How to prevent HSC exam stress

How to prevent HSC exam stress

On Thursday, around 200,000 Year 12 students will sit the most stressful exam of the year when the HSC commences.

With reports showing that close to one-in-two HSC students currently suffering from anxiety or depression, one man decided to put his unique skillset to work with the aim of combatting this issue.

Mark Stephens, a hypnosis expert and meditation teacher, says his remedy is much safer than the sleeping tablets and ADHD medication students are using to get through their study and exams.

“Mindfulness, meditation and self-hypnosis are all proven methods of increasing focus, sustaining energy, reducing stress and improving sleep,” Stephens said.

“By combining meditation with hypnosis, students are empowered to control their own stress and anxiety levels.”

Below, Stephens shares his top three tips to prevent exam stress and anxiety.

Visualise the test as completed

Rather than thinking of forgetting, freezing or failing, picture yourself walking out of the exam having done your best. This technique dramatically reduces anxiety as you focus on succeeding rather than failing.

Mindful walking

Every 30 or 60 minutes clear your mind and spend a few minutes away from the books or screen. Stretch, have a drink of water or move out into the sun while being mindful and present. As you get out of your head tune into the feeling of your body moving as you walk around and breathe. This exercise helps you counter stress and improve focus.

Deep breathing affirmation

During study and exams take three slow deep breaths at regular intervals. As you breathe in think, “I am calm” and as you exhale, “I can do this.” The deep breathing oxygenates your brain while improving recall. The affirmation helps you stay positive.