How to keep positive vibes around results day

This article was last updated on 17 July 2020.

Your mind is a powerful tool. Throughout your education, it's helped you to remember everything you've needed to get through school – from equations to dates, from quotes to remembering to bring your P.E. kit. Your brain is your best friend… but it can also be your worst enemy.

As results day creeps closer, you might find your thoughts turning less sunny than they were at the start of the summer. Maybe negative thoughts are creeping in: “What if I don’t get the grades? What if I'm disappointed? What if I failed EVERYTHING?!”

Stop right there!

Your thoughts can have a huge impact on your physical and mental wellbeing so it’s really important to keep tabs on what’s going on in your head, keep things in perspective and, most importantly, keep positive.

As psychologist M. Wallace explains, "Positive thinking can really work to reduce stress and interrupt or override negative thoughts. When stress levels are lower, it has a positive effect on our immune system, sleep, appetite, mood, learning and relationships."

Be grateful

One way to be more positive is to practice gratitude. This is simply the practice of being thankful for what you have – especially the small things. As Lots Holloway explains in this clip, consciously making time to be thankful is a great first step towards keeping a positive mindset.

Be mindful

Lots’ focus on gratitude, on being thankful for what she has right here and now, is a mindfulness technique.

Mindfulness is a tool that some people use to help manage their thoughts and their wellbeing. It involves focusing on the present – what is happening right now in your thoughts, physical body and surroundings. "Is is," says M. Wallace, "a wonderful way to promote calm, be in the moment and encourage acceptance."

M. Wallace goes on to explain some of the benefits of mindfulness: it "encourages us to be present, to breathe, to accept how things are. It helps to let go of worries or negative thoughts and just be with things in that moment, however they are."

Sounds like just what is needed around results season, right? So, to get you started, here are three mindfulness practices you could try:

  • List the things that you are grateful for right now, in this moment. If it helps, write them down.

  • Get outside. Go for a walk or a run and really notice what's around you. What can you see, hear, smell and feel?

  • Try meditating. Sit quietly, somewhere you won't be disturbed, and focus on your breathing. If your thoughts wander, that's ok, just bring them back to the present moment again.

Obviously, being mindful now isn’t going to magically change your grades come results day (if we could wave that magic wand for you, we would!), but cultivating a more positive mindset can help you to be more resilient and deal problems and setbacks if they do arise.

Mindfulness and gratitude techniques "aren’t about telling ourselves we’re amazing or that everything is wonderful", reinforces M. Wallace, "they’re about recognising our own strengths, however big or small, and seeing the good things around us instead of focusing on the negative."

For more information on mindfulness and some tips to get you started, you could look at Mind or the NHS website.

If you need support

You should always tell someone about the things you’re worried about. You can tell a friend, parent, guardian, teacher or another trusted adult. If you're struggling with your mental health, going to your GP can be a good place to start to find help. Your GP can let you know what support is available to you, suggest different types of treatment and offer regular check-ups to see how you’re doing.

If you're in need of in-the-moment support you can contact Shout 85258. It's a free, 24/7 text messenger support service for anyone in the UK. Text the word “SHOUT” to 85258 to start a conversation.

There are more links to helpful organisations on BBC Action Line.

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