01 Mar Relaxation Techniques for Exam Stress
Client: “I am not sleeping well”.
Me: Do you know why?
Client: “ Well I have all these thoughts running through my head. Like how I am not going to be on top of things because I will be so tired and won’t learn because I am not sleeping.”
And so it goes! The “thought-hamster wheel” keeps spinning around and around with no stopping in sight. Sleepless nights caused by worry and over-thinking are fairly common when we are feeling overwhelmed. This can be especially true for adolescents experiencing exam stress.
Adolescents react differently to stress or the build-up of stress than adults. The inner workings of the adolescent brain operate quite differently than ours. It can be challenging for us parents to realize this as on the outside they look grown-up. However, on the inside, they are going through a big developmental phase. They do not have the same capacity to reason, understand the long-term consequences of actions or know how to manage stress and their ever-changing emotional landscape.
The current situation is not helping
With the Covid situation, adolescents have been living with uncertainty that exacerbates their already heightened emotional limbic brain. The limbic brain is known as the crossroads of the brain where emotions and experiences are integrated. The constant uncertainty that we are living with at the moment can impact an adolescent’s ability to manage stress and worry.
Additionally at this time of year exams are fast approaching. For many adolescents, exam stress and doubts heighten as they begin to study. This takes us back to the limbic brain wherein adolescents there is a higher density of excitable synapses than us adults. This can make adolescents more primed to catastrophizing. With the current pandemic, it’s even more important for parents to keep their own concerns about their adolescent’s exam preparation and performance as low key as possible. Being present and not hovering is quite important.
Relaxation Techniques to the Rescue
To better serve our adolescents during their upcoming exam period and help them manage their exam stress, we can help them discover relaxation techniques. Techniques learned now will help in the present and the future. There are many Apps available that teach mindfulness, breathing techniques, and meditation practices. These are great places to start. However, some guidance and information on how and why these techniques can help them are often missing in an App.
At trulyBalance, I offer them an alternative to an App—the opportunity to learn dynamic relaxation techniques while learning about their brain. Courses include positive psychology, neurolinguistic programming, sophrology, and mindfulness. Participants learn in a relaxed setting interacting with other like-minded adolescents. The beChill Exams course is about more than conquering fear, worry, or procrastination. It is a step on the path to self-leadership.
I have worked with hundreds of adolescents, many of them working with me throughout their school year in collective courses. The techniques that I teach attribute to the formulation of new synapses in the brain, connecting the mind and body to the sensations of calm, happiness, and confidence and so much more.
beChill Exams courses are offered as LIVE Online courses or can be arranged in person if you are living in the Geneva, Switzerland area. To learn more about this program, please visit my beChill adolescents page, or register for an online program.