It’s normal to feel some stress during a big exam, like the SAT or ACT or whatever.
Here are just a few small and simple tricks for students of any age to use during the big test.
Believe it or not, sometimes we just forget to breathe. And often, our breathing becomes “shallow” and in the chest rather than in the belly.
Remember to use your diaphragm. It’s one of the biggest muscles in your body, for a reason!
As soon as you notice this shallow, chest breathing, simply take one big breath with your belly (diaphragm muscle). It may even help to let out a quiet woooosh of air through your mouth.
During a long test, seated in the same position bent over a desk or computer screen with a pencil or a mouse in your hand for a long time, it’s common that your throat gets a little closed up. As soon as you notice this, simply tilt your head back slightly, look up, and breathe deeply, all the way from your belly up through your throat, so that you can feel as if your throat has suddenly become wider and allows oxygen to enter more easily – so that it quickly feed your brain and the rest of your body!
Relax your jaw!
This is often overlooked. Most of us, when stressed, clench our jaws and grind our teeth, even if only a little bit. This is a simply fix. Make sure your tongue is touching the roof of your mouth, and also make sure that your teeth are not touching. (In fact, this is normally the best way to be.) This instantly relaxes your skull.
Two easy Pressure points!
Acupressure is a technique based on the same principles as acupuncture but without the needles. Simply use the tip or pad of your first or middle finger gently but firmly to press into these spots.
Crown (Top of head)
This is located in line with your nose, and in line with both ears. It’s the Crown of your head. You can search with your own fingers and find the small indentation/impression there.
This has the effect of relieving irritability and fear, calming nerves, as well as helping concentration.
Third eye (between your eyes)
This is located between the eyebrows, at the lower edge of forehead, top of the bridge of the nose. You can search with your own fingers and find the small indentation/impression there.
This has the effect of relieving irritability and confusion. It can help relieve headaches. It can encourage calm and release confusion.