Stress & Anxiety Expert
The Leaving Cert is one of the most stressful events most of you will ever have experienced..
BUT… it doesn’t have to be!
AND … You’ll Perform Better if you’re Less Stressed!!
Most Leaving Cert Students experience; Anxiety / Worry / Over-thinking, Irrational & / or Aggressive Behaviour, Bad sleep, Poor concentration, Stomach pain & Catastrophic thinking. Headaches, Fear of failure / Going blank
None of these symptoms are helpful! None will make you perform well in an exam.
This Course will show you…
- How to create a bombproof shell of calmness around yourself.
- Techniques to diffuse stress quickly and simply
- What to do when you feel anxiety or other emotions building up
- How to stop being affected by other people’s stress (BOUNDARIES)
- How to build up a reserve of calmness
- What to do to prepare your mind for the exams
- What to do if you go blank
At the moment these classes are being run ONLINE in small classes. They run over 4 weeks in 90 minute classes. One parent must attend.
Individual one to one online sessions for stress management also available.
Enquire at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0877876361
Tips for Staying Calm
Number 1 – Control your Breathing.
You’ll recall how your body changes in fight/ flight mode. Your breathing and heart rate speed up and you get a spike of adrenaline. When you slow down your breathing you calm your nervous system generally. That’s why meditation teachers have been getting people to use it as part of their practice for thousands of years. There are several simple breathing techniques that I teach for exam stress. If you do them for a few minutes, even in a crises it will help with stress levels. You simply cannot breathe regularly and slowly and remain in a survival state. Breathe slowly and without force with eyes closed for best results.
Number 2 – Visualisation
I’ve been practicing forward visualisations for years and I’m always amazed at the results. It works well with breathing techniques. When you close your eyes and visualise a positive outcome in the future your brain starts to create the emotional state that allows for that possibility. I use it a lot for public speaking. When I practice it before I give a talk, the result is that I feel like I’m having a conversation with one person. It’s easy and enjoyable. The crucial part is this. You have to think about the event that you find stressful while you FEEL good. Your brain attaches huge value to the feeling and starts to move towards it. I get tremendous feedback from students who practice this technique.
Number 3 – Move
Your brain and body have evolved to respond to stress by moving. The fight / flight response is a call to action. Unfortunately your brain doesn’t understand that exam stress requires you to sit! By taking action you satisfy your body’s urge to move.
Studies show that short bursts of vigorous exercise are extremely effective. This to me seems natural as it mimics what you would do if you had to run away from a bear. This is how the brain is designed. When you burn off the adrenaline your nervous system will feel better. The added benefit of doing this regularly is that it sharpens your brain for learning. The fitter the body, the better the brain and the calmer the mind.
Number 4 – Eat clean, healthy food.
Preparing for final year exams is similar to preparing for a sports tournament. A huge amount of energy will be required of you. So it’s vital that you establish a healthy diet. A varied diet with good quality vegetables is essential. You need to get good nutrients into your body so that you can maximise your energy. Good fats, good vegetables, clean meats are all important. Lower your sugar levels slowly as you increase the intake of the other foods and you will improve your concentration and alertness. Drink plenty of water. It helps to clean out the body and your brain loves it.
Coffee and energy drinks can negatively affect some people so I don’t recommend using them. Very often you can get a burst of energy and then a crash which leaves you worse off that before you started.
Number 5 – Sleep
Waking up tired because of poor sleep starts you off on the back foot. An important aspect of sleep is winding down before you go to bed. Stop studying an hour before hand and put away smart phones and TV. Go for a walk to clear your head or do some meditation. There are specific yoga stretches for night time that will also help. Another great way to make your body and mind relax is an Epsom salts footbath, taken for fifteen to twenty minutes.
Also, one of the added benefits of exercise is that your body is tired from it and sleep becomes easier. Finally don’t eat too late and drink calming herbal teas.
So remember, if you are studying for important exams and you’re feeling the pressure, remember that too much stress makes everything worse. You can balance the stress with breathing techniques and exercise, by visualising a positive outcome and eating and sleeping well. If the whole thing is becoming overwhelming make sure to tell a parent or teacher and get some help from a professional. No matter how important you think the exams are, nothing is more important that your health. So keep yourself as calm as you can.
Best of luck to you!
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