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Feeling the pressure build-up before board exams? Here are 12 methods of coping with exam pressure in an effective way in India!
With the board exams pressure mounting upon children and parents alike, it is inevitable for each one of them as parents or children to undergo a series of emotions including trauma, outbreaks, anxiety, depression, fear, anger, outbursts or a combination of any or all of these.
However challenging this may sound, some simple tips can easily help both children and parents cope with the mounting pressure.
Sorting them out as pointers (in no particular order) will help keep an easy track and also adopt them as part of your regular lifestyle
One-on-one communication between the child and the parent helps build a better rapport while improving trust and a precious relationship.
The parent must ensure that they do not question the pattern or integrity of the child, but rather get into engaging talks about how to better the child’s performance. Also, encouraging the child to talk freely about mental blocks and hurdles in their study methods would ease the pressure on the child.
Parents could help their children plan their timetable, formulate tricks and methodology for remembering their lessons, talk about their experience and coping mechanisms as a child appearing for exams and set the mood for study.
While it may seem like an arduous task to focus on the process of meditation, it is a rather effortless event that can be practised by anyone and everyone— right from a child as young as three.
Meditation is nothing but an easy, uncomplicated practice in which an individual uses basic techniques — such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, activity, image, pattern, visual or audio tracks – to gradually train attention and awareness, thereby achieving a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.
This can be done by chanting repetitive universal sounds like ‘Ohm’, listening to soft music like instrumental flute, piano or violin, observing the pattern of breath with the gentle ‘breathe-in, breathe-out cycles, observing the rising or setting sun, watching a flower bloom, experiencing nature walks over moist grass in the early mornings or involving the self in activities like drawing, art, painting, vocals, playing instruments and many more.
Any act that indulges an individual to experience the present moment in its complete form is meditation. There are no fixed patterns or ways and one can even devise their own meditation techniques to keep the mind calm and improve focus, attention span and concentration.
The neurotransmitters are brain signals that are sent to the body that directs the varied actions of an individual. A continued pattern of studying, however, will disrupt the process and take away the focus from studies and prevent information from being processed and stored by the brain.
It is, therefore important for a child to take regular breaks of five to ten minutes between study sessions (at least once in 40-45 min) so as to allow the brain to re-wire and focus on the information contained to be processed successfully.
Screen time involves all social media activities like Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Instagram, watching television, movies, web series, reels etc. Children these days are highly exposed to social media and screen time activities that kind of drastically reduce their focus and attention span in children.
When the children are preparing for their exams, it is best to curb and limit, if not avoid screen time to less than two hours per day. Studies have proven that watching reels particularly, reduces attention time span as reels limit their recordings or running time to an average of thirty seconds only.
For improved performance, focus and better concentration, it is important for parents to ensure that their child stays away from screen time for at least an hour before sleeping and after waking up in the morning.
This time can be rather used for productive activities like meditation, yoga, affirmations or listening to music for a rather balanced lifestyle, and mental and emotional health.
Exam pressure can heavily influence our physiognomy, it is extremely important we keep our children physically active and healthy.
Parents need to ensure that their child remains well-hydrated and well-nourished with a timely meal pattern comprising all the essential components of a complete meal.
Including carbohydrates like rice, bread and roti, proteins like pulses, cottage cheese, fish, cheese, lean/white meat, vegetables and greens, fruits, dry fruits, and nuts! Omega-3-rich foods and essential fats like clarified butter are mandatory for increased focus and concentration.
Also, it is essential to keep the body hydrated and supplemented with adequate water to prevent the loss of salts and dehydration.
This is rather unheard of. Seriously? Liver cleansing, stomach cleansing?? Why does my child need this??? Many parents question the need for stomach and liver cleansing. Mostly, board exams occur during the month of March extending until April. This is the time of climate change in India when the weather undergoes a rapid change from pleasant or cold to hot, humid, dry and/or sultry.
The chances of catching a disease in such cases are rather high. Also, research shows that most diseases trigger by the stomach due to acid refluxes caused by stress, lack of sleep, improper meal timings and/or junk food.
Cleansing the stomach and liver a fortnight ahead of the scheduled exam dates can ensure your child will not fall sick and will have a better immune system to fight any possibility of a disease occurring.
Sleep cycles contain five stages. Generally, each cycle moves sequentially through each stage of sleep: after an initial wake state, a person slips into light sleep followed by deep sleep, REM, and then the cycle repeats again in a 90-minute cyclic process. Cycles earlier in the night tend to have more deep sleep while later cycles have a higher proportion of REM.
It is important for the body to have at least three to four cycles regularly, failing which could lead to mental health conditions in the long run. An average good quality sleep comprises four to five cycles in an adult and five to six cycles in teenagers and young adults.
The cycle patterns reduce with growing age. Also, they can be kept to a minimum by practising meditation and mindfulness as mentioned earlier.
While mental and emotional health is important and maintained by meditation, physical health is equally important to prevent lethargy and procrastination. Light physical exercises like yoga, walking, jogging or other light activities like dance or badminton can maintain this aspect of well-being for the child.
In the days leading to the exams, it becomes all the more essential for the child to be engaged in these activities.
India is a land of abundant Sunshine, yet most Indians suffer from severe Vitamin D deficiency. That is particularly because of negligible exposure to the sun by staying confined indoors. This can be easily overcome by simple exposure to early morning sunlight (between 7-9 am) for befitting maximum benefits.
Sip your morning beverage on the balcony, head for a refreshing walk in the garden or spread the yoga mat and flaunt those asanas in the open.
Sometimes all it takes is a few positive and kind words to stop just from feeling horrible. Children need emotional support as much as they need nutritional support from parents!
Mind and body are the same systems. Having said this, it is important to note that whatever information you feed to your mind will impact every single cell in your body and your body will react to the result of the perception. T
Therefore, it is important for parents to reinstate faith, trust and belief in their child and more important for the child to believe in the outcome of their hard efforts.
Parents must particularly note to never admonish their child, belittle them or draw comparisons with other children. To ease out the process of guided affirmations, some simple statements can be repeated every single morning. An example could be
‘I’m Able, I’m Brilliant, I’m Confident, I’m Diligent, I’m Efficient, I’m Fantastic, I’m Gifted, I’m Healthy, I’m Intelligent, I’m Joyous, I’m Kind, I’m Love, I’m Magnificent, I’m Noble, I’m Observant, I’m Pure, I’m Quiet, I’m Resplendent, I’m Spectacular, I’m Talented, I’m Unique, I’m Victorious, I’m Worthy,’ and many more such positive, mood enhancing statements that would instil deeper faith in the self.
The last, yet the most important thing to remember is that ‘We are all imperfectly perfect and perfectly imperfect.’
The best we can do is to put in our best efforts (which is extremely important) and leave the rest to faith and destiny. Whatever is meant to come, will come. Faith in the self will never deter by the results or consequences.
Also, when I vibrate in the power of positivity, the universe will resonate with my inner power to deliver the same result that matches my inner vibrations of positivity. As parents, we must encourage our children to accept themselves the way they are, never compare them to anything or anyone and finally, never speak or even think negatively about any situation related to their progress.
This will firmly infuse the belief and alter their acceptance, faith, belief and love for the self in a positive direction.
The above are just small pointers to manage and cope with the upheaval storms in your life owing to exam pressure, that impacts not just children but the entire family. Many pointers may already be known to the parent, this is a quick revision I have made as a reminder to myself and to all the parents whose child will be appearing for board exams or even the regular exams.
This article is as important for a parent as it is for the child to direct their way towards the final destination.
With that, I have faith that these 12 methods of coping with exam pressure in an effective way will be taken in good light, with the right spirit and best intentions.
All the Best children and parents!
Image source: still from Crush season 1 on Amazon MiniTv, edited on CanvaPro
Lakshmi Ajoy is a spiritual healer, writer, artist, photographer, solo traveller, adventure sports enthusiast, mountaineer, entrepreneur, Tarot reader, PLR therapist, NLP Coach, and social worker from Mumbai. Her aim is to spread happiness and joys read more...
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