Waiting for results -whether it’s for an exam or a medical test -can be a nerve-wracking experience, says meditation teacher and well being expert Emma Mills.
“But it’s worth remembering that you can’t do anything about it. Instead, use the six-week waiting period to let life unfold, knowing you’ve done your best:’ she says.
Easier said than done, maybe. But if you’re the type of person to worry about exam failure, Mills recommends finding some calm and clarity through these simple, designed for-beginners meditation exercises that anybody can perform during times of post-assessment stress.
1. Find a quiet space. Sit comfortably and breathe gently for two minutes.
2. The nervous system relaxes when the out breath is longer. Some experts recommend seven seconds in and 11 seconds out, but do whatever is best for you. Don’t attempt this if you suffer from asthma, heart or breathing problems.
3. Establish a ‘focus point’. It could be your breathing, your heartbeat or the sounds happening around you
4. Every time you feel your attention wavering, bring it back to this focus point.
Mills says, “By doing this for a minute or so a day, you build up a muscle. Whenever you find your mind being scattered or worrying, try bringing your attention back to that focus point. It can be difficult at first, but it will relax you.”
1. Sit comfortably and close your eyes.
2. Take your attention for a tour around your senses. Focus on what you can hear. What can you feel? What can you smell? This gives you an opportunity to connect with what is happening now.
3. You can also try putting your hand over your chest or stomach to ‘feel’ your breath. Again, breathe slowly, from the diaphragm, ensuring your out breath is longer. Don’t ever force it.
Mills says, “This can be used whenever you’re worrying about something. It’ll reconnect you with the ‘now’, hopefully diverting your attention away from whatever is troubling you.”
What AAT students say
“Exercise. I’m really into climbing. When I’m on top of a mountain, I’ve got no phone signal or distractions. It’s the opposite of sitting at a desk with a calculator. It really helps you forget about what exam results you may or may not be getting.” Jess Brindle.
Wesley Sinfield says, “Forget about the results by focusing on the next unit that you’re working towards. The good thing about the assessment is you’re always working on something new.”
Emma Mills offers a four-day meditation course for professionals, ‘Presence in Practice‘.
Mark Rowland is a journalist and former editor of Accounting Technician and 20 magazine.