How to Quiet Your Mind After Exams

Posted by Pat Delorean

how to quiet your mind

Exams are over. The hard part is done, right? But quite often pre-exam panic transforms into post-exam anxiety. “What if I failed? Am I never going to find a decent job? Will I have to go through all of that again? What if that joke I made in class two months ago made the professor hate me and he’s going to give me an “F” just because he can?”… The list of questions, making your head buzz may seem endless. Fortunately, there’s plenty of techniques, that can help you get rid of them and finally get that well-deserved rest. We’ve picked the best ones for you.


Yeah-yeah, you are probably tired of all the essays and research papers you had to complete during the semester. It’s time to turn writing into a therapeutic and recreational activity. On the one hand, the research has shown that writing about your worries before an exam may actually boost your performance. On the other hand, the process can be relaxing even when you do it afterwards.

Try writing a “done” list. You’ve gone through tons of resources, not even mentioning your textbook? Have been revising two nights in a row? Created a mind map to memorize the material better? Whatever the items in your list are, you will most probably have a pretty long one. Take a look at it and have a moment to praise yourself. Most probably, you’ve done a great job.

Furthermore, you may simply write about your feelings, pouring the words onto the page of your notebook or transform them into another blog post. Sharing means relief quite often. So do it.


The benefits of exercise for your brain have been tested and proved already. A boost of self-esteem that comes after an hour in a gym or any other kind of training may really be the thing you need. You could also try running away from your worries: jogging is not only beneficial in terms of your physique but also brings you to the “runner’s high” stage, when you feel both pumped and happy.

There’s just one thing to add: exercise is a great distraction from your problems. When you push yourself to lift that extra pound or run another half a mile, you’re far more likely to leave worries about your grade behind. Even something as simple as doing 20-ish jumping jacks to the sound of your favorite energizing song can do miracles. Plus, you’ll feel and look better in the end. That’s an effort truly worth paying, isn’t it?


You’ve been breathing the same way for all your life. Why not try something new, huh? Concentrating on your breath will help you clear your mind and leave the nervousness aside for a while. There are many breathing techniques that go far beyond slow inhales and exhales. The only thing you need to remember is that you’ve got to really focus on the process. Pick a relaxing breathing exercise you like and go through it couple of times a day. You’ll feel more calm and stable in no time.

Don’t Try to Talk It Out

The urge to discuss every little detail of the exam may drive you crazy. No matter who you’re going to talk to – your fellow students or family members – re-living the events of the test day may raise stress level and make you more anxious about the result.

Once the exam is finished, don’t talk about it too much. Better have a meet up with your friends and go see a movie, concert or exhibition you’ve wanted to see for a while already. Those will be more pleasant conversation subjects. Otherwise, go have a beer and dance somewhere. Your exams are over. Have the fun you’ve been depriving yourself of.

Clean the Mess

Since you’ve been so busy preparing for the exams, your room or house may have got a bit cluttered. So turn up the music and get to work. Cleaning up may actually help you clear your mind. It’s a great combination of meditative activity and physical exercise: humming the lyrics of the song, while dusting the furniture and polishing the mirrors, you’ll get to the calm and relaxed state much easier.

In addition, cleaning has a certain metaphorical value: putting your stuff in the right places you may feel the mental chaos getting organized.

Let It Go

That’s not quite a specific tip. However, it works. Either choose one of the methods, suggested by us or do something that pleases you: just stop worrying about something, that’s already done. Have fun, meditate, draw, or run. You’ve got the time until the results are announced. Make the most of it!