Even when you have revised to perfection and really know your stuff, you can still get jitters on exam day. You heart starts racing, you have knots in your stomach and your memory blanks. Sophrology, via the physical and mental relaxation it provides, could help you manage such stress. Read on to find out how.
Sophrology: an effective way of managing stress
This therapeutic technique can help put you into a state of physical relaxation in order to better manage stress, whether it’s during the period of revision or on the day of the exam. The method is inspired by yoga, hypnosis, meditation and Buddhism, and is comprised of a number of exercises promoting physical and mental relaxation, which leads to improved stress management.
To help you relax, start by breathing calmly into your tummy for two minutes, counting your breaths in and out.
Next, visualisation is a very important part of sophrology, which can help you create a positive image of what will happen during the exams. Start by imagining the exam centre, and imagine yourself there feeling relaxed. Imagine yourself responding to the examiner’s questions (if appropriate) and feeling interested and alert.
Next imagine the results, imagining that you have done well. Relax all of your muscles to fully enjoy the moment.
Visualisation can help you eliminate your fears and build your confidence, in order to stay calm enough to process what is required of you during each test.
The second most important part of sophrology is breathing. This helps you better manage stress.
In order to effectively use your breathing, breathe in slowly through the nose, counting to four. Then breathe out deeply until you feel completely relaxed. Breathe in again and hold your breath, counting to four, and then breathe out for a count of eight.
Repeat this exercise nine times, making sure to stay up straight so that the air can circulate.
The goal is to learn to breath more deeply. After only a few repetitions, you will start to feel less stressed. Do this exercise before each exam.
Tensing and relaxing
The goal of this exercise is to contract and relax your muscles in order to have a better sense of your body, but also to relax you. Start with your face, contracting all the muscles for 5 seconds. Then breathe out and relax. You can do the same for your neck and shoulder muscles. Finish by tensing your whole body: the face, the neck, the shoulders, the legs, the arms, the toes, the thighs, etc. Relax and breathe out.
With regular practice, you will be able to rapidly relax so as to start each exam in a calm state.
Activation of the Hegu point
The Hegu point is an acupuncture point that is situated between your thumb and your index finger. Before your exam, massage the Hegu point on your left hand with your right thumb in clockwise movements for one minute. You can use essential oils to do so, which are also great for combatting stress, among other problems.
Working on this point will help relieve anxiety and develop the confidence and calm you need to succeed in your exams.
Source: Les Histoires de Léa