Many test-takers feel anxiety and stress when studying. Although being nervous is normal and often unavoidable, there are some instances where the anxiety they feel may be the reason why they fail.
When the stress is too much to bear and hinders your learning, it is time to actively seek ways to relieve it.
How can you know if you are anxious? If you are shaking, sweating, and feel slightly dizzy when you study, chances are high that you are experiencing test anxiety.
Why is it stressful to study?
As students, we had our fair share of examinations and quizzes that causes us a lot of nervousness. For some, it’s apparent when they fidget or tap their pencils on their desks.
Sadly, test anxiety can be serious for other people, causing them to freeze or blank out. Why does this happen?
According to research conducted back in 2015, it displays that “Depression, anxiety, behavioral problems, irritability, etc. are few of the many problems reported in students with high academic stress.” (1) This means that test takers are usually forced to cope with too many subjects aside from self-induced pressure and pressure from others.
Anxiety while studying is not just felt by students, either. Employees and applicants are also subjected to this difficult situation. When nothing is done to combat the negative thoughts, the self-doubts may become too difficult to manage.
Is it possible to overcome anxiety when studying?
Fortunately, there are ways to overcome anxiety. As long as you stay consistent with the technique that work for you, it is possible to just feel a slight nervousness whenever you open that book or look through your notes.
8 tips to calm your anxiety while you study
1. Learn how you learn
Which method allows you to learn in the most efficient way? Is it by looking at illustrations? Or listening to class recordings? Do you learn more when you write your own notes?
To reduce your anxiety when studying, knowing if you are a visual, auditory, reading and writing, or kinesthetic learner will greatly help. This is because it will allow you to plan your studying sessions better which lessens the nervousness you experience while actually doing it.
2. Avoid procrastination
Make a schedule and stick to it. Whenever you create your schedule, make sure that it is attainable and realistic. You don’t need to force yourself to wake up at 4 AM if you study better in the evenings.
Cramming is a major reason behind many anxiety episodes. Since you are too pressed for time, it contributes to the nervousness you are feeling, making it more difficult to remember information. To prevent this, be mindful of your study windows. Space out the amount of time you allot for learning and it’ll be easier to retain more information while also reducing the amount of stress and anxiety you face.
3. Choose a distraction-free spot
Create a space in your home that allows you to focus on your studies. Surrounding yourself with unnecessary gadgets (especially digital gadgets) can reduce your focus and concentration while also contributing to additional anxiety you feel.
Choose a spot that is clean and free from distractions. Prepare your materials beforehand and make sure that they are within easy reach.
4. Be consistent with your routine
According to many studies, studying at the same time allows your brain to work better. This is because you’ve found a time that your mind is feeling fresh and ready to consume information.
If you still have many days before your examination, give yourself time to determine your efficiency. This will allow you to stop procrastination in the long run.
5. Make use of meditation techniques
Whenever you feel anxious, close your books and notes, and breathe. This is the simplest form of meditation.
Close your eyes, get in a comfortable position, and take deep breaths. Inhale air, hold it, and slowly release it through your mouth. If you can, listen to frequency music that helps release toxins. Once you are already calm, return to your study session. To help with your studies, the Lovetuner has been found to reduce anxiety and stress while improving your mood and mental focus.
6. Nourish your body with nutritious food
It is difficult to study when our stomachs are rumbling. Nourishing our bodies with nutritious food, especially during important tests, is critical for best results.
As much as possible, avoid junk food and empty sugar in your diet. Not only do they contain a handful of chemicals, but are also prone to make you feel sluggish instead of giving you consistent and optimal energy.
7. Move your body
When our bodies are healthy, our minds are able to work seamlessly. This is exactly why it is important to prioritize health over everything. Even a toothache can affect your studying by a great deal.
Make sure to integrate exercise into your schedule. It does not have to be an extremely strenuous exercise. As long as you make an effort to move, a 30-minute walk can do wonders for your mood and physical health. While studying, stretch every few minutes to relieve tension.
8. Take a few breaks
If you think that studying for extended periods of time, without any breaks, will make it easier to retain information, you are highly mistaken. Give your mental focus a quick break. Get away and immerse yourself in a different environment. Look outside the window for a few minutes, talk on the phone, or read a book that has nothing to do with the school material you’re trying to memorize.
To prevent nervousness, it would be best to cut your study period into small chunks. For example, some studying techniques encourage you to break down your session to 25 minutes. Give yourself 5 minutes of rest, and then go back to it again. Do not forget to switch things up if you need to.
Reduce anxiety when you study through meditation
“Sometimes you can find peace of mind by transferring yourself to different situations. They're just reminders to stay ... calm.” —Yves Behar
Taking deep breaths while studying and practicing good learning habits will prepare you for the actual test itself. Learning how to meditate can do wonders to alleviate your anxiety when studying.
Since it relaxes your mind, it provides you the opportunity to focus on your study material and put your energy to good use.
- Academic Stress and its Sources Among University Students | Biomedical and Pharmacology Journal