Exam time - that time of year when teenagers and young adults around the country are preparing themselves for what feels like the worst weeks of their lives. Whether it’s GCSEs, A Levels or university final exams, it can sometimes feel like an entire future rests on a few hours. Not surprising then, many students suffer from exam nerves. So, here’s our top 7 natural ways to keep those nerves at bay.
When we feel stressed, our breathing becomes shallow, moving from our diaphragm to our chest. This is a sign we’re in fight or flight mode and our sympathetic nervous system has been activated. Simply slowing down our breathing and feeling its rise and fall in our bellies can start to calm down our nervous system.
Why not try the box breathing technique: breathing in slowly for four breaths, holding for four breaths, breathing out for four breaths, hold for four breaths. And repeat. A few repetitions will see your stress levels drop significantly.
2.Remember to Exercise
As soon as PE is no longer obligatory, many students simply stop doing sport for good. But exercise, be it going for a run, hitting the gym or doing an aerobics class, is a fantastic way to let off steam and clear your head. Not only that, intense exercise releases a natural, feel good chemical in the body called anandamide, which will give your mood a boost and aid relaxation.
3. Take CBD Oil
Anandamide production is also boosted by CBD oil, the non-psychoactive health supplement extracted from hemp.
CBD oil is thought to support the body’s endocannabinoid system - a vast network for cell receptors and neurotransmitters (like anandamide) which regulates all biological activity, including our stress response.
Initial studies suggest that CBD might also help us remain calm in stressful situations like public speaking exams, which is great news if you have to present a paper as part of your final exam. What’s more, anecdotal reports suggest CBD can aid focus and CBD has been found safe for children to take.
Check out our organic full spectrum CBD oils that come in handy 10ml bottles and can be tucked in a bag or pocket.
4. Rescue Remedy
What happens if you find your mind goes blank during an exam in a moment of blind panic? Many people swear by Bach Flower Rescue Remedy. Similar to homeopathy, Rescue Remedy combines Rock Rose for terror and panic, Impatiens for irritation and impatience, Clematis for inattentiveness, Star of Bethlehem for shock, and Cherry Plum for irrational thoughts. A quick squirt under the tongue may calm racing thoughts or feelings of panic.
5. Avoid Caffeine Drinks
If you’re a last minute exam crammer, you’re probably firm friends with caffeinated drinks, or other stimulants. While it might keep you awake through the night to study, caffeine doesn’t exactly bring about feelings of calm or centredness. In fact, too much caffeine can cause heart palpitations and sensations similar to panic attacks.
On exam days, herbal teas are a more sensible option. We love our hemp flower tea, bursting with nerve calming CBDA, the acid precursor of CBD. Why not make up a flask of hemp flower tea and drink it between exams?
6. Remember your posture
You don’t have to be doing an exam to notice how our posture changes according to the stress levels we have. Just sitting at a desk for hours at a time can leave us with our shoulders around our ears. The same thing happens in moments of stress.
Try to keep a relaxed posture during your exams, with both feet placed on the floor, and your shoulders as relaxed as possible. A positive open posture will lead to a positive, open frame of mind.
7. Keep Perspective
Without wanting to sound like a right old, know-it-all, it isn’t the end of the world if you don’t get the grade you were after. In deed, many of the world’s greatest thought leaders failed the odd exam from time to time. That’s not to say we want you to fail. Getting your predicted grades are incredibly important right now, but fast forward just two years and whether you got an 4 A* or 3 will no longer seem that important.
At Spirit of Hemp, we love sharing our wellness tips to help you through moments of stress and overwhelm. If you’ve got any questions about how CBD might help you or your child with exam nerves, feel free to contact us direct.
Author : Mary Biles
Mary is medical cannabis journalist and educator with a background in holistic health. She has published articles in Huffington Post, CNN online and Project CBD