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Matthieu Dubourg, founder of B-Happy, presented a webinar to Vatel Bordeaux students and applicants sharing some keys to handling stressful situations better and boosting their chances of success. Here is a short summary.

Drawing on the neurosciences, Matthieu Dubourg introduced several positive psychology tools. The goal? Learning how to handle stress better in order to succeed more.

Handling stressful times better: adopt an optimal lifestyle

The day before your exams or an important job interview, it is important to take steps to help you succeed:

  • Eat dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa). It contains serotonin which promotes relaxation and therefore sleep.
  • Do not drink any caffeinated drinks. They are stimulants and will prevent you from sleeping.
  • Put your mobile phone in flight mode. This means you will not receive any notifications triggering a blue light on your screen. Otherwise your brain will interpret the blue light as equivalent to naturally-produced sunlight. The consequence? You wake up! In short, turning off your phone ensures you get a good night’s sleep.

One and a half to two hours before your exam or job interview :

  • Cook starchy foods like wholegrain pasta or brown rice. They are rich in dietary fiber and therefore energy. There is nothing better for stamina.
  • Eat a banana. This fruit is rich in vitamin B and will lower your stress levels and nerves. Do you smoke? Bananas cleanse the nicotine flavor.
  • Eat a few squares of dark chocolate and perhaps even take some into the exam. This will hone your concentration and stimulate your memory. Cocoa also has natural antidepressant properties.
  • Take a restorative 20-minute nap. Several studies have shown that doing this boosts your productivity in the following hours.
  • Take a minute to slowly breathe in and out. This slows your heartbeat and reduces tension.

Boost your success: be organized in order to raise your self-esteem

Boosting your chances of success requires meticulous organization. If you want to revise or practice the day before your exam or job interview, Matthieu Dubourg recommends:

  • Listing the most urgent tasks, which cannot wait. For instance, which part of your interview do you want to practice first.
  • Listing urgent tasks that can actually wait a bit. Such as revising a subject for which the exam will be in a few days’ time.
  • Deciding which tasks are useful to do but not essential.
  • Eliminating pointless tasks that will only waste your time.

Not used to following an approach like this? Wondering how to start? Don’t panic!

There are many software programs to help you. Matthieu talked about the most well-known one: Trello. It lets you create:

  • Tables in which you can create lists. Those lists can be numbered.
  • Inside each list, you can add as many cards as you want.
  • On each card, you can add a description, label, due date and attached documents.