Mindfulness Exercises

Here you can take 5 and practice some mindfulness. Mindfulness can help us to accept what we are feeling and thinking, notice when our thoughts and experiences hook our attention and take us away from this present moment and allow us to practice bringing that attention back in a non-judgemental, compassionate and intentional way to this present moment. It can help us to connect with what matters in our lives. At Oxford, time is a precious thing (that we feel we never have enough of), so take some time to invest in yourself and your mental wellbeing.



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What is take 5?

Take 5 is a free website resource for Oxford students who are feeling panic about their exams.
This is a University of Oxford Counselling Service pilot project. This website explains more about how exam panic, anxiety, stress and worry affect the body and mind and why you are feeling what you are, well … feeling (which can include mild stress and worry to full-blown, white knuckle terror). Best viewed with Google Chrome.


When we panic our thoughts start to race and repeat like a broken record.
We struggle to concentrate and focus and can also feel light headed due to breathing faster. These sensations can be accompanied by feelings of unreality or detachment as the brain works overtime to figure things out.

Eyes wide open…

Panic also causes our eyes to widen in order to let in more light so we can see possible threats and making us more sensitive to light.
As the body heats up and changes temperature, we can also start to sweat to cool down.

Difficult to swallow…

Panic makes the blood vessels in the mouth narrow, resulting in a dry mouth.
This can make us feel thirsty, or worse, like we’re choking. It can also stop us from feeling hungry and feel uninterested in food or drink.

Inhale, exhale…

As panic takes hold, our breathing becomes faster and more rapid.
This is because the body is trying to take in more oxygen to feed the body and muscles to prepare us for fight or flight. This can also result in feelings of choking or thoughts like “I can’t breathe!!!"

Heart beats faster…

Panic causes our blood to become full of adrenaline as well as other nutrients.
The heart beats faster to pump blood rich nutrients around the body to reach various body parts. This can result in palpitations and can also feel like your heart is bursting out of your chest. Your heart is doing what it is meant to do.


Panic also reduces blood flow to the stomach and intestines causing it to constrict, shut down and try to remove any excess weight in undigested food.
This can result in stomach cramps, loss of appetite, nausea and – yes, you guessed it – butterflies.

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