7 Ways to Clear Your Mind After a Major Exam

Do you ever step out of a huge exam, and although you’re relieved it’s finally over, it still hasn’t really hit you? You walked out of the classroom, yet you’re still carrying the stress of that test. Ugh. Midterms, finals and, well, all exams for that matter can really take a toll on you. That’s why we’re dishing on some tricks to clear away that post-exam stress and carry on with your day.

1. Do a quick meditation.

Meditation is all about quieting the mind. Isn’t that exactly what you need right now? If you’ve never tried meditation before, try following along to a guided exercise on an app like Headspace or Calm.


2. Zone out to a podcast.

One of the best ways to move on is to occupy your mind with something else. So, instead of letting those exam questions consume you, how about diving deep into a podcast? While listening to music works great in this scenario, too, the conversational aspect of podcasts are better for holding your attention so that you won’t drift back to those intrusive thoughts.



3. Head to the rec center.

There’s plenty of evidence pointing to the fact that exercise is an excellent stress-buster. How about packing some gym shoes so you can head straight to the rec center after your exam? If anything, simply walking home from your class or lightly jogging will also work wonders.


4. Take a moment to be present.

Try this exercise: Sit with your feet planted in the ground, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, then open your eyes and observe all of your senses and surroundings. What do you see? How does the air feel and smell? What do you hear around you? Try to be still and make these observations for about 5 minutes, or until you feel fully present.


5. Journal.

Some people swear that it’s easier moving on from stress once they get all their feelings out on paper. So, go ahead and vent to the pages of a journal! Once you get all your feelings up in the air, you can move on with your day. If it makes you feel better, crumple up the piece of paper afterward and toss it in the trash.


6. Visualization.

With visualization, you can substitute the stressful thoughts from your exam with thoughts that are more pleasant, or you can visualize tackling your stress head-on. Close your eyes and try some of these ideas:

  • Visualize a tranquil stream in a lush garden or peaceful forest.
  • Visualize your favorite pastime, like going to the boardwalk on a sunny summer day.
  • Visualize yourself bagging up your stress in a trash bag and throwing it to the curb.
  • Visualize a big vacuum sucking up all of your stress, and then a hose that pours positivity into you.


7. Start laughing.

We probably don’t need to explain why laughter is the best stressbuster. Scroll through some hilarious memes, kick back to some Fail Army videos on YouTube, or just chat with your friends that always have hysterical jokes!

How do you clear your mind after a major exam? We’d love to hear your tips in the comments below!


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  1. John Valin says:

    My goodness. This is sooooo relatable. After my big exams, you know I’m grabbing my headphones so that I can zone out to a good podcast. I’m not like those OTHER college students who cry and watch netflix and eat pizza rolls after rolling out from a failed 7:00 PM gen chem exam. Want to know why? Because my father was a psychic and I have an IQ of over 200, so the exams really aren’t that difficult for me. That’s why I turn to podcasts for some much needed mental stimulation.

    Did I mention the podcasts are all in Latin? I speak 5 languages fluently.

  2. Lorena Pardo says:

    I find very useful to do some yoga before and after long exams a great source of stress release.
    It works for me. How to see if it works for you!…
    I invited you to try.

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