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How to reduce anxiety before exams

a doodle of brain and clock showing anxiety

Many people have exam phobia. They experience butterflies in the stomach right before the exams and they couldn’t perform well.

People even start vomiting and fall sick with diarrhoea.

There is a perspective and a therapy to test out for exam phobic people.

A therapy

Let’s imagine you have an exam on the last day of this week. You look pale and anxious because you haven’t been focused or revised your syllabus.

Read out the summary. Go through all of it at once and leave the rest up to your neurons.

Don’t read anything on the last day. Do unexpected things like making origami, reading manga or comics etc.

You might experience a peak level of anxiety. Let it be, do not study for the exam on that last day.

Why am I asking you to do this with yourself?

Let’s learn about a therapy called CBT for OCD patients.

Don’t worry exam phobia has nothing to do with OCD.

People who have Obsessive Compulsion Disorder (OCD) are treated with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which includes exposure followed by response prevention.

For instance, an OCD patient has an obsession that his hands are dirty, and this leads to compulsive behaviour of washing his hands again and again.

In CBT, the patient is encouraged not to perform the compulsive behaviour (hand washing) while simultaneously being exposed to a situation associated with it (wiping a toilet seat).

What will happen now?

The patient will become peak anxious but gradually and with repetitive therapy, the Patient’s anxiety reduces.

See how CBT reduces anxiety levels.

A graph of how CBT helps in reducing anxiety
In CBT, the patient is encouraged not to avoid stimuli. With time, the amount of anxiety on exposure decreases

So, let your brain feel that anxiety doesn’t worth anything.

A perspective

Trust your brain. It is genius. You must have taken lectures about these topics a long time ago but do trust that some part of it remains in your synapses.

Train your brain to learn anything just in one read by giving it less time to rest like a lazy sloth.

Stay engaged in some activity and devote all of your brain cells to it. Don’t let it bother you to worry about the other work.

You’ll do wonders. Try it out!

Hope this helps in your exams. Thanks for reading.

See my post on how origami could be useful to sharpen your brain and be more productive.

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