Mental health in campus has been in the spotlight in recent years. For example, breathe in for a count of 4, breathe out for 4; breathe in for 4, breathe out for 6; breathe in for 4, breathe out for 8 etc,” says Amy. Find out how students can use mindfulness to combat pre-exam anxiety and how teachers can help them master the art of being in the moment. 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. It appears to be popular, feasible, acceptable and without stigma.”, US high school aims to improve student wellbeing with ‘community hour’. Take some time to relax and focus on your breathing. The second one is a more long-term strategy. “Another lovely practice is to encourage students to notice positive events in their day. Regular and consistent practice is what allows us to reap the benefits of mindfulness. Amy recommends trying to encourage students to practice every day at home as well. Subscribe to our Newsletter to Receive Updates: Beyond Revision – A Guide to Exam Stress Management. 5. Meditation. A University of Cambridge study has found that “mindfulness” could be the key to keeping students’ stress low and reduce the need for mental health support services, The Guardian reported. This website uses cookies. Source: Shutterstock. Add meditation, “mindful thinking” and “mindful eating” to the list of things to do this Christmas to get ready for those exams you have to take in 2018 – they could be key to acing those tests. Being ‘present’ not only makes us more productive, but allows us to enjoy life to the fullest. Registered Office: The Old Court, Tufton Street, Ashford, Kent, TN23 1QN, Registered in England, CXK uses cookies on this site, for more information please view our CXK – Website Privacy Policy. To delve deeper into the concept of mindfulness, we spoke with Amy Malloy, accredited meditation trainer and an advocate of mindfulness in education. 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. You can’t be stressed and grateful at the same time. Recognise that thoughts are simply thoughts; you don’t need to believe them or react to them. 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. Using mindfulness, this state of stress can be managed – and it can even help us perform. “This is, to the best of our knowledge, the most robust study to date to assess mindfulness training for students, and backs up previous studies that suggest it can improve mental health and well-being during stressful periods,” said Dr Julieta Galante, of Cambridge’s psychiatry department, who led the study. 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. 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’. 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. Mindfulness is a powerful tool that can empower students to deal with exam-related stress and anxiety. The study confirms that mindfulness can help improve concentration and ultimately performance at any intellectually challenging task, as it helps eliminate mind wandering and improves working memory capacity. Notice what the contact feels like. Distress scores of this mindfulness group were kept low even during the exams… 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. Cambridge’s study on mindfulness could be a possible solution to help university students cope better. Mindfulness is a powerful tool that can empower students to deal with exam-related stress and anxiety. Many found the transition from school to university to be considerably stressful. Bring a Sweater: Just as you don’t want to be hungry or thirsty during the test, you don’t want to be … Take a couple of minutes to notice your breathing. Continuing to use this website gives consent to cookies being used. Before you go to bed, write a list of 3 … Most of the anxiety that we experience today is not just a product of the stressful modern world. Studies have proven that practising mindfulness is essentially training the brain to be calmer and more resilient. However, it doesn’t hurt to hang on to a bit of that fight-or-flight edge. “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. 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. 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. When you are eating, notice the colour, texture and taste of the food. Or use a simple meditation technique: simply sit quietly, eyes shut, spine upright, and make an active effort to follow your breath. CXK’s Emotional Wellbeing Service is a paid for service available to schools and colleges across the south-east. what happens to your muscles as you do this. After a couple of weeks of this practice, see if the students feel any different. It helps us see with a bit of perspective, without judgement and with kindness to ourselves. 7 mindfulness tips to help relieve students' exam worry 1. Sense the flow of the breath, the rise and fall of your stomach. “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. (You can unsubscribe anytime), © Copyright CXK 2018 Registered Charity Number: 1120755 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. “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.”. The Five Senses Drill. Recognise any negative thoughts, and learn to let them go. “It’s about finding that sweet spot where the mind is clear and sharp thanks to a bit of adrenaline, but not too stressed so that everything shuts down and we can’t think,” she continues. “If the heart is really racing, then try purposefully slowing the breath down through counting, making the exhale a little longer than the inhale. “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. It can be tremendously helpful for teenagers, whose brains are going through radical changes and making it very difficult for them to deal with emotional situations – like exams – objectively. 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. “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. Essentially, we believe we are being faced with a lion – not just an English test.” Amy says. Yes, I would like to receive emails from CXK. 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. Take a few deep breaths, grow aware of your contact with the chair again. 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. Our thoughts and feelings come and go, and they do not define us – nor do failed exams. Notice where you tend to zone out (e.g., emailing or messaging, scrolling through Instagram, cooking some chicken nuggets, brushing teeth, etc.). But what causes exam anxiety? Take one or two breaths to finish this mindfulness exercise.

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