I know all those recent grads are taking the bar exam this week and are probably a teensy bit panic-attack-inducingly stressed. And for those students who aren’t taking the bar yet, I stress the word yet. In hope of getting you all to relax for just a minute, I’ve tried to put together just a couple of stress-relieving tips and links to help you get through the next week alive.
I find that I really benefit from the tried and true technique of sitting still and just breathing. A Harvard study showed that if you do this, and repeatedly visualize something (anything!) each time you breathe out, you will lower your blood pressure and really relax. So maybe you can choose to visualize the letter that says you’ve passed the bar, or maybe visualize something that isn’t the source of your stress, like your lucky number, or your pet cat or dog.
If you’re looking for more tips on how to get totally Zen, I love the blog Zen Habits. I also find the Happiness Project to be a good source of quotes and thoughts about what really makes us happy.
If some kind of passive method to get to relaxation isn’t your thing, you might want to try doing something physical. The classic example, of course, is to go kickboxing and just beat the punching bag like it’s a bar examiner who wants to fail you. But research shows that any physical activity will do–going for a run or a bike ride will help you release your tension just as well.
Whatever you decide to do to relieve stress, be sure you’re doing something. You don’t want to be so tightly wound for the exam that you can’t think straight. Keep studying, relax a little, and go pass that bar! Good luck!