May and June are stressful months if you have exams, and anxiety can hold you back from doing your best in your exams. Read on for some simple tips to help you stay on top of anxiety.

Remember, it’s normal to feel stressed and anxious about exams. Even if your friends and classmates seem calm, they are probably nervous inside. A little bit of adrenaline can help your performance, but you also need some tools to help you stay cool.

Try taking three slow deep breaths if you are feeling so stressed you can’t focus on your work. Slowing your breath fools your body into relaxing, and it’s a quick trick you can try anywhere.

Make note cards while you are revising, and have them in your pocket or bag so you can remind yourself of facts in spare moments rather than worrying whether you know something or not.

Take time to have fun and unwind every day. Half an hour spent on a family board game or watching your favourite show will help you relax.

Prepare ahead for your exam. Work out what you plan to wear, pack your clear pencil case, check that your calculator is working etc. Look at the guidelines for what you are allowed to bring in and remember to bring a water bottle as anxiety can give you a dry mouth. Having all your kit ready is one less stressor before the exam.

Think positive! Make a list of positive thoughts to focus on. You can put them on post-it notes on your mirror to remind yourself that you can get through the exams. Repeat your positive statements to yourself to block out negative thoughts.

Look after yourself by eating healthy foods and getting enough sleep. Stay off caffeinated drinks including cola, tea and coffee as these can add to feelings of anxiety. If you’re an owl and prefer late night revision sessions, don’t stay up so late you are struggling the next day.

Fit in exercise too – take a walk, do an online workout between revision sessions. Exercise helps release healthy chemicals in your body so you can better deal with stress.

One more trick if you are feeling acutely anxious is to use your five senses. Think about what you can hear, see, smell and feel in turn. Focussing on your senses can relax you by taking your mind out of anxious thought patterns.

What helps you to stay relaxed? Share your tips in the comments below.

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