Unfortunately, it’s that time of the year again when students spend countless hours cramming as much information they can, whilst simultaneously balancing their multiple projects, essays, case studies and additional homework (cuz why not?). 

Exam season has always been one of the most stressful times for many students and after this incredibly difficult year, finding time for yourself in order to search for inner peace should be a priority! 

I’m someone who is so easily stressed; it comes to the point where I can no longer be productive. In my research on how to achieve inner peace and simply deal with stressful situations, I came across a company called MindValley.

MindValley is a company founded by Vishen Lakhiani that offers multiple programs and courses that challenge you as a person and guide you to a better self. In times where everyone is doing their best to social distance and spend more time inside, what more productive way to spend your time than taking an online master class! 

My favorite master class that I attended was one directed by a behavioural scientist, self-help book author, TV and radio broadcaster, and hypnotist, Paul McKenna. 

In this master class, I learned how to reduce my stress when I feel overwhelmed, reduce my fear and anxiety (which was a huge bonus for me), develop positive energy, and improve my overall physical and mental health. 

I learned in his class that there are the three stress myths that people tend to believe:

  1. Reducing your stress means losing your edge
It's Fine stress pink rip illustration
Illustration by Lauren Bergman

This is not true at all! In fact finding time for you to relax and take time for yourself has proven to better increase your creativity, productivity, and problem solving skills! So next time you think that if you’re not stressing enough you will never achieve any of your tasks, think about Paul McKenna saying, “Not taking care of your wellbeing is a false economy.” 

  1. Continuous grind makes you resilient 
not good night vector illustration exams study student hard work working sleep work night
Illustration by Karine Azizyan

This was my favorite myth because it came with a great suggestion. In the class they talk about working smart and how instead of simply cramming everything for multiple hours, you should be working in sprints. Take 50 minutes to study or work and then have a 20 minute break, it gives you room to breath, get the juices flowing, and will give you a better workflow.

  1. Stress is always bad
Tempers Flare human office computer design work hand drawn style color stress angry creative emotion character expressive emotional light inspiration illustration experiment zajno
Illustration by Oleh Harlamov

I admit that I am the first in line to believe this. I hate stress, I hate how it makes me feel, and I wish it would go away. However, moderate stress can be good. It keeps you intact with the tasks that you need to get done. If we were all super care-free, we wouldn’t care about failing all of our exams and flunking out of university. In the end, it’s all about finding balance in your life.

Now after understanding the myths of stress, I can finally reveal this new relaxing method I have incorporated into my life. The Havening Technique from Paul McKenna has significantly helped me remain more calm and find inner peace in times of stress. This technique has been used in the military to help soldiers deal with PTSD and trauma.

The Havening Technique

How it works is that you begin by closing your eyes and thinking of something that upsets you. It can be anything, whether related to academics or personal issues. This is a psychosensory technique as it involves eye movement and tapping on various parts of the body. By moving your eyes you are desensitizing. Moving your eyes in a vertical manner will create alpha waves whilst lateral eye movements create delta waves. Our goal is to create delta waves.

After thinking about that upsetting memory you are going to put your hands on opposite shoulders and begin stroking your arms gently whilst clearing your mind. 

Once you’ve done that you will think of a pleasant activity. It can be anything from walking on the beach to playing with your pet or spending time doing your favorite hobby. Once you’ve thought about your happy place, begin moving your hands on your shoulders down and up whilst counting to 20. As you are doing this move your eyes across, going from one side to the other.

Repeat this process of counting to 20 with three different scenes. Move your eyes laterally left to right about 20 times. This technique should take you no more than 15 minutes. It is an easy way to simply take a step back from all the stress and anxiety you are dealing with and finding a way to calm down. This technique can be done mostly anywhere although it is suggested that you are not driving when doing this as you are closing your eyes and entering in a deep state of relaxation.

Here is a video taking you through each step of the process:

I’ve been practicing this technique for a few weeks now and I feel much more calm and at peace with myself when I perform this technique. Hopefully this will work for you as well and will help you in the long run!

Let us know in the comments below if this technique has helped you out!

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