Tips To Beat Exam Stressby Sonera Jhaveri Psychotherapist in Mumbai
As a student, one is very palpably aware of one’s thumping heart and butterflies in one’s stomach just before an exam. At times, these sensations are compounded with muscle tension, jitteriness and nausea. These physiological symptoms are often complemented by anxious ruminating thoughts that give one an overall sense of edginess and dis-ease as one’s examnears.
Exam stress or performance anxiety causes havoc in the lives of students and those who live around or with them. If we break down what ‘exam stress’ is, we see that exams are tests of our knowledge and understanding of what we have learnt, while conversely our subjective sense of stress bespeaks of a perception of not knowing or coping with the demands that are put before one.
Correlating these two points, ‘exam stress’ signifies the fear of not being able to cope with the pressure and challenge exams put before us. Often, this is related to our sense of achievement, ambitions for the future and sense of self-esteem. It is a feeling of being ‘out of control.’
Up to a certain point, from an evolutionary perspective, anxiety and stress keep us motivated and on our toes as it helps get things done but there comes a point where our concern of how we will do turns into a catastrophic fear about our existence. In such cases, exam stress starts becoming pathological, as we are in a nutshell, overreacting. Troublesome thoughts about the questions that we might be confronted with in our exams spiral us into full blown panic accompanied by depression and a sense of hopelessness.
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