How to handle Exam Stress..?

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Exam time! Last minute studies, preparations, anxiety, overwhelm – all of these culminating into STRESS.… is that what you are going through right now? Stress about “Will I remember everything that I have studied? Will I score good marks? Will I get admission in the college I desire?” All these questions drive you crazy, don’t they?

Stress has become such a common word in our vocabulary. But what is this stress exactly?

Stress is nothing but a reaction to a situation that we create in our mind. If you observe carefully most of these situations are born out of assumptions and expectations. They are imaginary. These events have not occurred in reality. But the end result of these fictional situations is fear. Fear of forgetting what you have studied or fear of not scoring well and so on. And it is this fear that gives rise to stress.

So, the best way to deal with stress is to deal with the root cause. Here are some of the tips.

  1. Relax your Mind:

Our mind is like a monkey. It will keep on jumping from one thought to another. It creates a mountain out of a molehill. You feed it with one negative thought and in a while you will find yourself gripped with fear, agitated and anxious. It is therefore very important to calm your mind.

You can do it by following 3 simple steps mentioned below:

Step 1: Find a quiet place and sit in a relaxed position or lie down. The idea is you should be completely relaxed physically.

Step 2: Observe your thoughts. You will find numerous thoughts passing through your mind. Don’t stop them. Just observe them come and go. Slowly you will find that the thoughts reduce in numbers.

Step 3: Now observe your breath. Observe the cool air passing through your nostrils up to your lungs and the warm air coming out of your lungs through your nostrils. Do this process for at least 21 breaths or until you feel there are hardly any thoughts left in your mind. Remember your mind can do only one thing at a time – it can either observe your thoughts or observe your breath.

Once the mind is calm you can focus on your studies better.

You can also checkout my YouTube video of a shorter version of SKY technique that I have developed and is very effective in dealing with stress. It just takes two minutes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFH3KP9i0Tw&t=28s

  1. Feed your Mind with Only Positive Thoughts:

Our mind is like a very fertile soil. Whatever you sow, will grow. Make sure you feed your mind only with positive thoughts. If any time you get fear based thoughts, shrug them off and remember and super-impose them with some positive incidents from your life. The time when your teacher appreciated you or when your parents were proud of you or when you felt happy about yourselves.

  1. Believe in Yourselves:

You must have heard this many times, ‘You are what you believe’. It is absolutely true. If you believe that you will fail, you will and if you believe that you will win, you certainly will. The choice lies with you. We are humans and it is natural to get negative thoughts. At such times use this affirmation, “I am the best”, or “I am successful in whatever I do”. So friends, shape up your reality by believing in yourselves.

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  1. Never Ever Compare:

Remember, you are unique and there is no second person as exceptional as you are on this planet. Comparison only induces stress. So don’t compare with anybody. Do your best and leave the rest.

  1. Do what You Love:

Doing what you love acts as an instant form of relaxation. If you love music or drawing or dance, practice that for a few minutes every day, without getting carried away by it. Any form of art relaxes your mind and leaves it in a more receptive state.

  1. Physical Activity is a Must:

Continuously sitting at one place and studying for a long period of time makes you dull and lethargic. It has the same effect on your mind as well. A quick run, or a few stretches or even shaking your body to the tune of music will have a magical effect. 

  1. Avoid Junk Food:

Here’s the catch. When you are stressed you are more likely to eat junk food. During your exams eat only healthy and preferably home cooked food. It gives the required nourishment to your body and handles stress in a better way.

Friends, remember, it is only an exam – a small part of your entire life. The result of the exams cannot decide your capability, your intelligence or who you are. You are the BEST! Have faith in the universe, believe in yourself, just chill and you are sure to rock!

Signing off with lots of love and good luck…!

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SUICIDE SCARES

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A few weeks back there was yet another disturbing news of a student committing suicide in Kota. Such news have a frequent appearance now-a-days. We read the news, feel bad about it and with time it fades away from our memory only to be refreshed with another such incident. IIT Aspirant From Uttar Pradesh Commits Suicide In Kota

However, such incidents do jolt us from within, they give rise to a lot of questions such as why does this happen? When is this going to stop? How many more lives until we get a stop to this? Most importantly, why is it so easy for a person to think that taking one’s own life is the ultimate end to all the problems? Undoubtedly, there has to be a serious reason for it.

Though the suicides in Kota keep making headlines in the media, the overall rate of students committing suicides has increased radically through all these years. It is time we reflect upon the above questions and address the issue. The suicide is only an upshot of some major mayhem in our lives.

Some of the underlying causes could be –
Nature of Education: Our education has become more marks and result oriented than before. I remember when I was a student, our focus was more on understanding the subject than scoring marks. Today, the students have to bone up on as every single mark is a decision-maker of their future.

Peer Pressure: There is tremendous pressure on the children from their parents and time-481447_960_720society. “Look at your brother. He is a topper in the class and you barely pass.” Or “My child scored 90% what about your daughter?” A child may excel in arts but is forced to study engineering because his brother or the neighbour’s son chose to do so.

Parent’s Dream Imposed on Children: Once a father came to me with his son to me for counselling, who was undergoing treatment for depression. He had forced his son to join the Kota classes and enter IIT as it was his unfulfilled dream. Unfortunately, the son could not take the pressure and after spending a year in Kota, came back home, deep into depression. The gruelling sessions there had taken such a toll on the son that he became a rebel and refused to do anything. He just ate and slept throughout day and night and lost the hope to live. When I was counselling him, he told me that he wanted to become an artist and was forced into IIT coaching classes by his dad. This is a sad fact that many times we wish our children to fulfil our dreams not realising the cost it entails.

 Inability to Handle Stress:   We live in a world which demands productivity and stress-853644_960_720.jpgefficiency. Tough competition in every sphere of life is a breeding ground for stress. Students particularly go through exam, career, relationship stress and so on. Most of the times, the stress goes unaddressed and goes to work inside, leading to a havoc and such dire consequences.

 Inability to Handle Emotions:  We are all emotional beings. In schools and colleges we learn math, science, history, geography but no one teaches us how to deal with our emotions. We don’t know what to do when we are angry, we don’t know what to do when we feel sad, we don’t know how to handle anxiety. Not knowing how to handle emotions leaves us in a state of disorder. The easiest option to get out of the mess one thinks, is suicide.

All of these are the few of the many reasons why Kota in particular has seen so many suicides. It has become a place haunted by hope, despair, and isolation and in the end going nowhere.

As a parent and a teacher it is in our hands how we treat these young minds. We need to deal with them with care.

Here are few solutions to the problem I can offer –
Know your Child:  As parents or teachers the well-being of the child should be given top-most priority. We need to see where the child’s interest lies and we should support them to go in that direction. Children should be constantly made aware that their opinion matters and that they are respected and they are supported for all their decisions. This helps them to build confidence and they feel secure. That way the children will be at ease and can perform to their highest potential. This will also prevent them from taking any drastic steps. The life of your child is more precious than anything in this world.  

Never Ever Compare: Comparison is the worst thing that you could do to your child. It badly affects the self-esteem of the child and makes him/her believe that he/she is not capable of achieving anything. We need to remember that every person is a unique creation of God with distinctive qualities. No two human beings are similar. This fact itself dissolves any ground for comparison.

Be a Friend to Your Child: The best relationship you can develop with your child is that of friendship. In my practice as a Life Coach I have seen children resorting to drugs and alcohol, falling into wrong company and doing wrong things that the parents are not even aware of. And by the time the parents realise, it is already too late. What children need is unconditional acceptance and love. They need to communicate with someone who can understand them. If the parents are able perform this role of a friend, it can avoid a lot of untoward incidences.

Work on Making the Child Mentally Tough:  Constant Communication between the child and the parent and the assurance that the child will be loved and accepted under any situation makes the child mentally tough. The child should be taught that failure is a part of success rather than condemning the child for it.

Most of the times the children take such a drastic step like suicide is when they are unable to handle the pressure or fear of failure and the fear of rejection by family and society post that. If the child is welcomed with open arms even after failure, he/she will never take such an extreme step such as suicide.

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Teach Your children to Handle Stress: Many of us believe that meditation or spirituality is a practice for old age. Often misunderstood, these are nothing but a way of life irrespective of the age. If you are able to inculcate this or any mind-calming practices in children since a very young age, the children will be trained to handle stresses in life in a positive way rather than resorting to suicides.

Children are our future and it is each one of our responsibility to make our future bright. So let us be a beacon of hope and inspiration for them. Let us be mindful so that we can prevent such ghastly acts. Every single step that we take is going contribute in shaping up the destiny of the generations to come. Let us commit towards making this world a happy place to live in.