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Keeping calm on the day of your exam or assessment

5-4-3-2-1 exercise for calming your thoughts

If you feel panic rising, wherever you are, think about:

5 things you can see

4 things you can hear

3 things you can touch

2 things you can smell

1 thing you can taste

Try this simple technique for controlling your breathing

When panic starts our diaphragm also panics and this makes it hard to fully breathe in or fully breath out. This is often what makes us start feeling faint or hyperventilate so we need to bring the diaphragm back under control.

Box Breathing is a quick way to achieve this. 

To begin, expel all of the air from your chest.

  • Keep your lungs empty for a four-count hold.
  • Then, inhale through the nose for four counts.
  • Hold the air in your lungs for a four-count hold.
  • When you hold your breath, do not clamp down and create back pressure. Rather, maintain an open, neutral feeling even though you are not inhaling.
  • When ready, release the hold and exhale smoothly through your nose for four counts. This is one circuit of the box-breathing practice.
  • Repeat this cycle for at least five minutes to get the full effect.  

Apps to help calm

Here are three apps you may find useful in helping you to stay calm and on top of any anxiety you may be experiencing:



Break free from anxiety and stress using this free evidence-based anxiety management app. MindShift uses scientifically proven strategies based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

What's Up

A free app utilising some of the best CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy) methods to help you cope with Depression, Anxiety, Anger, Stress and more!


Change your breath, change your life. Wake up, fall asleep, calm anxiety, and more with Breathwrk!


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