Six Ways to Calm Your Nerves Before an Exam

3 Mins read

Exams (especially finals) are a severe challenge. They almost always cause stress, and students have to deal with it somehow. If it is possible to endure short-term stress, it is harder to deal with a constant fear that can transform into panic attacks and anxiety. Fighting one’s panic steals the valuable time required for preparing for different exams. You need to write a dozen custom essays, reread piles of books, and remember the rules and formulae, and you simply have no time in your schedule for fighting the anxiety! Luckily, there are easy ways to calm down before an important test or exam. 

Take a deep breath

Five-Minute deep breathing will help to reduce the level of adrenaline and relieve tension. The most known method is to count slowly to ten or twenty, controlling your inhales and exhales. Straighten your back and straighten your shoulders. Breathe slowly, without any jerks, concentrating on each breath. Try to stretch the exhalation and make it longer than your inhale. After each breathing cycle, there should be a short pause for 3-5 seconds. Such exercise raises attention, calms down the nervous system, and reduces stress. If you feel unpleasant sensations or dizziness — return to the usual rhythm of breathing.

Water procedures 

A warm shower with an intense rush of water will not only relax your muscles and improve blood circulation, but also calm the nerves down. And half an hour in the pool will relieve stress after a day of studying. Another way to relieve emotional stress is to play your favorite music and take a hot bath. The effect is enhanced by adding a few drops of soothing essential oils of chamomile, lavender, mandarin, or lemon balm. If you don’t have time for long water treatment, dampen your hands and massage your face, neck, and shoulders with wet palms. Cold water tones the skin and soothes nerve receptors. Alternatively, a spray of rose water can be used to help you refresh.

Turn on the music and dance

Any motor activity can restore mental balance. For example, a half-hour run in the open air or an intensive workout in the gym are perfect options. Instead of exercising, you can dance, go for a walk, play football, or do some cleaning. During such workouts, the brain produces neurotransmitters, which are responsible for good mood and reduce anxiety. This is the body’s response to muscle stress. Scientists say that regular exercise is an excellent way to prevent depression. And the improvement in appearance and physical performance will be a nice bonus.

Drink some tea with honey

A glass of clean water will quickly restore regular heart rate and help you to relax. Drink slowly, taking short sips and breaks between them. Besides water, hot tea with a dessert will help to cope with anxiety and irritation. Swallowing movements soothe the nerves, and sweet stimulates the production of the hormones of happiness. It is better to replace cookies and sweets with healthy treats. For example, honey, dried fruit, or dark chocolate. The latter is useful for the reduction of cortisol and catecholamines, which cause stress. A ginger root, a sprig of oregano, several leaves of mint or jasmine flowers can be added to the drink — these supplements are known for their calming effect.


Scents are strongly connected to emotional memory. Therefore, it is advantageous to have a fragrance associated with experienced moments of intense happiness, delight, bliss. Essential oils can become your life-savers. Thus, the aroma of lavender has been considered an effective sedative for centuries. Bergamot oil will help you cope with emotional problems, reduce symptoms of anxiety, tension, and depression. 

Do not keep everything inside 

You’re not a robot, are you? And people tend to worry, so don’t keep everything inside up and think that nobody can understand you. Your friends and even classmates will understand and support you. Feel free to be emotional, tell your loved ones why you’re worried and what scares you in the exam. If you are shy about sharing your feelings with someone, try writing a list on a regular piece of paper. Reread what you have put down, and you’ll realize that your fear and anxiety are unreasonable. 

On the morning of the day of the exam, you must have a good breakfast. And this is an essential point because it is a properly prepared breakfast with the right components and ingredients that will provide you with the necessary energy. But it is better not to take sedatives, no matter how much you want to release the pressure. At this point, they will only worsen the situation. They can cause sleepiness and slow down the pace of thinking processes. You should better come up with ideas of how you are going to treat or pamper yourself after the exam.