It's difficult not to get stressed out with the pressure of ASWB exam prep added to your days/weeks/months. Staying calm and motivated takes deliberate action. But what action? How about adding mindfulness practice to your ASWB exam practice routine?

Mindfulness is a mental state and practice that involves bringing one's attention to the present moment without judgment. It is the act of intentionally focusing one's awareness on the present experience, including thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and the surrounding environment.

Though mindfulness practice is ideally undertaken without judgment and without a specific goal in mind, here we're adding incentive. Mindfulness can be a powerful tool for enhancing academic focus and improving overall academic performance. Some of the ways mindfulness can help...

Increased awareness and attention: Mindfulness involves deliberately paying attention to the present moment without judgment. By practicing mindfulness, you can train your mind to become more aware of distractions and bring your focus back to the task at hand. This heightened awareness allows you to recognize when your mind starts to wander and helps you refocus on your academic work more effectively.

Improved concentration and focus: Mindfulness exercises, such as meditation or deep breathing, can strengthen your ability to concentrate for extended periods. By regularly practicing mindfulness, you can enhance your concentration skills and maintain sustained focus on academic tasks, such as completing social work practice tests.

Stress reduction: Mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress levels by activating the relaxation response in the body. When stress is reduced, you are better able to concentrate and engage in your studying without being overwhelmed by anxious thoughts or distractions.

Emotional regulation: Mindfulness helps you (and maybe your clients!) develop emotional resilience and regulate emotion. When faced with challenging academic tasks, such as passing the ASWB exam, you can use mindfulness techniques to acknowledge and accept any stress or anxiety you may be experiencing. By cultivating a nonjudgmental attitude toward your emotions, you can prevent them from interfering with your ability to concentrate and stay focused.

Enhanced memory and learning: Mindfulness practices have been linked to improved memory retention and information processing. By being fully present and engaged in your academic activities, you create stronger connections and associations in your brain, making it easier to recall information during exams or class discussions.

Reduced multitasking: Mindfulness encourages you to focus on one task at a time, discouraging the habit of multitasking. Contrary to popular belief, multitasking can actually hinder productivity and focus. By practicing mindfulness, you can train your mind to stay present with one task, completing it efficiently before moving on to the next.

Incorporating mindfulness into your social work exam preparation routine can help you in all these way, and maybe more ways we didn't include. Regular practice is key, so consider allocating specific time for mindfulness exercises or integrating mindfulness breaks throughout your study sessions--and on exam day too.

A quick web search will get you to lots of mindfulness resources--apps, books, videos. Here are a few collections of free guided meditations that we've found helpful. See what you think.

Happy practicing and good luck on the exam!

May 18, 2023
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  less stress