Exams are tough, even for the best of us. Dealing with exam stress and anxiety can take a serious toll, and the pressure placed upon students by teachers, peers, and society at large can make exam season a time of serious difficulty.
Fortunately, exams don’t have to be as hard as you might think. There are plenty of tips and tricks that you can employ to help make your exam season a bit easier. Taking care of your mental and physical health is important, and this article will share some of the best techniques that you can use to ensure that your exam season is a success.
The Importance of Mental & Physical Self-Care for Dealing With Exam Stress
When you hear someone mention that they’ve figured out some way to help make your exams go easier, you’re probably bound to think, “oh, great. Some new studying tactic.”
While it’s important to study, it’s potentially more important to take care of yourself. If you’re not in good shape physically and mentally, then it doesn’t matter how hard you study because you won’t be able to apply or remember the things you’ve learned.
Besides, if you’re reading this article, we’re sure that you’re already studying hard — right?
Jokes aside, here are a few of the best ways to make sure that you’re in great shape to finish your exam with a great score.
1. Try Microdosing
A decade ago, somebody suggesting that microdosing for students might help someone improve their exam scores would have been laughed out of the building (except for the people who were actually doing it, who were doing just fine).
Nowadays, however, more and more researchers are beginning to recognize the potential of psychedelic substances for medicinal and nootropic purposes. Psychedelic users have known this for decades, shamans in tribal society for centuries — but now that the medical community has acknowledged these benefits, even the average working-class citizen is now beginning to accept the value of psychedelic therapy.
In terms of improving your exam score, you’ll probably want to focus on microdosing rather than having a full-blown psychedelic experience. Microdosing allows you to take advantage of the cognitive, emotional and physical health benefits of a psychedelic without getting high.
The benefits of microdosing for students are especially impressive. Here’s a brief outline of what you can expect to see if you use a small amount of psychedelics for dealing with exam stress and anxiety.
- Reduced stress. Microdosing seems to work the same way in the human body as herbal adaptogens: substances which help the body adapt to physical and mental stress. These tools help to improve our resilience and encourage us to utilize healthy coping mechanisms.
- Increased overall cognitive function. Psychedelic microdosing can help to improve cognitive function in many different ways. These benefits can be useful both before, and on the day of, your exams.
- Increased focus. Psychedelic therapy can help enhance focus, allowing you to diligently study for hours on end without the crash or peripheral stimulation associated with study drugs like Adderall.
- Increased neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the term that neuroscientists use to describe the brain’s ability to change, adapt, and grow new brain cells. Psychedelics are known to enhance neuroplasticity, which makes them useful tools for increasing our ability to learn and remember.
- Increased executive functioning and reasoning. In small doses, psychedelics can enhance our overall ability to use logic and solve problems.
- Increased well-being. Microdosing can help improve our mood and overall life experience during exam week.
- Enhanced motivation. Psychedelics can keep us motivated and determined to stay on task during these stressful times.
2. Get a Good Night’s Rest
Sleep is incredibly important for our physical and mental health. Sleep deprivation, on the other hand, can impair memory, reduce cognition, and exacerbate stress.
Considering the fact that you’re already dealing with exam stress, it’s incredibly important that you set aside at least eight hours every night for deep sleep.
3. Eat Well
You are what you eat, and nowhere is this more evident than in your brain. Your brain relies on a number of key nutrients in order to function properly. If you’re choosing to opt for fast food and pre-made processed meals to save time during exam week, think again.
Processed foods and fast foods are generally devoid of nutrients. On top of that, they’re filled with unhealthy, if not downright toxic, compounds that can wreak havoc on your physical and mental health.
Make sure that you eat a diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains (excluding wheat, which — as the world’s most important food crop — has been heavily genetically modified for decades and is hardly a nutritive food anymore).
On exam week, make sure that you’re loaded up on omega-3, 6, and 9 fatty acids. Your brain is mostly made up of fat, and these powerful dietary fats help you focus, remember things, and solve problems. B vitamins, magnesium, and choline are also very important for brain health.
On exam day, make sure that you eat a protein-rich breakfast loaded with complex carbohydrates. Complex carbs are slow-digested, healthy carbs like those found in sweet potatoes and fruits.
Final Tips & Conclusion
Here are a few other tips to keep your brain well-prepared for exams.
- Stay hydrated! Your brain also needs an ample supply of water in order for its neurons to fire. Dehydration can slow your cognitive function.
- Exercise! Regular exercise helps your brain produce neurotransmitters. It also improves cardiovascular health so that blood and oxygen can reach your brain.
- Breathe! Meditation and breathwork exercises can restore focus, reduce stress, and improve well-being. Practice both during exam week and during the exam itself.
As long as you follow the tips mentioned in this article, you should have no problem maximizing your brain power in time for your exam.
With these tips, you should have no trouble recharging your batteries without spending a lot of money. We included a little something for everyone in this post and hope that it’s everything you want it to be!