Many of us worry when we’re about to do something so important that shapes our future. But it can sometimes get out of control and really affect our lives. We can never get rid of worry but there are some tips that you might want to try if worry is getting too much during your exams.
1. Label your Worries
Worry are thoughts that make us feel anxious or stressed. Quite often our worries consist of ‘what if’……. and there are two types. The first type involves current real problems. These need sorting out immediately. Hypothetical worries though, are ones that cannot be sorted out and, may or may not happen at all. It sounds as if this worry is possibly a hypothetical one.
2. Work Out the Reason For Worrying
We tend to worry about things for a good and important reason. For example, you may think that if you don’t worry, then you might not try as hard in your exam or you will fail. What do you think about other people who don’t worry? Do you think that they won’t do as well? Worry may be a motivator or it might prepare you for disappointment in the future.
3. Think About How We Cope With Worry.
When you worry, what do you do? Does it motivate you to try harder, do you spend time focusing on the fine detail, do you procrastinate, push worries away or feel as though you are solving the problem? We need to look at whether worrying does actually help us to reach our goal of passing an exam, or whether it gets in the way. We also need to look at the costs and benefits of worrying. If there are benefits, do they outweigh the costs or vice versa?
4. Spend Less Time With Worry
Letting go of hypothetical worries can seem a bit reckless, especially at a really important time in your exams, but the theory is that if we let go of worry, ie: stop it, it frees our brains up to learn more effectively. We are less tired and more motivated. So the issue is about how ready you are to take that risk? Letting go of worries does not mean stop revising. It means doing something productive instead of worrying. Many people say they struggle to stop worrying, it’s just out of control. But, if you are able to focus your attention onto another task (even for a short time) and complete it, then you have control. Mindfulness done properly can help us gain more control of our worries by helping us to let go of them. It’s not easy but there are some good books/ apps and you tube to assist. Having worry time can also be useful. For example, If you allocate a time in the day, where you deliberately worry and visualise about what will happen and how you will cope when you get your results, then it can free you up for the rest of the day to really focus on revision. You have to be strict with yourself out of worry time and ban any worries that pop into your mind. During worry time, it can be very helpful to think about how you would problem solve the worst situation that could happen on results day. Think about all the resources you could use and who could help you if the worst happened. Make this into a solid plan that you keep, just in case.
5. Use your Superhero Skills!
Really focusing on our own personal qualities and strengths can help us get through a tough time. Can you think of a time when you got through a difficult time, made a good decision, solved a tricky problem or got through a pretty bad situation? If so, what personal strengths did you use and what process did you go through to deal with that situation? Can you apply any strengths to this situation and add to your plan?
Completing your GCSE’s is extremely tough and can be made worse if you feel anxious. If you would like anymore advice on coping with your exams, please call me on 0161 8831156 or use the contact sheet on my website.