One of the most common problems faced by students while studying for an IIT entrance exam is severe anxiety or nervousness. Since the result of the exam can totally change your future, so the very process of preparing for the IIT entrance exam can be a stressful experience. Any delays in the preparation schedule, an inability to solve problems, or even a few hours of time wasted can lead to anxiety and create stress, which can adversely affect your studies, so it is very important to learn how to manage stress or anxiety.

Even Famous People Do It

I still remember watching a video clipping of a famous singer that I saw on TV years ago. The camera had been following him around, while he went for rehearsals, got made-up and spoke to his manager.

The scene I remember most was the shot of him as he waited backstage for his name to be announced. Now, remember, this was a man who had been doing stage shows for decades. You could hear the audience: They were excited to be in his presence. It was a friendly atmosphere. Yet he looked nervous, horrified, petrified, regretful that he'd ever entered show business and extremely vulnerable. (Presuming he remembered he was being filmed, this was controlled panic.)

But, when the announcer called his name and the roar of the applause began, he transformed. He walked with a determined gait to the stage, the lights hit him, he smiled and took the microphone, the band began and he never looked back. His famous voice filled the auditorium, and the audience went wild. If he could face such regular panic attacks and still pass the test, why can't you?

Remember that a certain level of anxiety is good and a must for you to accomplish faster learning. Remember that a certain level of anxiety will enable you to be more alert, attentive and concentrate more fully. It can sharpen your IIT Entrance Exam performance, make you feel full of energy and cause you to work at the most effective speed and be more attentive to detail. So, achieving optimum arousal (anxiety) is the key to success. But the moment that anxiety level becomes higher and it starts disabling you, it is time to take immediate corrective measures.

It is a natural human reaction to worry at times while studying for a subject like Physics for IIT JEE exams. It is also natural to express an emotional reaction to the ups and downs of tackling tasks: angry or frustrated at one time, exhilarated at another. The ideas in this article are intended to help you avoid becoming locked in that state of anxiety, where your interaction with exams, tests and course deadlines (the potential 'stressors') results in unhelpful stress for you. This is the type of anxiety that gives you that disabling feeling.

Before we learn how to handle stress & anxiety while preparing for IIT entrance exams or rather difficult subjects like physics for IITJEE, let us understand what are the signs and symptoms of stress?
• Your heart beats at an accelerated rate.
• Your breathing rate increases.
• Your body sweats.
• Your mind becomes agitated and you feel restless.
• Your stomach feels queasy. In other words you feel butterflies in your stomach.

You can control these problems by training your mind and body to relax on command. In relaxation you are really training to control the functions of your mind.

Relaxation Techniques: You can relax while sitting on a chair, lying on a bed or stretched out on a comfortable spot. To relax focus on your breathing first, close your eyes and listen to the sound as air flows in and out. As you breathe your belly should be moving in and out. Next, start counting one to ten, on your inhalations and saying to yourself "relax" in your mind. Continue this process, until you feel quiet and your mind is focused and undisturbed by fleeting thoughts. The idea behind counting is to shut your mind from other thoughts and not to be disturbed.

Palming: Close your eyes and keep your open palm pressed against your eyes. Hold this position for 5-10 minutes every day. You will feel the heat being transferred to your eyes. Do this exercise regularly everyday or press a folded cloth to your mouth, blow air into the cloth so that it becomes warm and then press the cloth against your eyes.

Whenever you are tensed or anxious, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Slowly breathe out. Do this about ten times and watch the difference. This should calm your nerves and reduce your anxiety.

Other methods for Reducing Anxiety when preparing for an IIT entrance exam

• Self-Assertion - Do a realistic review of the situation, and decide on a course of action and carry it out; assert yourself, take charge of your life.

• Sleep habits - In order to get more time to study something like Physics for IITJEE exams, several students sacrifice their normal sleep. Occasional loss of sleep may not affect your thinking, but loss of sleep over a longer period of time can create stress. Do not carry your problems and anxieties to bed. They will leave you mentally sluggish the next morning and impair your ability to perform in any IIT entrance exam no matter how confident you are. Cultivate methods that enable you to get enough restful sleep.

• Relaxation - Practice physical and mental relaxation exercises before and during preparations for an IIT entrance exam.

• Quiet time - Cultivate and then use a "quiet time" to review your situation, to compose yourself, and to prepare yourself for a project, subjects like Physics for IITJEE, or other stressful situations in the day.

• Friends - Talk to one or two friends a day, for support and encouragement, to renew your self-confidence and morale, even while you are preparing for your IIT entrance exam.

• Consultation - Help yourself by seeking consultation from peers, instructors, or professional counselors. A lot of students report feeling stressed when studying alone for something like Physics for IITJEE, try calling a friend over to help practice and perfect your concepts, to be able to face IIT entrance exams square in the face.

Practice to relax every day: The more you practice, the better you will be able to relax. Practice relaxing for five minutes in the beginning. Plan for at least 3 relaxation breaks each day, five minutes in duration, before and during your IIT Entrance Exam preparations. On very busy days, do not be tempted to do away with this practice. It is more important to relax on such busy days. Remember, anxiety affects people of all abilities.

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