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It is that time of the year when parents are stressed out because the children are stressed out! It's nothing but the "exam stress." 

What is Exam Stress??
If one may try to define “Exam stress” in layman’s terms then it could be the reaction that an individual might have, to excessive pressure or demands placed upon them. The stress levels are however subjective and may differ from one individual to another.
The most important fact that we need to realize is that pressure is good and brings positive results when it comes to deadlines and performances however when the same pressure is prolonged it could lead to development of stress.

Symptoms that may let you know that your child is under stress
The response to a stressful situation or time may be different by different people. Infact the response may differ between a male and a female too. Over the years research in this field have proven that when females experience exam stress they show internal symptoms and responses like Nausea, indigestion, feeling of butterflies in the stomach leading up to sadness and depression. On the other hand, males externalize their responses in the form of anger or feelings or irritability.
The two ways to deal with a stressful situation during exam time is, “Fight or Flight”. In both cases excessive amount of adrenalin is released in the body and that in turn leads to the following:

Feeling Irritable and over the top reactions on normal situations (increase in yelling or crying).
2. Negative Self Talk
3. Sleep Deprivation.
4. Waking up with a feeling of lethargy
5. Palpitations (can hear/ feel the heart beat loudly)
6. Anxiety attacks (not being able to breathe, chest pains mimicking a heart attack)
7. Anti social behavior (refusing to meet with friends or step out of the house)
8. Weight Loss or lack of appetite (no interest in food)
9. Excessive sweating.
10. Nightmares, Talking in sleep or sleep walking.

How can you help as a Parent?
There are a number of things that one may do to help relive some of the exam stress that your child may be going through:
1. Be supportive and Tolerant- One of the most important things to do is to let the child know that no matter what the result, the bigger picture is that you will always love them. Reassuring a child may be the best thing to avoid exam stress.
2. Help them maintain a routine- Discipline always plays a big role in a child’s life especially in a stressful time. Ensuring that there is no break in the child’s routine will give the child stability and structure towards coping with the exam stress.
3. Help in preparation- Encouraging the child to ask for help from peers or teachers may be a great way to minimize the stress.
4. Study Tools- Making sure that the child has the appropriate tools to tackle the exams may be of great help. It could be anything from extra books, Mock test papers or simply a set of new stationary.
5. Clean and uncluttered study environment- They say a cluttered environment leads to a cluttered mind; similarly if one could make sure that the child’s room, study table is uncluttered it may diminish the negative vibe while studying. 
6. Fresh Healthy Food- Fruits that may be rich in vitamins and proteins such as leafy vegetables and fresh fruits are recommended as they facilitate in keeping the mind and body alert and full of energy. Also one may want to avoid junk food as it gives a sudden rush of sugar and then fall away very soon leaving the person tired, distracted and craving for more.
7. Relaxation techniques- Introduction of the child to some of the relaxation techniques may have a longer lasting impact to curb exam stress. These could be anything from chanting a relaxing mantra to taking a walk outside. 
8. Encourage breaks- Reminding the child to take short breaks in between the study may lead to increase in productiveness.
9. Help them unwind- It is very important to unwind after a long and serious day. It could be as simple as recording your child’s favorite program on TV and watching it later or a bowl of popcorn and soup to go with some light music. 
10. Positive talk and attitude- Positive talk and attitude from the parent can go a long way. It might help in boosting the child’s confidence and in turn reduce the exam stress.

Tips you could suggest to your child during the Exam:
Finally, the D- day has arrived and all the preparation that your child has done is going to be put to test. Once the child has gone off to the school there is little that you, as a parent can do. You could however prepare your child to cope with the exam stress in the examination hall.
A few simple tricks that may help your child are as follows:

• Reading the question paper thoroughly- Insist that your child first gives a through read to the question paper so s/he has a fair idea of what’s to come.
• Attempting the questions that the child knows first – If the child starts the paper with the questions that the child is very sure of, then it sets the mood for the time to come. The child starts to feel that the situation is under control and chances of confusion or anxiety are diminished.
• Re-reading the answers- It is always a good idea to go through the answers once before moving on to the next question. By doing this one reduces the margin of error.
• Practice relaxation techniques if distracted- There may be a time during the exam that the child could be distracted; practicing a pre defined relaxation technique may help in keeping the focus together. This technique could be anything from looking at a distance, taking a pause to collect his/her thoughts and getting back to the exam or just taking a couple of deep breaths to refocus.
• Visualize the end goal- This may just be the best trick to go through the exam time with a level and focused head. It helps most of the time to look at the bigger picture and not let the fear take over .
 We even found out that there is a helpline to help students cope with the mental stress. It is started by Max Healthcare Hospital from 10 am to 5 pm and the phone no is 011- 98118-96286. Students with exam stress will be helped through telephonic counseling.

Lets make sure that we appreciate our children, acknowledge the stress that they can experience and help them have a safe and stress free exam time. 
10 WAYS TO MANAGE EXAMINATION STRESS Reviewed by RourkelaTips on 07:35:00 Rating: 5
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