

For more information see our. Studies have proven that practising mindfulness is essentially training the brain to be calmer and more resilient. Mindfulness is also a great tool for calming yourself down when you’re sat in the exam and stress or worry cause you to freeze up or panic. Mindfulness techniques can help us to stay calm, relax and focus. what happens to your muscles as you do this. Before you go to bed, write a list of 3 … A quick breathing meditation can calm your brain down enough to let it access all the knowledge you’ve (hopefully) been stockpiling over the past weeks and get it all down on paper. 10 online resources for international school teachers, Offering career guidance to your learners, How reading helps students deal with stress and uncertainty, Using mindfulness to deal with exam stress. Act slowly and deliberately. Copyright © 1996–2020 Pearson All rights served. It can be traced back to our ancestors whose survival depended on the ability to escape a predator. What does a lion and an English test have in common? Prof Peter Jones, also from Cambridge’s psychiatry department added: “The evidence is mounting that mindfulness training can help people cope with accumulative stress. By appreciating the people and things you have in your life, you are made aware of what is making you happy and what you are grateful for in that moment, which supports the activity of being ‘present’. Subscribe to our Newsletter to Receive Updates: Beyond Revision – A Guide to Exam Stress Management. So simply taking a few moments to close the eyes and focus on the breath going in through the nose and out again can be very powerful,” she says. Practise bringing more awareness to that activity. Notice where you tend to zone out (e.g., emailing or messaging, scrolling through Instagram, cooking some chicken nuggets, brushing teeth, etc.). When you’re walking, pay attention to the feeling of your feet on the ground. Our thoughts and feelings come and go, and they do not define us – nor do failed exams. Referring back to our last article, it takes us away from the fear of a physical threat in our mind and encourages us to focus on the reality of the situation: often when doing so we might find that the exam isn’t quite as stressful as our mind is making it out to be through fear. Observe the weight of your body against the chair. Another key stress area is in studying, where almost six in 10 reported it made it difficult for them to cope. With 15 years’ experience in teaching and educational publishing, she now combines first-hand understanding with certified training in wellbeing practices to help educators and students find inner calm in a stressful world. Amy Malloy is a freelance writer and editor, and the founder of No More Shoulds.com, teaching mindfulness for healthier, kinder minds. Take a couple of minutes to notice your breathing. Notice what the contact feels like. (You can unsubscribe anytime), © Copyright CXK 2018 Registered Charity Number: 1120755 Teachers can also help students experience exams with mindfulness. CXK Ltd. 5. Repeat this exercise every now and then to deliberately bring your awareness to what is happening in the present moment and to build your resilience to deal with exam anxiety and general pressures around this time of the academic year by cultivating mindfulness in this way. To raise the odds of survival, our brains evolved to switch into fight-or-flight mode as a response to danger – whether that danger was real or imagined. “There are a multitude of guided meditations freely available online with which to practice at home,” she says. But what can students do to achieve this? Count your blessings. The second one is a more long-term strategy. A study of over 600 students had found those that took mindfulness classes were one third less likely to meet the threshold commonly regarded as meriting mental health support. Or use a simple meditation technique: simply sit quietly, eyes shut, spine upright, and make an active effort to follow your breath. She recommends trying the following process at the beginning of each lesson over the course of a few weeks: Close your eyes or stare at your desk without focusing on anything. Keep bringing your attention back to these activities until you feel calm and relaxed. “If the heart is really racing, then try purposefully slowing the breath down through counting, making the exhale a little longer than the inhale. Take a few deep breaths, grow aware of your contact with the chair again. Count ten breaths in and out, noticing and watching each breath, one at a time. “You can start regularly and actively training your students’ minds to cope with stressful situations more healthily, to encourage the brain to access a different network of the brain,” she says. Take some time to relax and focus on your breathing. Observe your breath going in at the nose and out again through the nose. The first one is related to the circumstances of the exam itself and helping students see it as a less threatening event. You can practise mindfulness anywhere and at any time, but it can be especially helpful to take a mindful approach if you realise that, for several minutes, you’ve been dwelling on a problem or worrying about a potential problem, such as not performing well in your exams. This is obviously very useful for students who are required to frequently take all sorts of exams. “Fast-forward to the modern day and we find that emotional challenges (which are essentially imagined dangers) also activate our fight-or-flight system in the same way. Yes, I would like to receive emails from CXK. Inhale gently for two seconds, hold your breath for a moment and then exhale slowly. In the past few years, mindfulness has become a buzzword that you often see on social media or on the covers of wellness magazines. Invite your students to try noting down three pleasant events from their day before they go to bed and see how they feel after a couple of weeks,” she adds. “Forget the poses, the sunsets, the mountain tops – all of which are lovely, of course,” Amy says, “Because really, all you need to do is focus your attention on something which anchors you in the present moment.”. Anyone who has to face high-stress situations, such as students preparing for exams, can benefit from it. Allow them to come and go without labelling them. Recognise that thoughts are simply thoughts; you don’t need to believe them or react to them. Sense the flow of the breath, the rise and fall of your stomach. Mental health in campus has been in the spotlight in recent years. This decentering allows us to choose how to respond to events, be they negative or positive. © 2018 Pearson English, a division of Pearson plc. Amy explains what happens in our brains when we get nervous and why. To delve deeper into the concept of mindfulness, we spoke with Amy Malloy, accredited meditation trainer and an advocate of mindfulness in education. Meditation inspires students to concentrate on their senses and... 2. The idea of mindfulness involves being ‘present’; being more conscious of life and our surroundings as they happen. “When we are in fight-or-flight mode, our body increases our heart rate, sharpens our eyesight and our hearing and shuts down most other things. Similar to the guided meditations, a three-minute breathing exercise can help students to... 3. “The very act of breathing slowly actively deactivates fight or flight (our sympathetic nervous system) and activates our parasympathetic nervous system, otherwise known as ‘rest and digest’ mode. If not, a specialist Mindfulness for School programme is available online. After a couple of weeks of this practice, see if the students feel any different. Amy’s tip for teachers is to incorporate meditation into their lessons. Many found the transition from school to university to be considerably stressful. A study of over 600 students had found those that took mindfulness classes were one third less likely to meet the threshold commonly regarded as meriting mental health support. To delve deeper into the concept of mindfulness, we spoke with Amy Malloy, accredited meditation trainer and an advocate of mindfulness in … Just as mindfulness can help with reducing exam stress, it can also aid students in accepting and dealing with the feeling of failure after a bungled exam. By clicking accept, we will assume that you consent to your cookies being collected. If there is a mindfulness programme at your child's school, they will be familiar with this. We use cookies to ensure that you receive the best experience on our website. Read more about the role of mindset in coping with stress. Often when we are stressed, we can find ourselves focusing and ruminating purely on the sources of our stress. However, behind the hype is an ancient practice that has been around for thousands of years that is actually very simple. The threat of an exam – being judged on our ability, the consequences of not achieving the desired result – sends us into fight-or-flight mode too. It helps them decenter from difficult emotions, feel calmer, and see the exam as a less threatening experience. “While these benefits may be similar to some other preventative methods, mindfulness could be a useful addition to the interventions already delivered by university counselling services. Notice. If you’re feeling stressed at the thought of your upcoming exams, or really feeling the pressure of your revision, then adopting mindfulness techniques into your daily routine can be a great way of reducing exam stress and creating a positive state of mind. Being ‘present’ not only makes us more productive, but allows us to enjoy life to the fullest. As part of the service, we provide person-centred counselling and brief solution-focused interventions which build emotional resilience and coping skills in children and young people. “Try normalising the conditions around the exam, maybe using the same room for all assessment so it isn’t the first time they experience it,” she says. Guide students through a meditation. So anything learners can do to remind the brain that the exam isn’t a threat is really helpful,” Amy says.

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