At this time of year many of us will be, or know someone who is, struggling with the stress and anxiety associated with exams. There are many who believe that exams are an unfair assessment method because all they really measure is our stress resilience, memory and coping abilities. Whether it’s academic, career related or a driving test, there are many exam situations in everyday life, but luckily they can all be managed in the same way.
Once you’ve spent the time preparing for an exam and learning the material how do you ensure your nerves don’t get the better of you? By remaining calm and focused we can minimise the stress response, help memory recall, boost confidence and perform better. Here’s how I help my clients cope with exam stress using hypnotherapy.
Hypnotherapy can help with clarity of thought, effective decision making and precise information recall – all essential for exams. It can also help you study more effectively, prepare more thoroughly and relax before your exam. This leaves you to concentrate on looking after yourself, eating well and enjoying undisturbed sleep so you feel fresh and ready to go.
Coping with anxiety
If you feel stressed, anxious or afraid when entering an exam your mind reacts accordingly. It can’t tell the difference between this type of fear and a physical threat to your safety, so it reacts with a fight or flight response making you feel sick, fidgety, uncomfortable, hot and panicky. For anyone who suffers with nerves or anxiety these symptoms will be familiar and they are definitely not helpful in an environment where you need to perform mental tasks and think clearly.
Simple exercises can be used both before and during the exam to help you stay calm. Simple visualisations, muscle relaxation and breathing exercises are a few simple but effective techniques.
One of the things that hypnotherapy does wonderfully is boost confidence and keep things in check in your head. We may all worry about performance, but when a fear of failure becomes overwhelming it is extremely detrimental to our performance.
One way to control nerves is to do positive visualisation exercises during hypnosis. A therapist can help you visualise yourself in the exam, remaining calm and performing well. When you come to the actual exam, your mind will already be trained to feel calm and confident. We can work together to eliminate fear, and leave a sense of excitement and confidence in its place.
Prolonged exposure to cortisol and other stress hormones can have a negative effect on memory and your health which is completely counterproductive to performance and memory recall.
Almost everyone can learn hypnotherapy techniques that help recall abilities. A state of heightened concentration and relaxation can raise recall and improve the clarity of learned information.
As well as helping you in exams, being able to control anxiety and boost performance is a valuable skill for other areas of your life.
For more information on how hypnotherapy could help you with exam preparation and anxiety please do get in touch. My treatments are safe and effective with results in very few sessions.