Using Mindfulness to Reduce Exam Stress

Now is the time of year when exams are imminent and stress is increasing in many homes. Balancing revision timetables and the quality of life is not easy during this period. I encourage some of my students to practice Mindfulness to help alleviate anxiety and stress levels.

The practice originates from Buddhism and Jon Kabat-Zinn is the modern day founder of Mindfulness. He stated that:

“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally”

The positive effects of Mindfulness training can be:

  • Improved problem solving
  • Better attention
  • Greater enjoyment of life
  • Less selfishness
  • Greater insight
  • Less neurosis
  • More acceptance
  • Better mind-body integration
  • Less beating ourselves up

A basic Mindful Meditation consists of:

  • Focusing on your breath as it flows in and out of your body
  • Observing your thoughts as they arise and letting them go little by little
  • Moving your focus away from the past and the future and bringing your awareness to the current moment

For some reason, most young people seem to be put off by the word meditation. I like to talk to them about ‘Mindful Thinking’ as this is more readily accepted.

Mindfulness can also be used when walking, eating and drinking. Being aware and in the current moment allows us to see and hear things in our environment that we would have missed if we were not being mindful. Noticing colours in the gardens and the sound of the birds in the trees when walking, can be very calming and a great stress reliever.

You can find lots of information about Mindfulness from:

  • YouTube – guided meditations with someone talking you through how to prepare for meditation then what to do
  • Books – I have a great little pocket book called “the little book of Mindfulness” by Tiddy Rowan (ISBN 978-1-84949-420-5). It fits in my handbag and has lots of great tips and quotes. There are lots of other books out there on Mindfulness
  • Apps(some are free) that can be downloaded to your phone, tablet or computer – Stop,Breathe & Think App, Calm App, Mindfulness Training App and many more

If you have not tried Mindfulness before then why not give it a go and see if it makes a difference to your quality of life. Mindfulness has certainly had a positive impact on my life and it makes all the difference when I have had a busy, stressful week. Please contact me if you want to know more. Have a great week and Best Wishes to all the exam students out there – Be Mindful, Stay Calm and Be Outstanding…….