Simple relaxation techniques: tips?

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#1
Hi everyone,

I have an important test coming up and I hope you can provide me with tips.
Whenever an exciting event like this one is coming up, I have a hard time relaxing.
I get tension in my muscles and sometimes I start breathing awkward as well. I know a few relaxation techniques and I know that petting my cats and aromatherapy works well for me.
A stroll in the nearby park does wonders as well. But most likely, there are more techniques out there I could benefit from. Preferably simple ones that can be used on the go or outdoors as well.
Please share!
 

moneymakingmom

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#2
Awhile back, I picked up a very effective technique for reducing tension and blood pressure during a very stressful time. Take a deep breath through your nose, for a count of five seconds. Hold for five seconds. Then exhale SLOWLY out of your mouth for at least a count of six seconds. Focus on each breath as if it were your last, savoring each second. The very act of focusing on this one meditative moment of breathing will help reduce blood pressure and bring your body and mind to a more meditative state so that you can focus on the present task.
 
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#3
Thank you for taking the effort and time to reply, moneymakingmom. It sounds like a technique that I could really benefit from. And I love how I can do it anywhere I'd like. For example on the bus, when making my test and at home. I tried it a couple of times whilst writing this reply and it feels very good. I hope it will benefit me even more if I do it on a regular basis. Thanks again and I'll let you know how it has worked for me.
 

radascars

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#4
Taking exams is very stressful especially when you didn't study the topics well or do not understand them at all. I don't really know if this is simple but I suggest you go out and focus more on the topics that need to be studied. If you feel the anxiety try to study more! Mild anxiety is beneficial cause it makes our mind focus more. I know the tension is there but if you do overcome it, it will become very useful to you.
 
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#5
Hi Yolanda. A simple relaxation technique that you can do is breathing. You simply need to sit up straight, how ever you may feel comfortable. Do not slouch. Close your eyes. Inhale deeply; then exhale through your mouth. Repeat for as long as you feel agitated or tensed. That's it!;)
 

zararina

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#6
If you like music, try listening to soothing songs and you could also sing along with it. Try to sleep early or have enough sleep. It will make you more refreshed, energized and relaxed when you wake up. And have a good and happy conversation with your friends or family, it will relieve you from stress.
 
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#7
Hi everyone,

Thanks for the tips! The breathing exercises worked very well for me. They fit my personality and I do feel better after using them. I also used them during the aroma therapy in my bathtub. I love them!

@ radascars: most of the time I stress out because I think I didn't work hard enough, I push myself to the limits even if I already know everything by heart. I know that it's not relevant, but I get stressed out all the same. Studying more is basicly something I need to let go off after a while, because it will burn me out. I'm too much of a perfectionist.

@Zararina: I love music and I have several cd's with soothing sounds of the rainforest and ocean. I will put them on when I do my breathing exercises. Great idea! The night before the test I spend some quality time with my boyfriend, had a great laugh and good conversation. It makes me happy and relaxed as well.

The test went quite well. Unfortunately there was an error in the test (wrong questions from another semester) and one of the cases we needed to answer questions about was missing. We started about half an hour later than initially planned, with both cases we needed but still with a test that had about 30% questions from literature we did not study. I still have a good feeling about it, but these things stress you out last minute. I used the breathing exercises and they were a life safer. Thanks you guys!
 
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#8
Deep breathing exercises are wonderful for relaxing the body. Take a deep breath through your nose making sure that you expand your abdomen. Then you exhale through your mouth. While you exhale notice your tense muscles letting them go. You may also learn some energy self-healing. This can be very powerful. Listening to your favorite songs and singing along can get rid of some tension. You may even consider drinking a cup of camomille tea before going to bed. It calms down the nervous system and helps you get a good-nights rest.
 
D

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#9
That's an interesting topic for every student out there! I wish we had such wonderful Internet resources when I was a student, many years ago... because I had my share of anxiety before and during the exams.
There are quite a few things that you can do before the exam and there are some strategies that can help you keep your mind clear during the exam. In fact, this could be an extended article (thanks for the idea!).
I focus on what you asked, so what you could do before the exam:
1. Study the material focusing on understanding the concepts. DO NOT obsess over memorising every single detail.
2. Get a good night sleep the day before the exam. This way, you give your mind the opportunity to regroup the information and work at its best during the time that you need to recall what you studied.
3. Devote 20 min to meditation every day. Deep breathing can be part of your meditative practice and it is also helpful to reduce cortisol levels (the stress hormone).
4. Depending on your studying schedule, this may be an overkill, but it is worth it: do a medium to high intensity workout. Exercise is the best medicine to stress and depression with virtually no side-effects! It also gives your brain the opportunity to work in the so-called "diffused mode" and organise the material that you have collected during your studying.