High school SATs and college exams can be major stressors. Luckily, there is one ancient practice that can help you battle exam anxiety in a big way: yoga! Mindfulness has taken over the mental health sector in a big way. Many doctors recommending it for anything and everything stress-related. Yoga can help you enjoy a sense of calm and confidence, boost your sense of focus, and help you get a better sleep. It is changing the lives of millions of people of all ages across the globe. Why not allow it to do the same for you?
The role of yoga in quality sleep
Sleep deprivation and insomnia are closely linked to higher stress levels. As a result, it is important for students to enjoy a good nights sleep if they wish to do well at tests. Sleep deprivation affects memory and concentration, making it difficult for students to excel.
One study found that Kriya Yoga, a type of meditation that focuses internalized attention, improved sleep quality, total sleep time and sleep efficiency. It also reduced symptoms of depression. In the study, researchers said that ‘sleep hygiene’ was also important. This term covers everything from following a bedtime routine, to reducing the consumption of coffee in the afternoon, making time for daily exercise, and creating a comfortable bedroom environment.
To enjoy truly good sleep, your bed needs to have the right firmness, and your bedroom should be completely dark and quiet.
Yoga and mindfulness help students battle stress and anxiety
A study at Tulane University found that participating in yoga and mindfulness activities at school helps children with anxiety improve their wellbeing and emotional health. The sessions involved breathing exercises, guided relaxation, and traditional asanas. Researchers noted improved quality of life scores for children in the yoga/mindfulness group, as opposed to those who were not. In many other studies, yoga, mindfulness meditation and Tai Chi have been found to lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, as measured in saliva.
Yoga for natural pain relief
If you suffer from arthritis or fibromyalgia, it can be difficult to be in the right frame of mind for studying. Studies have shown that yoga can significantly reduce back pain, neck pain, and chronic pain caused by fibromyalgia. Yoga improves strength and flexibility, but also reduces stress levels, which exacerbate pain when they are present in a chronic state.
We have mentioned just a few ways in which yoga can help you excel at exams. By reducing stress and anxiety, lifting your mood, and helping address pain, it is a useful practice that benefits both body and mind. Alongside other forms of physical activity, yoga is a popular complementary therapy for a host of conditions associated with stress. Set aside at least 30 minutes daily to salute the sun and reach the state of calm and self-compassion that will help you give your all at your next exam.