If you’re a student and you experience stress because of exam time the good news is that this is normal! It’s an unavoidable part of life, but one of those life chores that if done well could open unbelievable opportunities for you.
In my clinic, I get to see a wide array of patients from premature babies to the funny grandparent who holds no bars on what their health concerns are. One of the most exciting aspects of my work is helping students who have anxiety and stress during exam time. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing the future in front me succeed and go forth to blaze a trail for themselves.
Contrary to popular belief, average students as well as high-achievers can both experience anxiety, stress and mental fatigue. The four most common reasons that tend to amplify anxiety are:
1) Low motivation levels.
2) Lack of preparation and planning.
3) High expectations from others.
4) Competition from peers.
Although the above reasons are common, most students are unaware that these habits often prevent them from unlocking their potential. The question is, how can we help those who are ready to slay their exam arch nemesis?
There are two simple, effective and easy ways to help increase your mental stamina, reduce anxiety and best of all survive exams with minimal mental wounds.
#1: Regain your focus by supercharging your cup of coffee
Caffeine is a god sent for students and adults alike. For some of us (no judgement), we may have a tendency to abuse the amount of caffeine we ingest, and if you happen to be one of them, stop! Let’s find a balance to not only enjoy the taste of coffee, but to benefit from it as well.
When you have a cup of coffee before studying, do the following.
1. Take your cup of coffee.
2. Take 1 capsule of L-Theanine (100-200mg).
3. Take the L-Theanine capsule orally with your cup of coffee.
You can also skip the cup of coffee and switch to green tea, which contains L-Theanine and can help improve your ability to concentrate as well as reduce both emotional and physical stress.
How does l-theanine help?
L-Theanine is an amino-acid found in green tea leaves, and may help improve attention span mainly in “vigilant attention”: the ability to maintain focus on a single task over a long period of time (1). An additional benefit is that L-Theanine can not only help increase focus and reduce mental fatigue, but may also help reduce error rates when taking it with caffeine (2).
#2: Reduce anxiety with homeopathic medicines
You might be wondering, what are homeopathic medicines? Homeopathic medicines are micro-doses of natural substances that can help treat various medical conditions. Homeopathy has been shown to help individuals regain control and recover from anxiety, depression, OCD and insomnia (3,4,5).
While there are many homeopathic medicines that can help reduce anxiety and stress, these are the two that stand out the most:
1. Has been shown to help reduce emotional reactivity and may reduce anxiety (6).
2. Use Gelsenium 200ch if you have the following symptoms:
a. Feelings of anxiousness that involve the abdomen, such as cramps, butterfly sensations or nausea.
b. Finding yourself overwhelmed and prefer to be alone.
1. Has been shown to help reduce anxiety significantly in various studies (4).
2. Use Pulsatilla 200ch if you have the following symptoms:
a. Feeling overwhelmed and easily discouraged; you often feel like you’re going to cry or feel better when you express your emotions.
b. Find relief from stress by talking to your friends.
If you’re interested in reading how amazing homeopathy is and how it can help one of the most complex women’s health conditions, endometriosis, click on the following link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28187404
So when preparing for your exams remember to take regular breaks, eat healthy foods and get enough sleep. These are just some the steps that will help you naturally increase your focus and fight mental fatigue.
1. Kimura K, Ozeki M, Juneja LR, Ohira H. L-Theanine reduces psychological and physiological stress responses. Biol Psychol. 2007 Jan;74(1):39-45.
2. Foxe JJ, Morie KP, Laud PJ, Rowson MJ, de Bruin EA, Kelly SP. Assessing the effects of caffeine and theanine on the maintenance of vigilance during a sustained attention task. Neuropharmacology. 2012 Jun;62(7):2320-7
3. Davidson JR , Morrison RM , Shore J , Davidson RT , Bedayn G. Homeopathic treatment of depression and anxiety. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine [1997, 3(1):46-49]
4. R. Lakshmipathy prabhu, A. Ruckmani, , D. Venkatesan, N. Madhusudhanan, R. Pavithra. Anxiolytic effect of homeopathic preparation of Pulsatilla nigricans in Swiss albino mice Homeopathy Volume 101, Issue 3, July 2012, Pages 171–174
5. Juliane Hellhammer and Melanie Schubert. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. February 2013, 19(2): 161-169.
6. Magnani, P., Conforti, A., Zanolin, E. et al. Psychopharmacology (2010) 210: 533. doi:10.1007/s00213-010-1855-2