Nursing students know and understand how exam anxiety feels. You feel like you have butterflies in your stomach and even experience difficulty in falling asleep. You study diligently but worry that it isn’t enough. Your concentration fails. The day of the exam arrives, and you are close to panic. You find it hard to think of anything else except fearing the worst.
When you fear the worst, you end up sabotaging yourself. It is one thing to prepare mentally for the worst case scenario; it is another to let the worst case scenario eat you up from the inside.
Anxiety is a common problem
If you suffer from chronic exam anxiety, you are not alone! Many intelligent and accomplished students feel so nervous before taking a test. The anxiety causes them to do worse than they would if they could just relax.
Avoid staying up all night
Don’t stay up all night trying to cram information at the last minute. Lack of sleep is only detrimental to your focus during the exam. You need rest, a well-balanced diet and a head full of original thoughts.
Don’t overdo it on coffee
If you love coffee, you don’t have to skip out on your regular cup. But if you use it as study fuel, you might want to switch to another, less-caffeinated beverage because coffee may be contributing to your jitters, and hindering you from focusing as you should.
The day before your exam is not the day you want to eat your favorite hot curry because your stomach may be growling the next day and make you uncomfortable.
Eat proteins, fruits and vegetables. Focus on a balanced diet.
Drink plenty of water
Drink lots of water. Water helps calm an upset stomach due to anxiety and keeps your cells hydrated which in turn keeps the brain functioning at its best.
When you move, you improve circulation which helps increase blood flow to your brain. This helps your mind’s ability to focus. You also work off any jitters or nervousness. Pick your favorite form of exercise, or take a walk.
Do something you enjoy
To take your mind off of exam anxiety, take a few moments just to unwind. Even if you are pressed for time, you need to take a break. This could be as short as fifteen minutes, and do something you love. Watch a bit of TV, listen to your favorite music, talk to a friend, or just take a walk. When you take your mind of the source of your fears, you can come back to tackle your challenges with renewed motivation and inspiration.