At this time of year we are always asked for advice on products and techniques to help students through their exams. There is no shortage of help out there for anybody feeling stressed studying for exams so in this blog we just wanted to run through some of the ways to help that we have learned and have passed on over the years.
Lavender Oil is the best known relaxation oil but there are many that will help with concentration, confidence and memory too.
To boost confidence a dab of Lemon, Bergamot or Neroli on the pulse point or in a tissue and inhaled will really help the brain on a subconscious level. They are good for situations where the person is unsure of themselves and needs a little help.
An oil blend that will help with confidence, memory and concentration is a mix of Grapefruit (8 drops), Basil (5 drops), Bergamot (5 drops) and Lavender (2 drops). Drop into a tissue and inhale deeply.
We also have some blends from our supplier that would be useful. The Meditation Blend relaxes the body but keeps the mind alert and has Lemon, Lavender, Juniperberry, Geranium and Frankincense blended together. The Insomnia blend will help with relaxation and is a mix of Vetiver, Lemon, Lavender and Clary-Sage. The Relaxing and Energising Blend is a mix of Geranium, Clary-Sage, Ylang Ylang and Peitgrain.
There are simply too many crystals to name check all of them and how they can help exam stress. However, we can list some of the most popular ones in each area.
For stress we would recommend Chrysocolla, Epidote, Moss Agate, Smoky Quartz, Rhodonite, Tiger’s Eye and Tourmaline.
For Concentration we recommend Amethyst, Hematite, Howlite, Lepidolite, Onyx and Smoky Quartz.
For confidence we recommend Dumortierite, Garnet and Moss Agate.
The woman who invented worry stones gave a prototype to her ailing mother who subsequently showed huge improvement in her general health and wellbeing. We have recommended worry stones to many parents of exams students over the years and we have heard many stories of how they have greatly helped calm nerves before and during exams.
The desire to have a touchstone to represent something positive and helpful in stressful situations goes beyond worry stones though. We are regularly asked for Guatamalan worry people and we even have specific ones for exam stress. We also have Good Luck Angels too.
The most effective method of stress reduction we have found is through meditation and mindfulness. Through mindfulness we can realise what is important and what is not which is helpful in anxiety while meditation is proven to reduce stress and promote both physical and emotional health.
There are a few basic breathing/awareness meditations and exercises that we have found very useful.
The first is an exercise in being aware of the senses.
Sitting in a straight backed comfortable chair with your feet on the ground and eyes closed. Start off by becoming aware of the sense of touch. Be aware of the feel of your clothes against your body and the feel of the air as it passes over your skin. Move on to the awareness of smell. Use your breath as it passes in and out of your nose/mouth to be aware of the smells/tastes that surround you. Then become aware of the sounds that surround you. Just be aware of their existence rather than forming any judgement. This should last for around five minutes and can be done anywhere.
An alternative exercise along the same lines is to pass awareness of the body from the top of the head to the soles of your feet taking time to be aware of each part of the body in turn.
The second exercise is purely around the breath.
Sitting in a straight backed comfortable chair with your feet on the ground and eyes closed. All you will be doing is breathing in and out while counting. Start off by counting to one on the in breath and then again counting to one on the out breath. Continue by counting to two on the in breath and two on the out breath. Continue increasing the count until you get to ten on the in breath and ten on the out breath. Then reduce the count back to one again.
Generally around six or seven as a count will be the most comfortable while one is too short and ten too long. Eventually you may want to just count to the number you are most comfortable with but the process will calm and relax very effectively.
The third breathing exercise can be done at any point even in an exam and as often as required.
Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose. Keep your shoulders relaxed. Your abdomen should expand, and your chest should rise very little.
Exhale slowly through your mouth. As you blow air out, purse your lips slightly, but keep your jaw relaxed. You may hear a soft “whooshing” sound as you exhale.
Repeat this breathing exercise for several minutes.
Wishing all the students the very best of luck with the exams and may your future bring you everything you desire!