Strategies Which May Help During Exams

If you feel anxious over the next few weeks

  •  Body Focus
    Focus on your breathing. Don’t change it, breathe calmly and move your body to get more comfortable and relaxed. Be aware of any areas of tension in your body. If you find one, take a deep breath and try to imagine that area loosening up. Then gently and slowly move that part of the body a little to let it loosen and relax.


  •  Deep breathing

Take a slow deep breath in through the nose and out through the mouth. Feel your tummy rising as you breathe in and falling as you breathe out. Count your breath-count 1 as you breathe in and 2 as you breathe out. Continue this until you get to 10. Start again if needs be. Imagine inhaling calmness and exhaling stresses.


  • Neck stretches

Gently let your head stretch to the left, then to the right, then down to your chest. Slowly circle your head clockwise and then anti-clockwise.


  • Shoulder Rolls

With your hands in your lap, slowly circle your shoulders backwards and then forwards. Do this a few times, then relax and finish by shrugging a few times.


  • Visualisation

Be aware of your thoughts and imagine your favourite place. In your mind focus on what you can see, hear, smell, the colour, the light. Be aware of your breathing, take a moment to enjoy this place. Notice how you are becoming calmer and more relaxed and allow your breathing to become slower and deeper. So now as you leave this place, feeling happy and relaxed you know that you can return whenever you need.


  • Visualisation

Be aware of your thoughts and notice any feeling of anxiety or stress. In your mind imagine a box before you. Focus on what this box looks like, colour shape, size, and texture. Imagine placing your worries, stresses and anxiety into this box. Now you’re going to close this box and place it to one side until later.


The next two might be more suitable to do at home or before / after an exam


  • Arm Shakes

Standing with your arms by your side, start to shake your right hand and wrist. Let the movement continue up through your elbow and upper arm. Continue for 5-10 seconds. Then relax. Then do the same exercise with the left arm and hand, remember to keep breathing during the exercise.


  • Apple Picker Stretcher

Imagine you are under the branches of an apple tree. Standing with both arms up in the air and gently bouncing on tip toes, reach up as high as you can and grab at the imaginary apples with one hand then the other. Then gently drop your hands and bend over towards the floor as far as you can with knees slightly bent. Keep breathing, relaxing this position for a few moments before rising up.