This week I was studying for a difficult exam. I didn’t do so well on the first exam, so I spent a significant amount of time studying for this one to try to do better. During the exam however I ran out of time to fix a mistake I noticed at the last minute. I also made the mistake of forgetting about the bonus question and didn’t write anything for that question. I can’t let this go in my mind, even though there’s nothing I can do now. I feel like I put so much effort into preparing for this and blew it with those two mistakes (mainly the latter). How can I move on from this and not let it keep bothering me?
I know how frustrating it is when that happens- something like this happened to me many times. It happens to a whole lot of people: to make mistakes when taking an exam, or during an interview for a job, etc. People get anxious, very stressed- and that’s when mistakes happen more.
How to “move on from this and not let it keep bothering me?”- as you think (again) about these mistakes, feeling that pain of regret, relax your body, particularly see to it that you breathe slowly and naturally, in and out, calmly, all the way. As you do, try to not run away from that pain of regret, try to not resist this pain. Instead, breathe it in and out, accept that making those mistakes, accept that your grade will suffer because of these mistakes, and accept that it hurts.
If you do that, repeatedly, you will end up eventually feeling sad, but not distressed and obsessive over it. Over time the sadness will lessen.
Remember that everyone makes mistakes, that almost every person taking an exam does not do as well as he/ she would have done if not performing under pressure.
I hope that you post again and let me know how you feel in a couple of days of this practice (?)