"De-stress" Before a Test: Steps to Testing Zen

zenpicTest days are stressful – they cause anxiety, breakouts, and stomach cramps. But they don’t have to.  Learn to relax and channel your nervous energy in productive ways so that you can arrive to the exam confident and in control.

First, start eating properly a week before the test. By properly we mean lots of greens, proteins and fruits. Eliminate high fat and sugar from your diet. These literally clog up your brain! Sugar rushes and sugar crashes only add to the stress on your body.  You want to be functioning at peak performance for this exam!

Second, exercise! Take a yoga or kickboxing course a day or two before the exam to release the nervous energy you’re building. Exercise also releases endorphins – the so-called happy drug – into the bloodstream.

Third, sleep! Cramming and pulling an “all-nighter” before a test does not help. In fact, it hurts!  Research shows that students retain very little of the information reviewed in a cram session. And, without enough Z’s, your brain can’t function properly. Brain function is the key to a high score, so make sure your brain is working!

The day of the test, blast your favorite song. Get pumped!  Jump around, dance, and feel good. Eat a good breakfast, dress in layers, and chew on gum. Studies have shown that students who chewed gum or sucked on candy during an exam scored significantly higher than those who did not.

And finally, remember to breathe! Practice deep breathing if you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed or anxiety-ridden. A few deep breaths will help slow your heart rate and focus your mind.

Mentally and physically preparing for a test a week in advance ensures that you are in peak performing condition. Remember, you are in control!

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