Getting In A Right State for Exams
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Getting In A Right State for Exams



Epsom & Ewell High School - Workshop Supporting Material. Year 11s.

Epsom & Ewell High School - Workshop Supporting Material. Year 11s.



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Getting In A Right State for Exams Getting In A Right State for Exams Document Transcript

  • Stress Free Exams © © Epsom & Ewell High School
  • Getting in a Right State for Exams © Getting in a Right state means helping your mind, body and emotions work in harmony. The following techniques will help you return to your natural equilibrium. The best advice is to PRACTISE! Be patient, gentle and consistent. These are practical 21st Century strategies born out of ancient wisdom. Some techniques will feel more effortless than others. Listen to your body and respond to your own needs. What works for you will be unique to you. Give each method a fair chance and see which ones work for you the best. There is no right or wrong way, just your way. Wishing you health, happiness and success. Kathryn x Practical Strategies Part of Insideout Life Group +44 (0)20 8643 9090
  • Engage ALL your senses to help you RELAX. Use pleasant Come to your Senses! sounds & smells to “anchor” your feeling of relaxation. For example: light a candle as you wake up in the morning and set your intention for the day; enjoy a relaxing bath with the same bubble bath (or essential oils or salts); put on the same relaxing music as you prepare your space to study or as you get ready for bed; dim the lights, light a candle or two as you unwind for the evening; take some deep breaths and breathe in the aromatherapy oils/incense or scented candle to help you let go of your busy day; and/or wrap yourself in the same soft blanket each night as you list your gratitudes – everything you are grateful for, big or small. Remember to say thank you for the opportunity to grow and stretch your mind and spirit! The repetition of triggering your senses for relaxation on a daily basis will help your mind and body recognise the signal (be triggered) to let go and relax, making it easier to relax, get to sleep, think clearly, improve concentration and prevent stress building up. It’s simple and it’s free! It’s the easiest way to release Massage Train the build up of tension in your body. Just ask a buddy, someone you are comfortable with, to help you let go of the tension built up in your muscles (because you've sat at a desk too long or worry has built up in your neck and shoulders). Guide them as to where you are aching or tense and how much pressure you would like – some only need a light touch and some prefer a deep massage. It can be just a few minutes and hey presto you feel so much better. If a buddy isn’t on hand, just roll your shoulders, squeeze the shoulder blades together, open up the muscles in your chest, lengthen your neck, enjoy a few gently neck rolls, open your mouth wide and exaggerate the vowel sounds to release the jaw, scrunch up the face and release slowly. Shake out your whole body (pretend you are a jelly on a plate!) A good jiggle will help remind the muscles to relax and aid the release of tight muscles. If you’re studying in a group, enjoy a massage train and stop after every half hour, stretch massage together. Your mind and body will thank you for it! Part of Insideout Life Group +44 (0)20 8643 9090
  • In a standing position, place your feet underneath your hips, Centre the Body hips underneath your shoulders, spine aligned. Roll your shoulders back and down. Ensure your weight is shared equally between both feet. Breathe in, imagine you are an old oak tree and as you breathe out, allow your roots to sink deeply into the ground. Breathe in, and as you breathe out, allow your roots to go even deeper, feeling grounded and strong. Breathe in, imagine a golden thread travelling up from the roots, right up through the centre of your spine and out through the top of your head. Imagine this thread lifting you up, lengthening and strengthening you from the inside out. Take another slow, deep breath and bring your awareness inside your body and be still. From here you can take healthy action, make healthy choices. You will feel stronger and more able to cope with any challenge you may be facing. The Serenity Jar Find a comfortable position, back supported. Shake the jar. Place it somewhere flat and easy to watch. Observe the chaos inside. Notice the sparkles. Remember they are always there, even amongst the swirling mess. Watch the chaos slowing down. Take some slow, deep breaths and gently exhale. Watch the mess settle. Relax and be still. Concentrate on the gentle clearing. If your mind wanders, Before & After bring it gently back to the jar and your breathing. Stay still and quiet. When you feel ready, softly close your eyes, take a slow deep breath and focus on your diamond within, your inner sparkle. Rest. Part of Insideout Life Group +44 (0)20 8643 9090
  • Connect with your inner diamond when you are feeling The Diamond Within stressed or overwhelmed. Let go of all the negative thoughts and focus on the divine qualities of your unique diamond within. Focus on your inner strength, how indestructible your spirit is deep inside. Reawaken the beauty within and remember just how precious you are regardless of what you do or achieve on the outside. Remind yourself how valuable you are just by being you. Recognise the myriad of facets & talents you have and celebrate your multi-dimensional nature. Reflect all the different talents and beautiful qualities you possess. Bring all your awareness to the pristine pure perfection you were born as and that you truly are when you let go of the worries in your mind. Focus on how crystal clear you are deep within and how easy it is to make kind choices and healthy decisions when you come from this clarity. Nurture your inner sparkle and allow yourself to shine! Your brain is a very literal mechanism. Tell it you’re eating Mind-Body Connection a slice of lemon and imagine how juicy & tangy it is. Your body will obligingly send signals to release saliva and physically respond to the imagined activity. Apply this natural response to learning, that it is a positive experience leading to your personal success and you have a recipe for stress free learning. Remember your mind does not know the difference between real and imagined. Why not entice your mind with thoughts of effortless ease? Learning is fun, revising is easy; remembering facts and data is simple. Focus on your end result. See yourself opening the envelope with all your exam passes. Feel how it feels to see those pass marks and whoop and cheer at your success. Start practising shooting for hoops, just like the basketball team who visualised winning. You too can win and trick your mind into feeling confident and successful. Change the thought and you will change the outcome. Focus on anxiety and worry and you are more likely to struggle. Focus on being capable and confident and you are more likely to succeed. Focus on what you love and see the end result as the path to take you where you want to be in life. Part of Insideout Life Group +44 (0)20 8643 9090
  • Your body never lies, so listen and watch for the signals of Body-Mind Connection fatigue and stress. Support your body if it is asking you for support. What happens to your body when you get stressed? These are very short term band aids. Long term (and Reduce or Eliminate short term really) they will throw your body and mind completely out of balance and create more challenges for your system to cope with. Avoid these at all cost. Don’t underestimate the power of sugar. Sugar is a drug, by definition – it changes the chemical balance in your brain. Think carefully about when you reach out for any stimulus that is man-made. Ask yourself is this helpful or unhelpful.... Part of Insideout Life Group +44 (0)20 8643 9090
  • Stress release can come in many forms: yoga, tai chi, qi Dr Mark Atkinson kung, hypnotherapy, massage therapy, emotion management, “ A skill for every ill, not a pill for every ill!” simplified life...find the skill that works for you. Gently bounce bending your knees up and down as if you are Body Tapping on a trampoline. This movement acts as a pump for your • Distributing energy lymphatic system which does not have it’s own pump (like throughout the body the heart) and helps clear the toxins from your system • The cause of all more efficiently. To help you re-energise yourself, tap on negative emotions is a disruption in the your tummy (2 inches below your belly button and imagine body’s energy system tapping 2 inches within) This is believed to be your energy • Tapping helps you centre (in Chinese medicine). If you are feeling tired, clear & clean the blockages sluggish and emotionally low, tap here for at least 50 counts (1 count = 2 taps). The pressure of the tap should be firm, as if you were knocking on a door. Listen to your body and use the amount of pressure that feels right for you. Keep your shoulders and arms soft and relaxed to sustain your tapping. If you are really exhausted, I recommend 200+ taps daily or whenever you feel your energy reserves are low. You can do this with your eyes open or closed. By closing your eyes you can bring your awareness to your energy centre and imagine it’s like a fire. With every tap you make, imagine you are putting more coals on your personal fire and stoking the flames for vibrant health and energy. Part of Insideout Life Group +44 (0)20 8643 9090
  • Remember! Breathing affects every one of your body’s 11 The Breath operating systems: Cardio-vascular, Digestive, Endocrine, • What happens to your breathing when you... Integumentary, Lymphatic, Muscular, Nervous, Reproductive, Respiratory, Skeletal, & Urinary. • Laugh The way you feel has a profound impact on your breathing. The way you breathe has a profound effect on the way you • Cry feel and your ability to think. If you breathe at an optimum level, you are more likely to reach your potential and • Are Scared maintain a balanced perspective under pressure. Check your breathing regularly, especially if you are revising or in an exam situation. Be conscious about breathing, especially if you hold your breath when concentrating or feeling pressured. If you regulate your breath, you will regulate your thoughts, feelings and behaviour. This will have a profound effect on your relationships and your achievements. When learning the Power Breath for the first time, it is The Power Breath easiest to practise lying down. You can perform the Power Breath standing, sitting or lying. Centre the body, spine aligned, in your chosen position. When learning, place your hands over your tummy, fingertips touching. As you breathe in fill your tummy with fresh oxygen, your fingertips will gently separate. When you breathe out, your fingertips will slowly return to their original position. Breathe in, tummy growing, as if blowing up a balloon inside your tummy. Breathe out, tummy flattening, as if deflating a balloon. The exhale is measured, gentle and slow. Imagine your tummy button sinking to reach your spine on the out breath. If it helps you, breathe in for three, breathe out for five. With practise extend the exhale to seven counts. Continue until you feel deeply relaxed. Allow your arms to gently rest by your sides, palms facing up. This is the starting position once you have mastered the technique. When relaxed and fully at ease, simply allow your breathing to return to its natural rhythm and be still. If your mind wanders, simply bring your awareness back to your breath. Just let go... Part of Insideout Life Group +44 (0)20 8643 9090
  • Find a comfortable position, lying down. Spine aligned, legs Body Scan uncrossed, feet falling out gently. Arms by your side, palms facing up. Neck and back supported. Take three slow deep breaths letting out the busy-ness of the day. Bring your awareness inside your body. Gently scan your body from the top of your head to the tip of your toes, noticing any holding or tension inside your body. When you are ready, squeeze your toes and scrunch up your feet, squeezing all the muscles for a few moments then gently and slowly release them, letting your muscles slowly uncurl and relax. Give yourself as much time as you want, so you can gently observe the muscles letting go. Now bring your attention to your calves, and when you are ready, begin the squeeze from your toes up through your feet into your calves. Squeeze for a few moments and then release; slowly and gently letting go of the tension. Now bring your awareness to your thighs and once again, begin the squeeze from your toes and let it travel up through your lower body up to the top of your thighs. Hold and then release. Watching the muscles relax and let go, softly and effortlessly. Now bring your awareness to your bottom, hips, lower back and pelvic region. Allow the squeeze up from your toes all the way to your lower back. Gently release when ready. Continue up through the body, always starting from the toes; squeeze and release, making sure you notice and give enough time to the letting go. Bring your awareness to your stomach, squeeze and release; then your upper torso and shoulders, bringing them right up to your ears and release. Allow the squeeze to travel down the arms, into the wrists, hands and fingertips- squeeze and release. Then bring your awareness into your neck, throat, tongue, jaw, face, forehead, head and skull. Complete the sequence by bringing the squeeze all the way up through your body one more time, from your toes, right up to the top of your head, scrunching up the face and then gently release, let go and relax. Watch all the muscles throughout your body slowly uncurl for the last time, completely letting go. Take three more slow deep breaths in and gently out. Then simply focus on the natural rhythm of your breath until you fall asleep or feel ready to continue your day. Part of Insideout Life Group +44 (0)20 8643 9090
  • Ask yourself: What do I really need right now? What Resource Balloons internal resources will help me in this moment? What will ease my stress? What will help me cope? Take a few slow deep breaths and allow your mind and body to settle. Focus on your power breath. Empty your whole body of stale air and breathe in fresh, clean oxygen. As you fill up with fresh air, allow your awareness to go inside your heart. Ask your heart: What is my heart’s desire right now? Invite the answer to effortlessly bubble up. Breathe in this resource, this quality, and as you breathe out, let it soak into your mind and body. Imagine a beautiful bunch of resource balloons all filled with different resources that will help you. Choose and receive the first balloon. It may be filled with calm, for example. Breathe in calm deeply into your whole body and as you breathe out, let calm suffuse, soak into every cell in your body. If calm is all you require, that’s great. Just continue to focus on calm and continue to breathe in more calm until your feel completely complete. If however you feel you need other resources too, return to your bunch of resource balloons and ask your heart what else you require. You may want clarity, wisdom, confidence, patience, peace, a sense of humour, understanding, the ability to ask for help, clear communication, relaxation, love, self love, self esteem, feeling good enough, great time management, inner strength, happiness, the ability to not take yourself too seriously, passion, concentration, forgiveness, the ability to say no, self belief, great listening skills, clear memory, diamond qualities..... There is an infinite supply of resource balloons and you can make them personal to you. Draw upon your resource balloons ANY time you like, as you wake up in the morning, as you go to bed at night, just before you take an exam, during a test.... These internal resources can help you in any situation, at any time and they are always available to you. They are simply a thought away.... Part of Insideout Life Group +44 (0)20 8643 9090
  • MY RESOURCE BALLOONS Part of Insideout Life Group +44 (0)20 8643 9090
  • If you want to learn at an optimum level and you are feeling Brilliant Brain stressed, simply do an activity that will transfer your focus “Stress interferes with the ability to learn – to the right hemisphere of the brain. Doodle, draw, sing, it shuts down the brain” Professor William Stixrud, Clinical Neuropsychologist breathe deeply, get creative and RELAX. You are more likely to remember things if you are in a relaxed state when accessing your thoughts. SMILE & LEARN! “The brain - that's my second most favourite organ!” Woody Allen Stretch!!! Relax… You wouldn't run a marathon and not warm up first. • “The highly relaxed mind can stretch more Similarly, warm up your brain before you put it to the test! broadly & quickly than a tense one, just like a relaxed body.” Rough Guide to Happiness Nick Bayliss Part of Insideout Life Group +44 (0)20 8643 9090
  • Benefits More Benefits!  Help left & right brain to co-operate more effectively  Relaxes muscles – a relaxed body means a relaxed mind  Improves concentration  Promotes efficient use of oxygen in the blood & brain cells  Improves memory function  Relaxes digestion and reduces stomach acid, therefore less tension within the body  Improves creative thinking skills  Reduces tension headaches & feelings of stress  Improves problem solving skills  Provide skills to develop greater ability to express emotions and  Improves decision making skills therefore improve communication  Improves self confidence  Improves mindfulness - the ability to be aware of what is  Supports the immune system - fewer coughs & colds happening around us without being distracted  Boost energy levels – more sustained focus & concentration  Increase tranquillity & enhance ability to manage stressful  Enhance the quality of sleep situations  Helps increase feelings of happiness! Make a choice. You do have a choice. No-one is You Create the Weather! responsible for how you feel and think except you! Choose Mentally..... Physically..... Emotionally.... to be in balance. If the rain clouds open (maybe you’ve just accidentally deleted a document or left a text book at school) just deal with it. Be gentle with yourself and allow the frustration and anger come up – feel the feelings, whatever they are. You do not have to act on them (slam doors, shout at others, blame your teacher, friends, family, the cat....) Take some deep breaths and focus on what is the obvious next step. Take 5 is usually a good place to start, depending on how big the cloud is, you may need to take 24 hours out. Do what you need to do to ease the situation, seek support and help if appropriate and know that the solution is already here. Remember you can easily change state simply by putting on your favourite dance music, having a dance, take a strapping walk, go for a run, get some fresh air, phone a friend. Choose SUNSHINE! Part of Insideout Life Group +44 (0)20 8643 9090
  • What can you do to help yourself during challenging Half an hour of thorough & focussed revision is for more times? valuable than three hours of distracted, tired and unmotivated study. Give yourself deadlines to understand a  Water  Workout  Rest  Play  particular area of study. Test yourself. If you haven’t  Nutritional Rainbow  Quiet time  mastered it, take time out, then come back to it when you  Still time  Be a buddy  Gratitude  are refreshed. Go on to something new that you feel more confident with to get you back into your flow. Take Refuel regularly when you’re studying. Eat healthy time out to get fresh air, refreshment and freshen up! snacks which will keep your blood sugar levels Remember to stretch your muscles during study time and balanced. Fruit & nuts are great to help you sustain release any tension that may be creeping up your body! concentration and energy levels. Take time to be alone, do something you love and relax. Drink plenty of water. If you feel thirsty you are STOP, BE STILL and BREATHE. already dehydrated. Water will help your brain and body to function more efficiently. Exercise regularly, especially if you are feeling fed up and Switch off the world of study and relax for a unmotivated. It will release feel good hormones into your while. Listen to some sounds and have a boogie. It system which will be greatly beneficial to the way you will help you relax and feel great. approach your study and how you feel about your ability to Have a study buddy and study in the fresh air if achieve the results you want. Exercise needn’t be an hour you can. Enjoy some time in open spaces to help you in the gym; it can be enjoying a fast walk with your relax. friends in the park, having a quick game of basketball or Eat a rainbow. Endeavour to eat lots of different cycling to your mate’s house. Remember, if you energise naturally coloured foods in one day and especially in your body, you will be able to concentrate for longer, feel your main meal. This will help you get the balance of good inside and will undoubtedly sleep better! Sleep is vital nutrients, vitamins and minerals your brain and body for cell regeneration and growth. require for optimum efficiency. SMILE! Smiling (whether you really feel happy or not) RELAX! Create time to relax and let go. Give will send signals to your brain to release “happy hormones” your body a soothing bath for example, put on music to into your body. Smiling is free and it’s contagious. So go chill to and let go... on, have a smile and pass it on. You never know who and Manage your time. Set yourself SMART targets: how it will help! Practise your smiling meditation regularly Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timed! – you’ll notice the difference! Part of Insideout Life Group +44 (0)20 8643 9090
  • Be a Buddy. It will help you as much as it helps them. Be a Buddy! Support and feel supported. Teach and learn. Learn as you teach. A problem shared is a problem halved, mentally & emotionally! You are not alone and there is no need for you to feel isolated during this challenging time. Pair up. Team up. Stay connected. Sometimes it’s simply a reassuring tone that makes all the difference. You don’t need to “fix” the situation, just support and show you care. Pick up the phone and check in with a mate if you haven’t heard from them in a while. It will be great to know they will do the same for you. Check List If Getting in a State, you have a choice... • Take 5 with The Serenity Jar • Use the Power Breath to bring you back to centre. • Change state! Make a choice... • Move your body! Dance, sing, jump, hop, skip... • Phone a friend (commit to 5 mins max!) • SMILE!!! 1 Minute Smiling Meditation • Focus on your desired end result – What do you really want? • Change your perspective: Find the benefits of being in a state right now – how might it serve you? Part of Insideout Life Group +44 (0)20 8643 9090
  • Re-Vision Prevention: • Centre yourself before you begin • Study with a friend or regularly get connected • Begin each study session with the Power Breath • Remember your Resource Balloons • Work in a relaxing, quiet, calm environment • Be physically supported & comfortable • Get regular fresh air & stretchy breaks • Knowledge Buddies: The best way to learn is to teach! • Get SMART : Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timed! • Rewards – make them meaningful & fun The Night Before • Be prepared! • Ensure everything is ready for the morning including what you are going to wear and eat; what utensils you need and double check the time of your exam. • Set your alarm and have a back up friend or family who will call you at a given time. • Unwind – have a hot bath, relax, chill out... • Go to bed early or at a reasonable time! • Remember your Resource Balloons. Exam Day • Get up in plenty of time, especially if you are a slow starter. • Ensure you have plenty of water & caffeine free drinks. • Eat breakfast! • Have a hot, relaxing & invigorating shower – Sing whilst you’re in there! • Enjoy some Still Time before you head to school. • Keep Good Company! Avoid anyone that is hyped up, negative or stressing out. • Stay aware of your breathing. Be mindful not to hold your breath. Take deep breaths if a wave of nervousness comes over you. It will pass. • Remember your Resource Balloons. • Shake it out, have a wiggle & a stretch. Centre yourself. • Smile & Breathe... Repeat the smiling meditation whilst waiting outside the exam room and during the exam. Post Exam • Stay in the moment – (Don’t go back) • Avoid Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve, Didn’t! • Let it go... • Congratulate yourself for just doing it no matter what the result. • Let it go... • Give yourself a meaningful reward. • Let it go!!! • Smile – it’s over! • Breathe! You’ve survived! Relax... Part of Insideout Life Group +44 (0)20 8643 9090
  • What if you committed to 10 minutes of Stillness every Commitment Share day? What if you chose water whilst you worked? What if you gave yourself plenty of rest and regular deep sleep? Keep your mind and body in balance. You know what to do. If you let yourself get out of kilter or circumstances push you off centre, just breathe deeply and take appropriate action. You know what to do. And if you feel overwhelmed and cannot think straight, ask for help. Rebalance and take preventative measures to stay in balance. Part of Insideout Life Group +44 (0)20 8643 9090
  • Keep it in perspective! Life will go on no matter what Keep it in Perspective! your results. Your mental, physical and emotional health is far more important. If you feel overwhelmed ask for help. Remind yourself of your diamond qualities. They don't go anywhere. They remain no matter what. Eyes open or eyes closed... Centre your body, standing, Smiling Meditation sitting or lying ... Take a slow deep breath in and as you breathe out smile. Repeat three times. Allow the smile to filter through every cell of your body. Continue... As you relax and settle, feel the smile begin to radiate from the inside out. Feel the energy of your smile fill your body and ease your mind. Continue until you feel ready to continue your day or drift into blissful slumber... Breathe and smile. Remember your diamond; pristine priceless & perfect. You are this. Whether or not you have GCSE’s A’ Levels or a degree. Stay still in the centre of the storm and all will be well. See yourself as clear, strong, & successful. You are that. Enjoy the challenge and be glad of this opportunity to shine! With love and success Kathryn x Part of Insideout Life Group +44 (0)20 8643 9090