Ahh, revision. No matter what people tell you about it 'not being the end of the world' and 'it's what's on the inside that counts', exams will always be a massive cause of stress that makes you want to stand on top of a mountain and scream until your lungs hurt.
Which is why meditation expert and psychology graduate Emma Mills has put together 6 ways that mindfulness might be able to help ease the stress of revision and exams and make you feel human again.
1. Practice focussing on the single task in hand
Practice one thing at a time in everyday life. When you are doing tea, do tea; when you are having a chat with your friend, have a chat with you friend
2. Make a detailed list
Make a list of tasks that need to happen for your revision, sections to revise for etc, and then work through each section piece by piece. By doing this, you'll stop yourself flitting between things and can actually focus on doing the task in hand, rather than trying to cover too many things in a short space of time.
3. Focus on your breathing
If you feel yourself panicking or like you're struggling to cope with a big workload, breathe consciously, in and out nice and easily. Take 7 breaths in and 11 breaths out, which acts as a de-stressing breath pattern that's particularly relaxing for the nervous system.
4. Try and meditate every morning
Don't feel embarrassed or self conscious: if meditating helps you to focus on your revision, you should definitely give it a try. It can help you to build your capacity to concentrate, and is likely to help you feel far more relaxed, whereupon you learn more too.
Here is a step by step guide of how to meditate for beginners:
- Go into your basic meditation pose - make sure you're sitting comfortably and are relaxed.
- Take a few nice calming breaths
- Bring your attention right to where you are and acknowledge what is happening in the here and now
- Once you feel present, let your imagination run free and see yourself doing the things you would love to be doing, and feeling the way you would love to feel
- Play the scene out in your imagination several times; you can even add in some made up conversations you will have with friends, which imply you've been successful in your endeavours.
- Bring your day dream to a close and bring your attention back to the here and now
- Take a few moments for calm, mindful breathing before you bring your meditation to a close.
5. Trust yourself
If you work hard, revise properly and give yourself the time you need to prepare, you should trust that your exams are going to be OK. Expectation over the outcome of things tends to be a performance killer, and seeing as worrying about things can't change anything, try to prepare as much as you can and let go when it's time.
6. Enjoy the journey
Rather than going through the motions or seeing your revision as a means to an end, *try* to accept that it's just what's happening in your life right now and once it's out of the way, you can have free time to do the things that you enjoy.
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Emma Mills is a mindful expert and ambassador for Bioglan Superfoods.