Dr. William James said: “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” This means changing the way you think. In order to do this, you need to practice mindfulness, which includes practices such as breathing, meditation, letting go of distractions, and being in the moment. Mindfulness
“…helps us become aware of what is already true moment by moment. We could say that it teaches us how to be unconditionally present; that is, it helps us be present with whatever is happening, no matter what it is.” You’re stressed about the exam in the coming future, right? What if you were just focused on what’s happening right now in your life, and not thinking about tomorrow and tomorrow and what if, tomorrow? Work hard today. Stressing for the exam in the future won’t help you. The most important moment is now. Make it count.
Another key player in managing your stress is your attitude and your outlook on life. There are 3 traits of people who cope well with stress: their levels of commitment, their ability recognize what’s in their control, and their acceptance of change. If you’ve committed to your CPA Exam goals, stay committed and don’t go back on your dreams by stressing. You’ve come this far, give yourself a little credit, eh? And remember, the only control you have during the exam process is how you study and how you treat yourself. After you take the test, you will no longer have control over what happens. Your ability to recognize this will help you dispel your stress. Sometimes the industry will throw curveballs and exam policies or formats will change. Heck, even your CPA Review will change. For you as a student, the key is to embrace these changes and see them as waves that will push you to improve and reach your goals rather than as impediments to your success.
If everything we’ve just said makes absolutely no sense to you, then our advice is simple: remember the basics. You will
eat well. You will
sleep enough. You won’t
stop doing the things that make you happy. Abe Lincoln once said “When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That's my religion.” It really is as simple as that! You want to manage your stress? Just choose NOT to stress. Here’s how: first, think about why you’re stressing. Maybe you haven’t studied enough. Or perhaps you’re scared that you’re not cut out for this. Possibly the thought of four exams makes you want to run and hide. Let’s go to the root of each of those problems and solve the issues: give yourself time to study more, take some actions that convince you that you can
do this (more accounting classes, research, etc), and take this process one exam at a time. The stress will pop up again, but remember the basics! They will get your further than you think.